Around the world on board of “Polonez”

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My successful accomplishment of the trans-Atlantic race encouraged me to sail even further. It seemed that sailing single-handed served me well. I wanted to get back home on “Polonez”, but I decided to take the more ambitious route round the world eastward. This route is nearly equal to a voyage round Antarctica in the so called Roaring Forties; the area between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees, where strong winds used to roar in the rigging of old sailing vessels.It is only in this part that water circumfuses the Earth unstopped.

Because of this immense open space the waves there are extremely high and in order to ‘move’ down south from the USA, a sailor has to take an S-shape route. It firstly bends towards the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands and then unwinds toward Brazil and Argentina as this is the way the winds blow. The first leg to Cape Town took me 60 days, the second to Australia -53 days, the third to Cape Horn- 45 days and the last one to Plymouth -75 days. It is easier said than done…The Roaring Forties showed their power. Hurricane winds were constantly polnnzchanging their direction. The waves were forming  reverse pyramids or enormous valley-shaped hollows. On the Indian Ocean “Polonez” rolled right over on a wave, her self-steering gear broke and the mast was bent. When repairing the yacht in Hobart on Tasmania I was questioning whether it was worthwhile taking the risk of sailing any further. I am so glad that I did not take any advice to stop. I rounded Cape Horn in relatively good weather polonezand joined the prestigious list of sailors who have circumnavigated the Earth in the Roaring Forties. Back then there were only 8 people who had managed that; one Argentinian- Vito Dumas in the 40’s, six Englishmen – Francis Chichester, Alec Rose, Robin Knox-Johnston, Nigel Tetley, Chay Blyth, Bill King,  and one Frenchman Bernard Moitessier in the 60’s.

Bill King had finished his single-handed sail only two days before I did. My reception by the British in Plymouth was very similar to the one they had given their compatriot. This adventure resulted in my books “Polonezem dookoła świata”, “Droga na Horn” and the photo album “Polonez”.

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