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Alone No Longer
Sarah Pileggi
May 30, 1983
After eight months of adventure, the solo circumnavigators in the BOC race have returned, led by Philippe Jeantot
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May 30, 1983

Alone No Longer

After eight months of adventure, the solo circumnavigators in the BOC race have returned, led by Philippe Jeantot

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Thus, the winner missed both the barbecue that the Goat Island Yacht Club held in his honor and the arrival of Reed the next day, but nobody minded much. The Goat Islanders have come to understand that single-handers dance to their own special music. Bernard Moitessier, the French sailor who inspired the 15-year-old Jeantot's obsession with sailing around the world, was a contestant in the 1968 race that was won by Knox-Johnston. Moitessier reached Cape Horn in that race, but instead of turning north for England and the finish, he kept going, half way around again, winding up his 10-month voyage in Tahiti. In La Langue Route, he wrote, "God, how good it is to live like an animal, to be caressed by a tepid and soft wind! How good it is to contemplate the Southern Cross, each night a little nearer the horizon. To sleep like a drunkard, to fill your stomach and belch with pleasure, to spread out in the sun till you are almost stupefied.... I am at peace."

Moitessier's perceptions were those of a poet. Chichester was a simpler man, but probably he spoke for all single-handed voyagers when he wrote, in 1967, "This sort of venture that I am now on is a way of life for me. I am a poor thing, incomplete, unfulfilled without it."

Soon after his arrival, when someone asked Jeantot if he had any wishes for the others still at sea, he said, "I hope they get good wind." Then he added, "You know, when you go ashore and you take a shower and all the water comes down, you think of your friends, washing just their faces with a little bit of water, and you wish them to have the same things you have right now—a good steak, a good bed, a good shower."

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