What sailors inspire you? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-10-2012 Thread Starter
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What sailors inspire you?

I recently put together my list of the Top Ten Most Inspirational Sailors. My list mostly includes names you've heard of, because they're either historical, famous or infamous. Obviously, there are many more inspiring sailors that are lesser known. In any case, which sailors inspire you?
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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A few that come to mind would be:

Jim Dickson
Maureen McKinnon Tucker
Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci (they were on sailboats after all)
Dawn Riley
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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Robin Graham. I read about him in National Geographic and later his book. I had always loved sailboats but after reading about him, I thought I could do that too. I asked my parents if I could use my saving to buy a sailboat. My Mother said NO,NO,NO. And my Father said if it was what I really wanted and it would make me happy, go for it. I started small and worked my way up to a 33'.
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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Ellen MacArthur
Robin Knox Johnston
William Bligh (he was subjected to a horrid PR campaign - fabulous navigator)
James Cook (last voyage was a bit of a nightmare)
Derek Hatfield

Must add Beryl and Miles Smeeton

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post #5 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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Aeventyr60,

because he has been sailing "around" for 12 years and loving it.

Damn bum if you ask me.

Has inspired me to get out there, soon...

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Catalina 25 1984 #4558 Swing Keel, Tall Rig
Sailing Payette Lake, Central Idaho USA
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Baba 30 1979
Pacific Northwest for now..

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post #6 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Ellen MacArthur
Robin Knox Johnston
William Bligh (he was subjected to a horrid PR campaign - fabulous navigator)
James Cook (last voyage was a bit of a nightmare)
Derek Hatfield

Must add Beryl and Miles Smeeton
+1 on Bligh, I too have been subjected to horrible PR campaigns after a few races in particular
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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I just saw the documentary "Endeavor" about Ernest Shacklton's exploration of the South Pole. Managing to sail 800 miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in a twenty two foot life boat that was "converted" to a sail boat was an amazing feat. And being able to navigate so as to land on So Georgia Island, only getting four bearings with a sextant, was a miracle.
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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Cornelis van Rietschoten

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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My Great, Great Grandfather Howard Blackburn

Howard Blackburn was born in Nova Scotia in 1859. At the age of 18, he moved south to Massachusetts, seeking work as a fisherman, and became part of the Gloucester, Massachusetts fishing community.

Blackburn first rose to fame in 1883. While he was fishing on the schooner Grace L. Fears, a sudden winter storm caught him and a dorymate unprepared while they were in their banks dory, leaving them separated from the schooner. Blackburn began to row for shore, despite the loss of his mittens; he knew his hands would freeze, so he kept them in the hooked position that would allow him to row. He tried to save one hand with a sock and thus worsened his condition by freezing his toes and yet not being able to save his fingers. The crewmate gave up and laid down in the dory and died on the second day. Blackburn carried the body to shore for a proper grave.

After five days with virtually no food, water, or sleep, he made it to shore in Newfoundland; but his companion had died during the journey. Blackburn's hands were treated for frostbite, but could not be saved; he lost all his fingers, and many of his toes, and both thumbs to the first joint.

Blackburn returned to Gloucester a hero, and with the help of the town, managed to establish a successful saloon. Not content with this, he organised an expedition to the Klondike to join the gold rush; rather than go overland, he and his group sailed there, via Cape Horn. Howard, after a disagreement with his partners left the group in San Francisco after a short trip to Portland, Oregon to buy lumber to help finance the trip, and returned home never having panned for gold.

After the quest for gold failed, Blackburn turned his attention to a new challenge — to sail single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean. This had been done before, by Alfred "Centennial" Johnson in 1876, and Joshua Slocum had completed a single-handed circumnavigation in 1898; but for a man with no fingers to undertake such a voyage would be quite an accomplishment. He sailed from Gloucester in 1899, in the modified Gloucester Fishing Sloop, Great Western, and reached England after 62 days at sea.

Returning to Gloucester, Blackburn continued to prosper as a businessman; but he still hankered for adventure. In 1901, he sailed to Portugal in the twenty-five-foot Gloucester Fishing sloop Great Republic, making the trip in 39 days. In 1903 he again set out alone, this time in the sailing dory America, but was defeated by bad weather. Blackburn also circumnavigated the Eastern United States by going down the Mississippi River and back up the Eastern Seaboard. "Great Republic" may be seen at the Cape Ann Museum, in Gloucester.

Blackburn died in 1932; his funeral was attended by many of the people of Gloucester. He was buried in the Fishermen’s Rest section of Beechgrove Cemetery.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-10-2012
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