I think ego in a solo sailor is absolutely necessary. What is ego if it isn't self-confidence and trust in yourself, being self-directed, self-sufficient, self-assuring, and self- a lot of other stuff ? Nobody accuses a groundhog of having too much ego when it survives a hard winter on it's own, or a bumblebee of obstinance when it buzzes right up in your face to check you out, they are just natural creatures making their way with boldness through life. I don't think it's any more unusual for a strong human individual to go out on their own and do the things they feel a desire to do, nor do I really think it's odd for them to have opinions about their experiences or their ways of doing things. I don't find that threatening, personally. Anybody who crosses even one ocean alone in a boat has my respect - I haven't done it, and even though I'd like to do it, I'm not ashamed to admit that the idea scares the hell out of me. One thing I think is certain, someone who isn't self-directed and pretty sure of what they are doing isn't going to get far on an ocean in a boat, alone. With nobody there to reassure them that they are doing the right thing, nobody to comfort them, nobody to care when situations become difficult and loneliness sets in, most folks would give up and turn back. These days, with Hollywood exploiting individualism in every product they make, you'd have to build a spaceship and fly it alone to Mars for most people to have respect for the effort, but anyone who sails in a boat alone has my respect regardless. I don't think it would easy to be out there day after day, alone, looking out at an empty horizon, knowing that if it all goes wrong nobody is even going to know what happened to you. I agree a lot of the better authors seem to be gifted with understatement, but that might be the ultimate expression of conceit.
Edit - that's not to say I don't think the 1000 days guy is a little weird, or that building a boat yourself and leaving for the southern ocean isn't a bit nutty, it is weird and nutty. But what the hell, you know ? They aren't hurting anybody, and they're doing what they want to do, I can respect that. This world needs more weird people, it's getting too freaking boring lol.