(CNN) — Randall Reeves was destined to be a seaman.

His father was a naval captain, and Reeves, now 57, grew up surrounded by sea lore. His childhood property was decorated with his father’s sextant and other navigational tools and charts, old uniforms and an underlined copy of Herman Melville’s classic 1851 seafarer novel “Moby Dick.”

The family members purchased a boat when Reeves was in higher college and the very first time he rode on it, he remembers, “It was this epiphany, this physical feeling of, ‘Oh. Oh! This is what I am supposed to do.”

Randall Reeves' year-long Figure-8 sail around the world saw him rounding the American and Antarctic continents, both poles, and some intense waves.

Randall Reeves’ year-lengthy Figure-eight sail about the globe saw him rounding the American and Antarctic continents, each poles, and some intense waves.

Randall Reeves/The Figure eight Voyage

Primarily based in Oakland, California, Reeves is fulfilling that heritage now, 40 years later. On October 19, Reeves sailed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito, exactly where he stepped off his 45-foot sailboat, Moli, finishing his year-lengthy journey: a solo “figure-eight” sail about the globe.


The finish marks a globe record, the sailor says: Reeves claims to be the very first individual in the globe to total this tough route alone. (There is no certifying physique that regulates voyages of this sort, but an international neighborhood of sailors, the Ocean Cruising Club, commemorated Reeves with a plaque right after his landing.)

He departed from San Francisco down the Pacific previous South America, created a really hard left by way of the Southern Ocean above Antarctica and went as soon as about the globe, just before turning north.

Reeves sailed by way of the Atlantic and into the Arctic Ocean, and circled the globe as soon as far more just before heading back south toward property in California.

He rounded the American and the Antarctic continents and approached each the North and South Poles in the span of one particular calendar year, but more than just the summer season season, as this type of journey could not be created to either pole in the winter.

This is the second time Reeves has attempted the figure-eight in the previous two years — his prior try in 2017 ended with an overturned boat post-storm in Tasmania. Only one particular other sailor has attempted a related figure-eight route, but did not total it, Reeves says.

35 pounds of coffee

Reeves encountered waves that were as high as two-story houses, and 50mph winds, during the stormiest parts of his sail around the world.

Reeves encountered waves that have been as higher as two-story homes, and 50mph winds, through the stormiest components of his sail about the globe.

Randall Reeves/The Figure eight Voyage

Leaving property in northern California on September 30, Reeves completed the 40,000-mile journey devoid of energy winches or energy sails, refrigeration, or on-board water purification he carried all his meals on board — such as 365 Clif Bars, 35 pounds of coffee, 36 pounds of powdered milk, and 84 cans of stewed tomatoes — and water for the year.

Genuinely a solo adventurer, Reeves subsisted 200 days devoid of human voice get in touch with, and 230-plus days of sleeping in only 90-minute stretches — he figured out promptly, by trial and error and beginning with only one particular hour at a time, that 90 minutes was the minimum duration needed to keep away from hallucination.

The short periods of rest permitted for him to nevertheless preserve the boat on course. Prior to embarking on the course, Randall says, he was match from typical walking and operating, although not “marathon match.”

Describing his days on the precarious Southern Ocean, exactly where the waves can be as higher as two-story homes and winds can attain 50 miles-per-hour in stormy climate, Reeves explained the draw to CNN Travel, “There is no coastguard down there. No one’s going to come choose you up if you have complications. You have to figure it out on your personal. To place your self into a portion of the globe that is completely and utterly wild, to be in a spot exactly where humans basically are not, to deal with what nature dishes you, it really is a substantial privilege.”

A single thrill of the journey was viewing Cape Horn on the southern tip of South America, close up and unobstructed, twice — the only two occasions Reeves saw land in 237 days — from a sailor’s point of view, which he describes as “like hunting at Mount Everest from the peak.”

A single with nature

The sailor's dream is to do the Figure 8 journey again, even more slowly, to allow time to stop and see more islands and marine life along the way.

The sailor’s dream is to do the Figure eight journey once more, even far more gradually, to permit time to quit and see far more islands and marine life along the way.

Randall Reeves/The Figure eight Voyage

The sailor was also awed by his solo encounters with pelagic birds, these who, like Reeves this final year, invest most of their time on the ocean. He recalls through a storm, a bird crashed into his boat and got stuck in the cockpit. To enable it back onto the sea, Reeves picked up the bird. “I am holding this wild animal in my hand, pondering it really is most likely never ever noticed a human just before. To be in a position to let it go back into its atmosphere was remarkable.”

As to what journey Reeves and Moli will take on subsequent, he is not confident. He dreams of undertaking the figure-eight route once more, but far more gradually, “say, in 5 years as opposed to one particular,” Reeves says.

“It would be grand to just discover the route. There are a terrific quantity of islands spread out amongst Antarctica and the continents that I did not get to see. I did not get to quit exactly where the seals and walruses and penguins reside. But that is a major commitment. We’ll see how that flies when I get property.”