Felix Knauth, 80, set sail from Monterey aboard his newly acquired Santana 22 in the early morning hours of May 12. The following day, his unmanned Rose was found adrift off Pt. Conception. The Coast Guard reports scouring 8,100 square miles for any sign of Knauth before suspending the search on May 14.
Normally stories such as these — thankfully few and far between — leave us with little information about the victims themselves. Their families are devastated, and the last thing we want to do is compound their grief by bothering them for details. But Felix Knauth’s life was far from ‘normal’, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his family was eager to tell his inspiring story.
"My dad survived polio as a child, so he was always shaking his fists at the fates," Knauth’s son Rick told us today. A meticulous planner and avid adventurer, the elder Knauth spent his life climbing mountains, crossing oceans, and helping others. "He was tremendously intelligent," said Rick, "but he always worked in the non-profit and NGO arena. He chose altruism over money."
Look for Knauth’s full story — from his days of climbing one of the Golden Gate Bridge’s towers to his doublehanded Atlantic crossing to his work with the Peace Corps and Oxfam America — in the June issue of Latitude 38, scheduled for delivery on May 28. In the meantime, join us in bidding farewell to this fascinating sailor.