3 Jul: Sailing Alone Around The World

Captain Joshua Slocum set sail from Nova Scotia in The Spray, his revamped oyster sloop, on 3rd July, 1898: the first solo circumnavigation of the world. 

Sailing alone for no reason other than pleasure was considered a fool’s errand at the time, but, motivated by the death of his beloved first wife, Virginia, Slocum sought solace in the sea. His memoir, dedicated to ‘the one who believed the Spray would return’, detailed his daring journey and struggle against loneliness.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider how Slocum survived – given his navigational aids of a broken chronometer and tin clock; explain how he evaded pirates in Gibraltar – in the most long-winded way possible; and explore his cheese-inspired hallucinations… 

Further Reading:

• ’Joshua Slocum and his first Single-handed Sail around the World’ (SciHi, 2021): http://scihi.org/joshua-slocum-around-the-world/

• ’“The Spray will Come Back”: Solo Circumnavigator Joshua Slocum’ (New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2017): https://www.whalingmuseum.org/exhibition/the-spray-will-come-back/

• ‘The Mysterious Disappearance Of A Sea Pioneer’ (Timeline, 2019):