As his sail boat drifted passed Cape Horn — the tip of South America where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet — sailor Randall Reeves popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and celebrated. He had been at sea some two-hundred days already and his history-making journey had many months to go — nonetheless — it was a champagne-worthy milestone.
“Just think of all the things you’ve done since October of last year,” Reeves said in a video uploaded from the Atlantic Ocean, five-hundred miles off Brazil. “And for every day we’ve been out here, out here in the middle of the water.”
The “we” Reeves refers to includes his 45-foot aluminum sloop Moli which is ferrying the Oakland sailor as he sets out to become the first to sail solo around Antartica and the Americas all in one season. Reeves made a similar attempt in 2017 but had to give-up after vicious storms pummeled his craft, forcing him to limp into Argentina for repairs before retreating back to the Bay Area to regroup.
This past October he once again sailed out of the Golden Gate Strait in a second attempt at writing his own chapter in nautical history, already well surpassing his previous run of 65 days at sea.
“Two-hundred days is a long time at sea,” Reeves said. “I enjoy being at sea, it’s a lot of fun. It’s an adventure. But I miss things like my house and I miss people — most of all like my wife who’s been so supportive.”
Reeve’s current run at his quest has gone easier than the last go-round — but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. He spent 110 days in the Southern Ocean where he said wind speeds averaged 30 mph and weekly storms regularly churned up 20 to 30 foot wave heights.
Though he misses many of the comforts of home, he said he’s enjoying the solitude of the ocean.
“I don’t have regular communications with shore, don’t have radio, don’t have television, I don’t have access to the internet,” he said. “And I must say I don’t miss any of that.”
As his trajectory currently points toward the Arctic, Reeves is experiencing a bit of withdrawal — mainly in the category of culinary arts. Without a refrigerator or freezer onboard, his diet revolves around things like dried beans, pasta and various things in cans.
“I am really sick of my cooking. I don’t want to cook anymore,” Reeves mourned. “I haven’t had a salad in two-hundred days. I’m about two days from running out of beer — terrible.”
Reeves figures he is a few weeks from landing in St. John on the Virgin Islands which will be his first stop on land after more than eight months at sea. By July he hopes to head North on another major leg of his journey which will see him sailing past Canada, the Arctic and Alaska with a goal of crossing back into the San Francisco Bay next November.
“Trying to get home by Thanksgiving of this year,” he said, “because i haven’t been home for Thanksgiving for two years now and I’m ready for a Thanksgiving with my wife.”
There are many miles between Reeves and a stuffed turkey, a lot of water before he pops the next champagne cork — and as he’s already learned — dangerous waves that could put an early end to a bold expedition.
Video footage sent by Reeves’ showed images of dolphins treading along side his boat, sea birds coasting above the sails, and the rolling, watery expanse of wild ocean with nary a cell phone or car in sight.
“I enjoy being out here in nature,” Reeves said. “figuring out how to survive on my own in a natural environment.”
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/San-Francisco-Sailor-on-History-Making-Trek-Checks-in-From-Atlantic-509701941.html.