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Webb Chiles Completes His Sixth Lap of the Planet, and Other Circumnavigator News

It is a feat so astonishing that this simple introductory sentence does not seem to do it justice: Webb Chiles has just completed his sixth circumnavigation. The 77-year-old singlehanding legend slipped into San Diego Bay early this morning after finishing the fifth and final leg on a voyage that began in 2014 aboard his Moore 24 Gannet.

“I woke up this morning and checked Webb’s tracker,” said Latitude contributor Lee Johnson, who is presently docked at Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island. At 5 a.m. Chiles’ tracker showed him just outside the harbor. Johnson pedaled his bike down to the police dock, and saw Chiles motoring in.

“Just after landfall this morning at about 07:15 a.m. local time.”
© 2019 Lee Johnson

“He came ashore looking like he rolled out of the penthouse suite at the Ritz-Carlton, especially for someone that just came off six weeks off an agonizingly slow passage,” Johnson told us by phone this morning.

Chiles left San Diego for New Zealand in 2014. In 2016, he sailed from New Zealand to South Africa, then from Durban to Florida in 2017. Chiles sailed up and down the East Coast in 2018 before leaving South Carolina early this year, heading through the Panama Canal, and on to San Diego.

Chiles’ fifth and final leg.
© 2019 Webb Chiles

We’ll have more on Webb Chiles latest circumnavigation in the June issue of Latitude 38.

Randall Reeves Passes the Equator . . . Very, Very Slowly

Last Wednesday, Randall Reeves, who has been threading his way through the doldrums, squeaked back into the Northern Hemisphere after almost exactly six months below the big latitudinal line.

“At 5:15 p.m. today we crossed the equator and re-entered northern waters. It was October 25, 2018 when we crossed into the south, and we have been there ever since.”

After cycling the Southern Ocean, Randall Reeves is back on the northern side of the equator.
© 2019 Randall Reeves

Reeves said the line of demarcation to the doldrums last week was pretty clear. “Our soft but steady easterly softened by half and turned northeast. For several hours our average speed: 2.5 knots. Squalls overnight. I was on deck almost every hour easing sheets or hauling in again. Rain. Giant lines of cloud backlit by a moon so bright it almost hurt the eyes.”

Randall Reeves called this windless morning on the equator “beautiful. It’s just . . . gorgeous out here.”
© 2019 Randall Reeves

Reeves hopes to arrive in Newfoundland in June.

Meanwhile . . .

Jeanne Socrates is slowly approaching the last of the Great Capes, and a long-awaited left turn back into the Pacific.


  1. grant perry 5 years ago

    how did childs get a 24′ boat thru the Panama canal?

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