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Gannet to Begin the Big Stretch

Gannet’s bow slices through the water.

© Steve Earley

"I’m about to sail from Darwin for South Africa," writes solo adventurer Webb Chiles. 

Tomorrow, which will be July 1 in Australia but June 30 in the US, Webb Chiles plans to continue his sixth circumnavigation, sailing from Darwin, Australia, bound for South Africa on Gannet, his ultralight Moore 24. It’s a flush-deck Moore, not one of those roomier cabintop SC models. This is a passage of 100° of longitude, from 131°E to 31°E, and about 6,000 miles. For any Moore 24, that is quite a stretch.

Gannet sailing inside the Great Barrier Reef a few weeks ago with the new North G2 set.

© Webb Chiles

"Even in winter Darwin is hot," says Chiles. "100° is also often the temperature in Gannet’s ‘Great Cabin’," which measures 7-ft wide, 39-in tall, and 47-in long.

In 2010, Chiles found the Moore, all of which were built in Santa Cruz, at Lake Huron. Gannet is hull #40.

Chiles is carrying 30 gallons of water rather than his usual 20, plus provisions for more than 60 days, though he expects that if all goes well the passage will take 40-50 days. He says he "will eat and drink Gannet back into trim."

Gannet’s master bedroom is packed up and ready to go.

© Webb Chiles

You can follow Chiles’s big stretch at and read his excellent journal at

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Rogues’ Scholarship, as seen in ‘Lectronic Latitude on June 10. © 2016 US Coast Guard District 13 One of the reasons we report on offshore emergencies is that there are usually lessons we and our readers can learn from both tragedies and near-tragedies.