A YEN FOR ZEN
Sailing the broad oceans of the world right now are a dozen, perhaps a score, of a strange breed of men known in the South Pacific as "singlehanders," who have no purpose in life other than to sail small boats alone to no particular destination (Hermits of the Sea, SI, May 29, 1961). Generally they are old, but sometimes they are young. One of the youngest turned up this month in Yokohama harbor, sailing a 24-foot yacht, a cutter he bought a couple of years ago in Copenhagen. He is Alexander Welsh, 22, originally from Rosemont, Pennsylvania, a graduate of Rennes University in western France and an ocean wanderer for the past 22 months. In September 1961 he set sail from Copenhagen and has been sailing pretty much ever since—down the African coast, through the Canary Islands, from the Cape Verdes across the Atlantic to Panama, through the canal to Gal�pagos Island, on to the Marquesas and thence to Ocean Island, which is one of the Gilberts.
Ocean Island was his last landfall before he reached Japan earlier this month—2,761 nautical miles that took 42 days, during which he ran out of most of his food and had to exist on canned beans and water for the final week. When he turned up at the Yokohama yacht harbor, he asked a passing yachtsman for a cigarette, explaining casually that it was the first he had had in weeks. He was not, he explained, entirely without resources. "I had my books on Spinoza,Montaigne and other philosophers to while away the time and the monotony," he said. And in Japan he wanted to study Zen, he added.
Japanese yachtsmen received Welsh enthusiastically, referring to him as "Kenichi Horie in reverse." Horie is the Japanese youth who sailed alone across the Pacific to San Francisco a year ago. The Yokohama city fathers planned a civic welcome—parades, a key to the city and all that—but postponed it when Welsh, defending his privacy, knocked an American photographer into the harbor, then holed up in his boat. "Welsh san is a philosopher," a sympathetic Japanese yachtsman apologized for him. "It is natural for him to dislike the press."
Welsh san's plans: to sail around Japan, then strike out for Hong Kong.
EARLY'S EARLY FOOT
Early Wynn's 300th major league victory touched a memory button for Joe DiMaggio—his last season with the Yankees and a career of 13 playing seasons beset with bone spurs, ulcers, a trick knee, arthritis, a strained disc, one apparent heart attack that turned out to be a severe muscle wrench of the left side and seriously pulled tendons of the left shoulder. (Center field at Yankee Stadium has been prowled by more than one ailing genius.)
"After my shoulder healed," Joe said, "I realized I couldn't bring the bat back as far as I used to. I didn't tell anybody, not even our trainer. The high hard one, inside, used to be one of my favorite pitches, and I hoped the pitchers would stay away from the area.
"But this pitcher discovered my weakness. Those high hard ones he threw had me tied up. In a week the news was all over the American League. I knew then I was through. It was my last season."
The pitcher's name? Early Wynn.