Like many of us, Drew Smith grew up thinking if he dug a hole through the center of the Earth he’d end up in China. This thought was later followed by an internet joke, “You stand somewhere, anywhere really, and your friend stands on the exact other side of the planet. If you both put a piece of bread on the ground at the same time, you’ve made a perfect Earth sandwich.“
This little joke became an idea, sparked while at anchor on a rainy night in Clipper Cove, to find and go to the place on the Earth that was the antipode of his place of birth in eastern Canada. The idea then became an obsession, such that Drew has since sailed thousands of miles trying to get to that place aboard his 1974 Islander 34 X-Wing.
Our November issue has an update on this still-incomplete odyssey, which was interrupted by the pandemic. As Drew wrote at the end of the story, “I’m sure after reading this you have two burning questions, the first probably being ‘What will you do when you reach your antipode?’ Honestly, that part remains to be planned — I am in touch with the principal and a couple of teachers at the high school, and I hope to be able to do something with the current students. And maybe throw some bread in the water and make a perfect ‘Earth sandwich?’ We’ll see.”
Drew was born in a farming community on the east coast of Canada. Can you guess where his birth antipode is?
This is, as far as we know, a unique voyage on a small California-built boat. The 10th Patrick O’Brian book was titled The Far Side of the World. Drew is going to sail there.