Lessons From A Circumnavigation

Story & Photos By Scott Flanders
Published: October/November 2013

Big adventures start with baby steps, a yearning to get more out of everyday life, learning boating lessons the hard way, and a giant leap of faith.

Photo of the Egret in Biscayne National Park at sunset
Egret in Biscayne National Park.

"Life begins beyond your comfort zone. Live, or wonder." Before the holidays in 2012, I wrote this on a friend's bathroom wall, which had been decorated with other lofty words of wisdom. It seemed to epitomize what voyaging aboard our little white fiberglass ship has taught my wife Mary and me.

In February 2011, we made landfall in Grand Canaria, Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa, and completed a world circumnavigation aboard our Nordhavn 46 powerboat, Egret. We'd been outside the U.S. for more than seven years, voyaging from our home in Florida, across to Europe and the Med; down to the tip of South America for a year; spent five extraordinary days in Easter Island; then north up through numerous remote and later more well known islands of the South Pacific; pausing in New Zealand for 14 months, and nine months in Australia; then around the bottom of South Africa, returning to the Canary Islands. Most of Egret's time was spent in the Southern Hemisphere, and she was the first small powerboat ever to pass under all five great capes, starting with Cape Horn. Years ago, a statement like the one I wrote on that wall and the voyage we've done would have seemed inconceivable to us. But each adventure built on itself, and by taking baby steps, we expanded our knowledge and comfort zone, traveling these miles in complete safety. Along the way, we've had the time of our lives.

Map of the circumnavigation of the Egret

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