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Sailors past

September 3, 2020

Larry and Lin Pardey inspired a generation or two of sailors, with their life of cruising in small, homemade wood boats, eventually circumnavigating the globe in both directions. They did so slowly, to see it:

Their circumnavigations took so long because they spent a lot of time exploring 15 of the countries they visited and using them as income-producing bases of operations, repairing and restoring boats and ferrying them to their owners.

Larry has died, in an ordinary way, the way most do. I wonder if they wouldn’t have it tougher today, as nations clamp down on wandering workers? You shouldn’t be antagonistic to the foreigner, while you are dreaming of wondering abroad.

The Pardeys sailed without engine. Marvin Creamer did his circumnavigation without navigation instruments. I suspect he was right, that navigation on the seas was so done through most of man’s history. Even a working compass requires a manufacturing capability that wasn’t present prior to what we call the ancient civiliations, but that actually are recent developments.

The sailors named previous are so well known that the New York Times writes them obituaries. I doubt there is much record of Guy Avery’s death. He likely has died by now, the photo right showing him in 1939. He’s just some guy who served on the USS Lexington. Not the one that now is a museum in Corpus Christi, but her earlier namesake. Sometime later, he set sail from Tampa in a sixteen foot wood yawl, made some repairs in Bermuda, and was rescued near the Azores. Because how else was he to get to Genoa? He had no sextant, but almost certainly had a compass. Outfitted from circumstance rather than any point he was making. I think that voyage deserves note, too. And wonder why he was headed for Italy, in the months just before Europe explodes.

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