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PeterSibley
07-13-2008, 02:55 AM
A few things have happened in my life over the last few years that have disrupted life's smooth continuum and my construction* has slowed to snails pace .Things will speed up again again when my new lodgers (my grandchildren ) get to school in 2 years time .I am feeling rather conflicted about the whole project however .

I'm 59 next August ,fit and active with every expectation of remaining so .
However ,it will be some years before the water supports her and I wonder if I will have the strength to sail her across a ocean .

I've always dreamt of crossing oceans in my own boat , something I have built myself ,I have no doubts as to my ability to build her ,it is the next stage ...which will necessarily come in my mid to late 60s and on ,that may be beginning to daunt me .

*The boat is a heavily constructed 11 ton gaff cutter ,29 foot on the waterline , 34 foot overall .Just the thing for an old bloke ! If all this happens she'll be mine to enjoy and sail through my 70's and maybe 80s .Can I do it ?

Now before someone suggests it ,I intend to build a small open sailing boat to teach the girls to sail and to maintain the spark ,it is not however the Dream .

Comments and suggestion,(occasionally supportive please) are welcome .

paladin
07-13-2008, 03:21 AM
Wellllllll, not even gonna mention guys like Johua Slocum and Bernard Motissier and many others.....I am on my way to 69 years old and was doing fine until the car accident (5 years ago) and the heart attack (4 years ago) brought on by my over medication.....the over meds killed my kidney......
If you have good health, go for it...

Zane Lewis
07-13-2008, 03:25 AM
Hi Peter,
There was a 76 year old Japanese man profiled in our July??? boating mag over here getting his boat ready for offshore event. He's experianced, Dident Robin KnoxJohnson do a round the world a couple of years ago. Howevery these guys are on cutting edge boats with very moden systems etc. I look at my Dad in his Late 60's and a couple of his mates at 70 or so who respectivley have boat at 8, 14 and 35 ton but all with manual systems. I can say this the lightest boat needs the least crew and gets the most use.
Also it's very much for them about having a good crew as I know none of them are as fit or fast about the deck as they were say 5 years ago. So having lots of time and knowing your boat and it's systems so you can reef etc as required. Also planing your trips becomes more important.
The Guy with the 35 tonner has been trying to sell her for a while and is looking to down size to about 6-8 ton sharpie scow with Hyudraulic twin drive. I also know Dad with the 8 tonner has at times thought say 4.5 ton was nice.
His Previous boat was a 1966 29ft H28 Ketch which was physically a much easier boat to sail. Not as fast or with full head room the length of the cabin either.
I Know Dad who took 8 years to get his boat in the water has at times commented that he felt my younger sister missed out on a lot of sailing oppertunities that I got because of this 8 year gap.
Cheer's Zane

Larks
07-13-2008, 03:28 AM
Absoulutely Peter, and you well deserve to sail well into your 90's let alone 70's and 80's, especially if the girls maintain their interest to stay on as deck crew...
I lost count of how many individuals and couples that I met when I was doing the long distance thing who started sailing only in their retirement and were living their dreams of sailing around the world.

But I remember enough of them well enough to be able to fill your boots with stories when we catch up for an ale or two!!

And hey, if you ever think you can't there will be enough of us here to tell you to harden up and get on with it!!

cheers mate, the future looks good...
Greg

seanz
07-13-2008, 03:29 AM
Too late to ask now......you'll just have to keep going and find out.

:)

PeterSibley
07-13-2008, 04:10 AM
Thanks fellas , just typing this out was interesting .It made me examine the way I've been feeling .I've just got over a dose of the flu and have been feeling about 50% of my norm. I guess this has coloured my thinking .
Back to 90% today but some of the minor depression from not being able to do much has been niggling me .

I reckon she'll be right ...just slow for a while 'til the puppies are both soundly in school .
Thanks all , it's good to be told !:)

Captain Blight
07-13-2008, 04:37 AM
Don't forget, you don't automatically need to lose muscle mass and flexibility as you age. It's never too late to hit the gym. You can regain any losses you may have incurred in the course of living your life. Just don't go thinking you're 26 again and you'll do just fine.

Hwyl
07-13-2008, 05:09 AM
You're too old, just build the boat and give it to me. I'm much younger than you (by two years). I've sailed 25K in the last 3 years.

bamamick
07-13-2008, 05:24 AM
Of course I want to be supportive, and I am, but......just a personal observation of my friends as they have aged.

My mother always says that I was born with an 'old soul', and maybe that's the case because for most of the last 30 years my very best friends have been folks a generation older than myself. I have been in the Star fleet here for all of that time and have watched the progression of my good friends as they have aged through their 50's on through to their 70's and beyond. What has happened here is that in almost every single case once my friends hit the age of 72-73 they begin slowing down. It has really been uncanny. I am talking going from the same strong and vital sailor that I have always known to looking old and tired all in the matter of a year or two. Very odd, and a little bit scary, at least to me.

