Even in the 21st century, sailing solo and non-stop around the world is still an epic adventure. After all, in order to complete such a voyage, the sailor must face turbulent waters, unexpected storms, massive waves and weeks of isolation at sea aboard a small ship. The last of those challenges doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for Swedish boat designer Sven Yrvind however as the 73-year old seaman is preparing to sail around the world in a boat that is just 10-feet in length.
Sven estimates that his voyage will take about a year and a half to complete but he hasn’t finished building the boat yet, so he isn’t exactly sure when he’ll get under way. He does have his route planned out however and he expects to embark on his journey from the southernmost tip of Ireland. From there, he’ll sail southward along the coast of Europe and Africa, rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the Indian Ocean. After that he’ll set a course for Australia and New Zealand, passing to the south of those two countries while entering into the treacherous Southern Ocean. Finally, he’ll brave the infamous Drake Passage as he sails around South America’s famous Cape Horn, before re-entering the Atlantic Ocean and turning for home.
Since Sven intends to make this a non-stop circumnavigation attempt, he’ll need to carry all of his food and supplies with him when he sets out. On a larger ship that wouldn’t be much of a problem, but since his vessel isn’t much bigger than a bathtub, Yrvind will need to carry items that don’t take up much room. The sailor says that he plans on taking 880 pounds of food, with him, most of which will be granola and canned sardines. He’ll supplement his diet with fish that he catches from the sea and the boat will have a desalination system that will provide fresh water as well.
If he is successful in this endeavor, Yrvind will set a new record for the smallest ship to ever circle the globe. The current record is held by Alessandro di Benedetto, who made his voyage aboard a 21-foot yacht . That’s down right spacious when compared to Sven’s little sailboat.
The Swede says that he’s looking forward to all the time he’ll be spending by himself. He intends to catch up on some reading and he’ll also be working on a book of his own. With more than 50 years of sailing experience under his belt, I’m sure he has plenty of stories to tell.
By Kraig Becker
[Photo Credit: Sven Yrvind]