While reader Walt Neve was renewing his subscription to Latitude 38 magazine the other day, he updated us on the miraculous story of Dustin Reynolds. Dustin became the first double amputee to sail around the world singlehanded when he completed his seven-and-a-half-year circumnavigation in Hawaii earlier this month aboard his Bristol 35, Tiama. Walt was one of many sailors who followed Dustin’s voyage after he first read the Sacramento native’s story in the March 2015 issue of Latitude 38.
While we were adding Dustin’s name to our West Coast Circumnavigators list we were reminded how few names we’ve added in the last couple of COVID years. While there are still thousands of boats out cruising, many are stuck in place or have had to dramatically alter their course or pace.
We spoke with Dustin, who said he was fortunate to already be in the Caribbean when the pandemic hit. He was able to sail up the East Coast and spend some time in Bristol, RI, to get some updates and repairs to Tiama before resuming his voyage. The last legs of his voyage took him through the Panama Canal, to the Marquesas, and then back north to Hawaii. He said during the last 61 miles he was ‘treated’ to 35 knots on the nose before finally completing the loop on December 4 in Kona, HI. Upon arrival he has been reconnecting with family and friends whom he hasn’t seen in over seven years.
We’ll have more on Dustin in an upcoming issue of Latitude 38, but you can catch up on his adventures at his site, The Singlehanded Sailor. After seven and half years he continues to live aboard Tiama while planning to share his inspiring story with a speaking tour, and spending time sorting out his next moves.