National Geographic : 1969 Apr
Ferrying his pets out to Dove, Robin paddles in pelt ing rain at Paranam, a baux ite-processing center up stream from Paramaribo. A missionary in the Indian vil lage of Tepoe gave him the parrot. The bird apparently didn't take to the nautical life, for it flew off a week later, never to reappear. Kili the kitten crossed the Atlantic with Robin, as did a sister kitten, Fili. Robin named them for the young est dwarfs in The Hobbit, a novel by English author J. R.R . Tolkien, which he read while in South Africa. Another book that helped Robin pass the time: Wan derer, by Sterling Hayden, the story of a man who pre fers the sea to cities and civilization. blew me a visitor. I was running at full hull speed under two small jibs and had the main furled and lashed to the boom. A tern blew in and sat on it. Dove was rolling so much that the bird was having a hard time holding on, and I thought of catching him and putting him on the gimbaled stove, which stays level no matter what the boat does. But I was afraid of scaring him and making him fly some more. He rode out the blow and went away. Next day I was making good time on a sin gle jib and reading Ayn Rand's The Fountain head. The seas were growing dangerously big -close to the stage where they'd start break ing on top of me. I taped: I wish I'd hurry up and get in. This trip's really tiresome. I was making good time, though. At 1610 488 on the 25th I crossed the Equator for the sec ond time on my round-the-world voyage. By way of celebration, I turned in and got my first good sleep since leaving Ascension, 13 days before, while Dove plunged on at about eight knots, riding a three-knot current. On Last Leg, Robin Gets Lost This was my last long sleep. Ships were ap pearing again, and I had to keep watch at night. I saw a sailing vessel on the 30th, a Brazilian schooner named Grace, and hailed her as I passed. At midnight the next day I picked up the lightship at the mouth of the Suriname River. I headed upstream toward Paramaribo, Surinam's capital, and proceeded to get all lost. Sunrise saved me.