National Geographic : 1969 Apr
Sailing Dove singlehanded meant discomfort and danger. I was sick of both. I'd had it. For a while I thought I'd had it with singlehanded sail ing itself. That was when I almost quit. To tell the truth, I'm still not sold on sailing alone, and never will be. But I realized that abigger boat would at least make it bearable. And I couldn't forget all my time and effort and all the encouragement and support from other people that had gone into bringing me this far. I'd come three-quarters of the way around the world-the worst three-quarters. I ought to do what I could to finish what I'd started. That meant selling Dove and buying a boat of 35 feet or so. I couldn't do either in Surinam. The United States would be the place to find and equip Dove II. Patti and I decided that I would sail Dove up to Barbados, where she would meet me for a long, badly needed rest. We would leave Dove there, fly to the States to pick up Dove II, and take her to Barbados. Then I'd sail on alone, through the Panama Canal and out across the Pacific to Hawaii, where my round-the-world voyage really began. "... Fated to Go On?" It was a good scheme. It was logical. But logic doesn't always cure worry and frustration and anger. I hated to set sail again in Dove. I was mad at myself, and her, and the whole world, except Patti. And when the bauxite boat that was taking Patti to Trinidad passed me on the Suriname River, and she waved goodbye to me from the rail, I got so frantic that I took one of the whisker poles and smashed it against the mast. That wasn't very logical. There isn't much you can do on a little boat to blow off steam logically. But it made me feel better. Anyway, I had a spare whisker pole. That wasn't much of a start for the last leg of Dove I's travels. But things looked better when I made radio con tact with Patti's ship and had a nice talk with her. After that I stuck to my sailing (which turned out to be no problem) and my reading and puttering around. I used to daydream a good deal out at sea, but no more. I don't want to ask myself why I'm out here alone. May be adventure has turned to obligation; perhaps to myself, perhaps to others. I don't know. I just know I have to keep going. Perhaps I'm fated to go on. Otherwise how did I ever get this far? On my fifth day out I sighted Barbados. By nightfall I'd be with Patti on that lovely island. I felt so good I went below and began cleaning everything up. THE END Sailor on horseback, Robin rides with Patti on the beach at Barbados. He spent a month on the island, water-skiing, skin-diving, and resting from his arduous Atlantic crossing. Dove lies anchored offshore. For her, Barbados was the last landfall of the voyage. Robin plans to sail a new and larger boat across the Carib bean, through the Panama Canal, and on to Hawaii via the Galapagos Islands-and to conclude in a future GEOGRAPHIC his account of his world voyage. 492 KODACHROMEBY DAVIDF. CUPP© N.G.S .