Where have you been quarantined? At home? Did each member of your family decide to quarantine in their own individual blanket fort? That’s cool, this Canadian dad spent the past 265 days quarantined on a boat as he circumnavigated the globe.
That’s right, Bert ter Hart from British Columbia didn’t ride the wave of social distancing, he was social distancing long before it was cool. Dubbed “The Safest Man on the Planet,” Bert ter Hart has barely seen another person in the better part of a year. In fact, he rarely even spoke to one face-to-face. During his journey around the world, he used only celestial navigation – no phone, no GPS, not even a tablet to binge The Mandalodian.
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Cowboy Hats Since we’re talking about hats, my Dad gave me this one. I didn’t have the foresight to bring anything other than ball caps and toques. Dad realized immediately that I would need something for the tropics and gave me this Tilley. Actually, he gave me two knowing that I am a bit of a fumble-fingers and more likely than not to lose it overboard. The hat is in use everyday and judging by my tan, it’s mire than necessary in these parts. This picture also made me realize I could have saved some dough on storm canvas. It looks like my ears are big enough to set in a blow. I would only have to stand in the cockpit with my back to the wind! #oceancowboy #dadknowsbest #tilleyhat #svseaburban #aroundalone #6monthsatsea #sextant #penandpaper #circumnavigation #sailor #sailing #nonstop #5capes #onehandfortheship #occadventuresailing #sailinglovers #adventureisoutthere #occchallengegrant #instasailing #sailboatsofinstagram #captainbert #onemanshow #brave #sailinglife #sea #ocean #sailboats #zhik #sailingaroundtheworld Follow my tracks in real-time: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Seaburban
Only eight people have ever done what this Canadian native did, and he’s the first from North America to complete the long and arduous expedition. Inspired both by early explorers and his own father who taught him to sail, Ter Hart used a sextant (a navigational device used to measure the angular distance between two objects, essential to Ter Hart for taking altitudes while he navigated), charts, and a pen and paper to make his way around the world.
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A COVID-19 Message from Bert’s Son, Webmaster, and Sailing Padawan Apprentice. Do it now. Not later. Tomorrow is already too late. That is the advice my father has taught me my entire life. The situation didn’t matter, be it at home, at sail, or anything else. Get your assignments done now, and have more time to make it perfect. When you’re at sea you have to do everything now. I learned early that taking a sail down, before it gets out of control reduces the effort required by its square. Start cooking now, before your forced to stay above deck for the rest of the day, and you go hungry. Make weather decisions early, as soon as you get the forecast. Change the heading now, before you’re stuck in the storm without options. In flight training hesitating before making a decision, especially a meteorological decision, can be the difference between your passengers life or death. Land under control, before you crash out of control, or even better decide not to take-off at all. Bert wanted me to share the following post that was originally written by Jason Warner, the chemical engineer and business executive. It explains COVID-19 by the numbers, and why it is important to make a plan now and take action now. Tomorrow may very well be too late: “This is a long post addressing two underlying issues with the current response to the pandemic that leaves me concerned. It’s the longest post I’ve ever written. For those of you not taking action, or believing the pandemic to be “overhyped”, you can make fun of me as much as you want now or when this is over. You can make me the subject of memes and post it everywhere. I will pose for the picture. I am not trying to convince you, but I do feel compelled to share information that I deem critical to all of us, which is why I am posting this at all. *WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE 5 MINUTES TO READ AND CONSIDER THE INFORMATION I AM SHARING:* As of 3/15/20 at 9 am PST this post has been shared over 50k times since it was posted 2 days ago. So a lot of people find value in the post and although it’s a long read, I believe you will find this information valuable too. (Cont’d on Facebook page: Around Alone)
Ter Hart departed in his 13 meter (that’s about 43 feet, Americans) boat last October, and though he has a degree in oceanography and plenty of sailing experience, this trek was harder than anyone could have anticipated.
“The navigation was really hard because in order to figure out where you are with a sextant, you have to see the horizon. But when you’re at sea in a small boat, there’s always waves — and the swell can be anywhere from 12 to 15 feet,” Ter Hart told Travel and Leisure. “The motion is so extreme…the boat is tilted at some crazy angle, it’s going up and down, and rolling from side to side. If I were to put a pencil down, five seconds later, that pencil is in a completely different part of the boat.”
