Please select your home edition
Edition
navathome 728x90

'Second time lucky' hopes for solo circumnavigating sailor

by Nancy Knudsen on 20 Aug 2013
Andrew Halcrow - another try at a solo circumnavigation. photo by Hans Marter, Shetnews .. .
Seven years after his last foiled attempt to circumnavigate the globe single handedly on his 32ft home made boat Elsi Arrub, Scotsman Andrew Halcrow is preparing to set off to try it all over again.

In late 2006 Halcrow sparked a major international rescue operation when he burst an appendix while crossing the vast Southern Indian Ocean.


Bad luck, you might say, and such an event is one of the long range cruising sailor's worst nightmares. The likelehood of a timely enough rescue in such circumstances is almost non-existent. But luck was with him all the way after that first incident.

He phoned his wife, who told Shetland Coastguard, who told Falmouth, who told the Australian Maritime Rescue Authority (AMSA). They sent a spotter plane, who found him four and a half hours later, 300 miles off the Australian coast. They told the nearby bulk carrier Elegant Star, who picked him up and delivered him to a hospital in Albany on the south coast of Western Australia, where he had a life saving operation.

Halcrow recovered and returned home to Burra in Shetland. At that time, with his boat abandoned and probably sunk at the other end of the world, insisted he had no intention of ever embarking on a similar journey again.

But his luck had further, much further, to run. Months later, Halcrow was stunned when he got news that his much loved yacht had been found still afloat. He was reunited with Elsi in May 2007 when she arrived back in Scotland onboard one of Streamline’s cargo ships.


'But I still didn’t plan to do it again,' he told the Shetland News recently. 'The thing that kicked it off was when Elsi became a little bit neglected, and I knew I had to do something with her to keep her going. So, last summer I decided to shot blast the deck and paint her up,' he said.

So, after overhauling the 26 year old vessel he had originally built for a five year cruise around the world, he realised the desire to complete the non-stop challenge still burned inside him.

'When I finished that and she was looking really good, it was almost a case of her being all dressed up with nowhere to go.'

Having already sailed halfway around the globe in his first aborted attempt, the 54 year old is convinced that this time he is better prepared mentally, although he freely admits that 'you tend to forget the bad bits'.

And although he is embarking on a single-handed trip, he insists the journey is a team effort and would not be possible without his wife’s support.

'Alyson will be the essential onshore part of this challenge. She has backed me the whole way through and made many sacrifices to enable me to achieve my ambition.

'This trip would not be happening at all if it were not for her and I cannot thank her enough for that,' he said.

He has spent the last few months planning his route, this time leaving at the onset of winter to head down to South America before rounding Cape Horn (the 'wrong' way) to cross the Pacific.

This time he plans to sail through the Torres Strait between Australia and Papa New Guinea, then cross the Indian Ocean past the Cape of Good Hope back into the Atlantic Ocean.

'There will be bad weather because I have to leave in November and come back in the winter.

'I will be off South Africa during the winter, but I will be doing a lot of sailing in really good weather in the trade winds right across the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

'There is an outside chance of a cyclone in the Pacific, but if I plan not to go through that area until May I should avoid that,' he explained.

Halcrow still has much to prepare and he will take his yacht down to Falmouth for final preparations, including removing the vessel’s engine, installing renewable power sources, stocking up on food to last for a year and ensuring that his modes of communication – a satellite phone and an HF radio – are in perfect working condition.

He plans to set off from the English Channel in early November and hopes to be back in the UK about 12 to 13 months later.

He said: 'If I don’t do it now, I am never going to do it. I dinna want to be sitting in an old folks home, being 90 years old and thinking I really should have done it.'

That's the spirit, Andrew, sweet sailing!

Wildwind 2016 660x82upffront 660x82Pantaenius - Worldwide Support

Related Articles

The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted today at 2:20 am
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Bavaria STYLE 46 Australian Premiere at Sydney International Boat Show
For everyone who appreciates luxury on the water, the STYLE package is now available for the Cruiser 46 and Cruiser 51?. For everyone who appreciates luxury on the water, the STYLE package is now available for the Cruiser 46 and Cruiser 51?. Making the most of your time on board, be it with family or friends, is becoming more important. Yacht owners want certain levels of comfort and an onboard living experience coupled with versatility.
Posted on 26 Jul
What to look for when buying a modern lifejacket
There is no doubt that modern lifejacket design has changed considerably. There is no doubt that modern lifejacket design has changed considerably and one of the biggest drivers of this change has been due to personal ownership. Rather than crew relying on lifejackets being on-board a boat, they want to own their own lifejacket as part of their kit bag.
Posted on 25 Jul
The New Bavaria Cruiser 34 - you won't believe this is a 34' yacht!
The Sydney International Boat Show sees the World Premiere of the Bavaria Cruiser 34 - 2 Cabin version. The Sydney International Boat Show sees the World and Australian Premiere of the Bavaria Cruiser 34 - 2 Cabin version. The new Cruiser 34 offers more space and more comfort than ever before with a bigger cockpit, dual helms and ergonomically designed seating. This is the first time the entry level Bavaria cruiser has been offered in twin helm!
Posted on 19 Jul
Navathome Australia brings RYA Theory to your door
The RYA Cruising Syllabus has been built up over years of best practice development in Sail and Power Boat skippering. The Royal Yachting Association Cruising Syllabus has been built up over years of best practice development in Sail and Power Boat skippering. Split into a theory and practical syllabus the training modules take you in steps from a Start Yachting orientation through to Yachtmaster for either power or sail.
Posted on 5 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun