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X-Yachts AUS X4 728 - 1

Deaf solo circumnavigator, rolled in Southern Ocean, stops in Hobart

by Sail-World Cruising on 13 Jan 2013
Gerry Hughes, deaf solo sailing adventurer SW
A Scottish man hoping to become the first deaf yachtsman to sail solo around the world non-stop and unassisted is in Hobart for repairs after his yacht rolled at sea.

The profoundly deaf Gerry Hughes, who departed from Glasgow on 1st September 2012, hoping to complete his solo circumnavigation non-stop and unassisted was rolled in his 42ft Beneteau sloop Quest III and has found it prudent to stop at the southerly Australian capital.

Gerry is not new either to sailing or to adventurous exploits. He sailed single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 and the circumnavigation is his latest adventure. He undertook the trans-Atlantic crossing in a 34ft boat called Quest II but was forced to call at Cork in Ireland for repairs due to a failure of

battery power. He had the boat repaired, but in the middle of the Atlantic the battery power failed again, resulting in the loss of use of his navigation lights, generator, laptop computer and mobile 'phone. He went on, however, with no power and an oil lamp his only source of light. The fable has it that when he reached USA waters he had to ask directions from a passing speed-boat encountered in fog. He finally did reach Newport in Rhode Island, but only after waiting eight days in fog, and only after the fog had cleared.

On this journey he has already sailed down the Atlantic, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, crossed the Indian Ocean and sailed south of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and Tasmania's most southerly tip - a first for a deaf sailor. He will be hurrying to complete his necessary repairs, as he must get past his last significant hurdle, Cape Horn, while the weather is still favourable.

Gerry's solo voyage was originally expected to take between five and seven months, meaning he would be back in Scotland by the end of March. Let us hope that his repairs are done quickly and the rest of his voyage is successful.

You can follow Gerry's challenge at www.gerrysmhughes.com

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