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Celebration The crew was anxious to celebrate our good fortune and successful rounding so when I announced it was time Port, Starboard, and Sir Salty Ants-In-His-Pants didn’t need to be told twice. It was a full time job just to get them to be still for the picture. You may remember that the bottle was a gift from Randall Reeves. From all of us aboard Seaburban Randall, thank you. I needed to pry the bubbly out of Sir Salty’s flippers to make sure that there was enough left for formalities. As is proper, Neptune was given his due. For a toast, I thought of this: For those who came before and lit the way, thank you. For those who may yet come, I say welcome. And for those who remain, may this place bring you everlasting peace. I hope it is enough and well received. Chock full of emotion, I stumble over a sheet strewn over a cockpit locker and splash some of the bottle’s contents on Seaburban. Of course! I had forgotten Seaburban! Remedied immediately, looking up I see a single point of light bursting through the clouds. In disbelief, I check the bearing. It bears directly over Cape Horn. There things in life you will never forget. Things indelibly stamped that never fade. Things like this. #celebration #breakoutthebubbly #neptunesdue #svseaburban #aroundalone #6monthsatsea #sextant #penandpaper #circumnavigation #sailor #sailing #nonstop #5capes #onehandfortheship #occadventuresailing #sailinglovers #adventureisoutthere #occchallengegrant #instasailing #sailboatsofinstagram #captainbert #onemanshow #brave #sailinglife #sea #ocean #sailboats #zhik #sailingaroundtheworld Follow my tracks in real-time: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Seaburban
This brave father of four endured challenging conditions, even anchoring for several days to wait out a hurricane. Incredibly, during his entire journey, he didn’t lose sight of his goal. Accompanied only by his stuffed seal dubbed Sir Salty, Ter Hart persisted. Aside from the personal satisfaction of achieving this incredible feat, Ter Hart was motivated by his desire to push others towards their own dreams.
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Nervous I am more than a little bit nervous as we slowly reach in the troughs of some impressive but unforgiving waves with winds at 31 or 32 gusting 38. The Solent is up with 3 reefs and I dare not reduce sail as we would lose steerage. Th current is, as luck would have it, against. All in all, a character builder I would say. The forecast, already wildly wrong, is calling for both the swell and wind to subside. It looks that way to me so what has worked all night is not going to be changed significantly now. I will alter downwind slightly however just to keep us moving if the winds lighten. I am not running off as I need to go north like I need a hole in the boat. Not only is it in the wrong direction, but north of us is another ridge and windless patch. Turn three times, scratch a mast, and grab a stay The wind and swell should go away If not the morn, then let us pray That it comes to pass sometime this day #scratchthemast #nervous #swell #svseaburban #aroundalone #6monthsatsea #sextant #penandpaper #circumnavigation #sailor #sailing #nonstop #5capes #onehandfortheship #occadventuresailing #sailinglovers #adventureisoutthere #occchallengegrant #instasailing #sailboatsofinstagram #captainbert #onemanshow #brave #sailinglife #sea #ocean #sailboats #zhik #sailingaroundtheworld Follow my tracks in real-time: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Seaburban
“I wanted to inspire people to take that first step forward in realizing whatever dreams or adventures they might have,” he explained to Travel and Leisure. “Once you take that first step, the next step is easier, and the step after that becomes easier. And pretty soon, you’re living your dream — whatever that may be, big or small.”
After nine challenging months, Ter Hart did it. On July 18, the daring dad returned to his overjoyed family.
“When I got back, the first thing I said was, ‘What did I miss?’” Ter Hart told Yahoo News.
Returning to life on land after nearly nine months at sea is difficult in itself, but Ter Hart had the added stress of returning to a world much different than the one he left. We’ve had months to adjust to life in a pandemic world, and it’s still far from easy – Ter Hart has the unique challenge of adjusting in an instant.
For Ter Hart, this is just the next adventure. This time though, he has the best crew in the world by his side – his family.