Why are you sailing around the world?
In some ways, Im an adventure seeker, and this fits the bill. More than that though, I’ve always been immensely impressed by what nature has been able to create through millions of years of evolution. A part of me has always wanted to work to conserve this, but I have never known how, or have lacked the appropriate skill-set. I think this particular adventure provides a unique opportunity.
My hope is to share the corners of our planet that most people don’t get to see through videos and photography — as these are skills that I at least have some familiarity in.
Are you doing this alone?
Not out of principle. A thirteen year-old girl has sailed around the world on her own. I have nothing to prove to myself or to the world in doing a solo circumnavigation — though it would make good material for a book.
However, there are certain practicalities that make a solo-voyage perhaps more appealing. Tarka is a small boat, and can really only support two people who really, really like each other. Additionally, Tarka’s small size and small sails makes her easy to single-hand.
That said, if you feel up to the task of crewing, shoot me an e-mail at barolfe [at] gmail [dot] com.
How are you financing this adventure?
By no means am I wealthy, nor does my family come from money. I worked and saved up for a few years in the tech sector, and am now burning through my savings. Sailing around the world doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be cheaper than a terrestrial existence as you’re free of big expenses like rent and utilities.
At sea, you are self-reliant in many ways, and most expenses come down to food and insurance. On the other hand, boat-maintenance items can add up, especially when the boat is constantly under sail.
What do your friends think?
From conversations I’ve had, I find there are two types of reactions to my sailing plans. People either think I am crazy, or they find the adventure inspiring. I’ll compromise and confess that I am probably a little crazy, but that my goal is to inspire.
What are the risks involved?
Truthfully, I think the biggest risk is the one to my career. The reality is, that when carefully planned, sailing around the world isn’t all that dangerous.
We take a lot of risks everyday because they are necessary for us to live our lives. Driving to and form work every day is probably the best example. But we, as a society, accept this risk because it is essential, mainstream, and part of our culture. Sailing around the world, is none of these things.
The reality is, is that properly constructed boats don’t just sink, and hurricanes don’t just sneak up on you. In fact, weather is probably low on the lists of concerns, as it can be predicted and avoided (to some degree).
Collisions with cargo ships are probably the biggest threat at sea, and that’s saying something, considering how small my boat is, and how utterly vast the oceans are. Next up would be collisions with any other object, be it a floating log, or a partially submerged shipping container. After that, I would say a medical emergency like a laceration, a broken bone, or appendicitis could cut a voyage short with an exciting helicopter ride.
What’s your biggest fear?
Realizing that I’m not cut out for the adventure.
My second biggest fear is that I’ll have to pull a Tom Hanks style tooth extraction in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Wilson?