In the fall of 2017, a lone sailor will depart San Francisco for a first-ever circumnavigation of both the American and Antarctic continents in one season. The route will pass through all of the world’s oceans, approach both poles, and round Cape Horn twice. No one has done this before—no one has even tried.
Two Treacherous Routes
This voyage combines two historic and dangerous routes, one in the deep Southern Ocean and one through the Arctic.
Ferdinand Magellan, the first ever to circle the globe, departed in 1519 with six ships and 270 men.
His voyage via Cape Horn took 16 months to complete. Only one ship returned.
When the expeditions of Captain James Cook departed 300 years later, the globe had only been encircled a handful of times. Risks were extreme; loss of life, common. Though Cook pushed further toward the poles than any other sailor in history, even he failed to find the mythic Northwest Passage.
After Cook, countless vessels searched for a route through the Arctic. All failed. Many ships and men were forever frozen in ice before Roald Amundsen’s successful transit in 1904. But even Amundsen had the company of 12 crewmen on his two-year voyage.
The first solo sailors to head south of the continents for a non-stop circumnavigation, now considered the Everest of the sport, didn’t do so until 1968, and today fewer than 150 have completed this stormy passage. In the north, only three sailors have even attempted the frozen Arctic alone, all since 2011.
Randall is the first to put these two dangerous and historic routes, a Southern Ocean circumnavigation and a transit of the Arctic, into one epic passage, the Figure 8 Voyage.
Difficulties at Every Turn
The challenges of such a voyage are many.
Distance–By the time Randall returns, he will have sailed nearly 40,000 miles in one year, or the equivalent of roughly twice the circumference of the globe.
Timing–Randall will battle the Southern Ocean first and then push for the Arctic, and his success will depend on arriving at each during their respective summers. If he falls behind schedule, he risks being overwhelmed by storms in the south or the crushing ice of the north.
Loneliness–Beyond the massive physical challenges, Randall will have to survive alone for many months at sea. He will have to maintain his vessel under all conditions, making his way and solving problems on his own.