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The impossible voyage
Author: Chay Blyth
Publisher: HODDER AND STOUGHTON
ISBN: 0 340 14920 5.
Quality: Scanned pages
Pages count: 260
Description: 'The most astounding passage under sail that has ever been made by one man alone.'
Chay Blyth sailed round the world, single- handed against the wind - the longest windward sail in history - in a small boat, 59 feet long, made of British steel. The skills and expertise of a century of shipbuilding were concentrated into British Steel, which in 30,000 miles of almost continuous up-hill sailing, encountered a more severe battering than most other large yachts en¬ counter in ten years.
The courage and determination concentrated into lone sailor Chay Blyth makes The Impossible Voyage compulsive reading. There were good days, fine and clear. And days of near-disaster, when he fought the full force of the Westerlies in the Roaring Forties; when his self-steering gear broke beyond repair; his running booms were shattered; and he gashed his forehead deeply when thrown by enormous seas. The worst storm on the voyage, 1,500 miles from Capetown, forced him well off course. 'If ever I have nightmare
Additional info: A MAN OF IRON
Born in Hawick, Scotland, Chay Blyth joined the Parachute Regiment at 18. A sergeant at 21, he served in a number of overseas postings, including Aden during the troubles, and was seconded as an instructor to the Eskdale Outward Bound School. In 1966 he rowed the Atlantic with Captain John Ridgway in 92 days, and for his part in this exploit was awarded the British Empire Medal. He left the Army in 1967 and in 1968 sailed non-stop, single- handed to South Africa in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Trophy Race around the world, but had to give up. His wife Maureen, who comes from Wallsend-on- Tyne, accompanied him on the voyage back to England. They have one daughter, Samantha.
A BOAT OF STEEL
British Steel is 59 feet long overall, has a beam of 12 feet 10 inches, a draught of 8 feet, and displaces some 1 7 tons fully loaded for the voyage. The hull is constructed of steel plate to Lloyd's grade 'A' specification and all the steel was specially treated before and after construction. Five tons of lead ballast was installed in the deep 'fin' keel to give stability and counter the pressure of a working sail area of nearly 1,500 square feet - a tremendous area to be handled by a lone sailor.