Circumnavigate the Globe by Sailboat
In order to achieve this you need to satisfy the following:
– Pass every meridian (line of longitude)
– Cover a distance of at least the Earth’s circumference
– Pass a pair of antipodal points
The first requirement means you’re circling the globe around the two Poles. The second means you’re not just walking around a Pole in a 1 metre arc. The third means at some stage, the furthest points of your path are at least the width of the Earth. Together, these give a true circumnavigation of the globe.
The open waters are a beast unto themselves. They live, they breathe, they scream, and they swallow. And that’s why a trip to circumnavigate the globe instils instant fear. Most of us imagine towering 10-storey waves, persistent cyclonic weather and endless mind-bending solitude. But don’t be deterred; this is still one of life’s most rewarding adventures.
There are two typical routes that qualify as circumnavigating the world. The first route (the Race Route) is used by racing yachts to qualify for records. It’s the more serious route designed to circle the globe in the quickest possible time. Of course, that doesn’t lend itself to many interesting ventures ashore.
The more common/scenic route (the Canal Route) follows the trade winds through the Panama and Suez Canals. The Trade Winds are surface winds that have been used for centuries by sailing vessels to cross various seas and oceans.
The two canals impose fees on vessels, but those fees are well worth it. They provide a path with many interesting port stops and they keep you clear of the deadly Cape Horn (the bottom point of South America where waters and winds get very rough).
Race versus Adventure
Much of the press regarding circumnavigation of the globe follows racing yachts. It’s an amazing display of mental and physical fortitude for anyone of any age but it’s not the only way.
Many Round-The-World sailors prefer to take their time, usually more than a year, and visit many interesting places along the way. Often access by sea provides an opportunity to visit people and places otherwise very difficult by land. The real beauty of this adventure though, is that there are infinite options and possibilities.