Canadian Man Becomes The Safest Man By Sailing Around the World Alone On A 265-day Voyage

Canadian Man
by Yogita Chainani
by Yogita Chainani 192

In the world, some people just manage to surpass all the expectations and take you by surprise. And one such person is Bert Ter Hart. Hart, a Canadian man becomes the eight-person in the world and the first in North America to navigate the globe using astronomical navigation. With no GPS and electronic assistance, Tart was in the sea for 265 days, with a sextant, log tables, and pen and paper. 

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Summer Solstice This is a section of yesterday's plotting sheet. While not Summer Solstice exactly, there are some interesting things going on that pertain specifically to the Solstice. 1. The dotted circle in the center is the sun at local noon. It is drawn at the sun's proper declination at Local Apparent Noon (LAN) for yesterday. N23 24.3 . At Solstice, the sun's declination is N23 26.5. 2. My noon position is shown as 23 25N. 3. LAN, ie when the sun is at it's highest point in the sky at my longitude and therefore due south, is 23 28.1N 4. The highlighted dotted line is the Tropic of Cancer. It is the furthest North the sun will travel before heading South. By some happy coincidence, I was very very close to the Tropic of Cancer at very nearly Summer Solstice at Local Apparent Noon. The sun was directly overhead (the observed altitude of the sun was 89 55.2) at LAN and I went from looking at it due North to due South in seconds as it passed through zenith requiring a 180 degree shift in viewpoints. The above also means that as of yesterday, the sun will now always be South of me. For the last six months or so, it has been North. South for us Great White Northeners is normal. Looking North at noon for the sun has left me scratching my head on more than one occasion when austral waves and backwards winds have scrambled my sense of direction. Incidentally, there is a mistake on this sheet. I didn't catch it until I enlarged the photograph. I'm sure there are at least a few reading this now who have picked it up. For those that haven't, I've drawn in the Tropic at the wrong latitude. It should be at N23 26.5 . For some unfathomable reason, I've drawn it in at N23 23.5. Most likely, I muddled the sun's declination and the Tropic in haste. While teaching this stuff, I've always maintained that your DR errors will be greater than your plotting errors which will be greater than your sextant errors. Case in point … #summersolstice #suntothesouth #oops #svseaburban #aroundalone #sextant #penandpaper #circumnavigation #sailor #sailing #nonstop #5capes #onehandfortheship #occadventuresailing #sailinglovers #adventureisoutthere #occchallengegrant #instasail

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265 Days In The Sea Were Quite Challenging For Hart On Some Days 

However, this wasn’t his first time in the waters. Aged 62, he grew up sailing with his dad and therefore has had a good experience since then. Despite having a degree in Oceanography, the journey of 265 days wasn’t less demanding. It was quite difficult at the start. In fact, on some days, Hart took around three days to pinpoint his exact location.

On this Hart, in an interview with a leading daily said, 

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“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 are always waves and the swell can be anywhere from 12 to 15 feet,” he said. 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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Canadian Man Battled Hurriance And Other Issues While Being All By Himself

After battling a hurricane in the Falkland Islands and experiencing alarming and mentally exhausting conditions throughout this trip, Hart calls this experience magical. 

Hart said, 

“The ocean is absolutely magnificent. The nights are to die for. The stars, the birds, the sunsets and sunrises, the porpoises and flying fish and whales, it’s just amazing. And you’re the only one there, everything is just for you.”

In fact, considering this an extreme social distancing, Hart earned the nickname “The Safest Man on the Planet.

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What a week! Just a quick update as to how Bert has been adjusting to life on land. After the triumphant return on Saturday July 18, Bert’s week has been filled with family, 3 meet and greets and then all the press…so much press! Zoom interviews, phone calls, and Facebook Live, oh my!! The response, support and interest has been so incredible and it has meant the world to the success of this voyage. Thank you EVERYONE!! An amazing experience for both Bert and ShoreTeam Leah. Everything is looking nice and quiet for the upcoming week and Bert will be sailing home to Gabriola and Nani, finally. What a whirlwind! You can find all the press articles, videos, radio interviews and magazine features on Bert’s website press page: Bert has enjoyed pizza, cookies, donuts and some great movies. (Notably the Maiden documentary!) Seaburban is nestled in a cozy slip and has had a wash and a quick polish, but strangely enough, Sir Salty is nowhere to be found… #celebrate #whirlwindtour #paparazzi #svseaburban #aroundalone #sextant #penandpaper #circumnavigation #sailor #sailing #nonstop #5capes #onehandfortheship #occadventuresailing #sailinglovers #adventureisoutthere m#occchallengegrant #instasailing #sailboatsofinstagram #captainbert #onemanshow #brave #sailinglife #sea #ocean #sailboats #sailingaroundtheworld

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However, all this didn’t last long since Hart was soon going to reach Canada and was confused about the quarantine rules. However, with a little help from his sister, who contacted border agents, he was cleared to enter the country, spared from quarantine requirements, and in July, after nearly nine months on the open ocean, made landfall in Victoria, where he was welcomed by loved ones.

Now that’s an experience, we are sure Tart will always reminisce. 

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