Then Percy came on again. "We will meet you," he said. "What is your course?"
"Two seven oh."
"O.K. Two seven zero," he said.
I watched every launch. At 1550 I was met by a fishing boat. My wife was aboard, looking very smart in a new Mirman hat. As soon as I could decently do so, I called out, "Any news of the others?"
"You are first."
The wind veered and freshened. I was not to cross the finishing line that easily. I had to down the genoa and set No. 2 jib, the old warrior. Then I had a snappy beat to windward to reach the light vessel.
At 1730, July 21, 1960, I rounded the lightship. Officials of the Slocum Society, the American sponsors of the race, confirmed my crossing of the finish line. The race was over, 40 days 13 hours and 30 minutes after the starting gun. Distance sailed: 4,004� miles.
When I arrived in New York I was met by a captain of the U.S. Air Force whose mission was to find out if I had any uncanny experiences or felt peculiar during my 40 days of solitude. He was investigating the effects of solitude with a view to forecasting what it would be like for the astronauts projected into space. I couldn't think of anything to tell him, but after being alone for all that time, one is naturally anxious to oblige. When he asked me if I heard voices, I was compelled to answer yes, I had heard voices once. It was off Georges Bank, the first U.S. waters I entered, and when I heard the voices I was rather worried. I popped out on deck, and there was a steamer going by, and people on the top deck, obviously enjoying their evening cocktails, and they must have called out as they went by. Those were the only voices I heard.