Of course this is silly to try and generalize people or consider how what happens to one person will compare with another, but I can name five friends off the top of my head who this has happened to. Doesn't mean they stopped sailing, because in not one of the five cases did they stop, and at least two of them pushed into their eighties (God bless 'em). Just means they slowed down.

A dream to sail across an ocean. I envy you that dream. I myself would like the chance to do such a thing. Can't imagine how to make that come true, but I do admit that a trans-Atlantic is one thing that I have always told myself I'd like to attempt at some point. I'd like to give it a go.

Mickey Lake

Henning 4148
07-13-2008, 05:31 AM
There are no rules, it depends on your own will and fitness.

From what I have seen, it is rare to singlehand beyond 80, so you may have to consider taking crew with you then, but several seem to singlehand up to and and even beyond 70.

Look after yourself and keep fit and you will find out for yourself.

WX
07-13-2008, 07:13 AM
A 76 year old single hander sailed the North West Passage last year. I just turned 56 and I'm not sure if I am building the right boat for long distance blue water. My original plan was to sail around Australia and who knows it may still happen...though the Great Australian Bight scares me. Big seas and strong winds down there.
If I make it out over the Tweed Bar and into Moreton Bay it will all be worth it and from there it's a short run to Fraser Island and from there it's only 70 miles to the start of the Great Barrier Reef and from there......well who knows.

The Bigfella
07-13-2008, 08:06 AM
I believe that you are only as old as the woman you feel. Gee, I hope your missus doesn't read this!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-13-2008, 12:04 PM
Tilman started sailing when he was 50. He was 76 when I sailed with him.

Tom Hunter
07-13-2008, 12:21 PM
One thing to think seriously about is finding a doctor who knows something about older athletes. I've met one who was working with some older sailors and he was able to help their endurance and muscle mass in a number of ways. A regular MD may not be in tune with this, which is why you may want to find one who finds it interesting.

PeterSibley
07-13-2008, 05:01 PM
Thank you gentlemen .Encouraging !

Yeadon
07-13-2008, 05:26 PM
I like your ambition. Personally, I'd skip the part where you build a new boat, but instead find something that will work, do a smaller restoration (which would give you a great sense of ownership), then take it across the Atlantic.

Once there, I'd head south toward Italy, and find some great gelato. (If you spend too much time building a new boat, there won't be as much time for gelato.)

Woxbox
07-13-2008, 05:28 PM
I've mentioned this man before -- Harry Heckel. I'm posting his photo again to perhaps give an idea of his size. He stands about 4'11" and weighs, I'd guess, about 125.

Anyway, he sailed the boat he's sitting in, a Tahiti Ketch fiberglass hull he rigged and fitted out as a cutter, around the world twice over a period of 11 years. All singlehanded. When he finally came back home, he was 89. The only thing that prevented him from sailing on was his eyesight.

If you want to do this, you can. It's that simple.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f92/Woxbox/HarryHeckel.jpg

John B
07-13-2008, 05:49 PM
=Yeadon;1890502Once there, I'd head south toward Italy, and find some great gelato. (If you spend too much time building a new boat, there won't be as much time for gelato.)
There's some quite hard cold bits that way.:D
Yeah , I don't know Peter, you've a hard row to hoe at the moment eh. I've no doubt you'll be strong enough but you definitely want a deadline to finish the build I think.

Paul Fitzgerald
07-13-2008, 06:04 PM
The De Ridders are still going in their 80's.

http://www.setsail.com/s_logs/deridder/dragon.html

I think they are selling up and moving ashore, I saw their boat advertised a few months ago.

Canoeyawl
07-13-2008, 07:36 PM
A good read, 50 years old when he started building the boat... Harry Pideon
Around the World Single-Handed: the Cruise of the "Islander"



Harry Pidgeon (1869 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1869) 1954 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954)), American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) sailor, was the second solo person to circumnavigate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumnavigation) the world, after Joshua Slocum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Slocum), and the first person to do so twice. On both trips, he sailed a 34-foot yawl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawl) named the Islander (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islander).
Pidgeon was born on a farm in Iowa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa). At the age of 18, he set out for California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California) where he found work on a ranch. Before long, he traveled north to Alaska (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska), where he took a raft down the Yukon River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukon_River) and spent some time sailing among the small islands of the southeastern Alaskan coast. Later, he returned to California and travelled and worked in the Sierra Nevada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Nevada_(U.S.)) mountains, taking up a career in photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography).
In 1917 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1917), Pidgeon started constructing the Islander from plans he copied from a book in the local library. It cost $1,000 in materials and took a year and a half of hard work. Upon completion, he tested the yawl with trips to Catalina Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalina_Island) and then to Hawaii (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii). Once in Hawaii, Pidgeon decided to continue on for the South Seas. This began his four-year circumnavigation (1921 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1921) 1925 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1925)).
Starting in 1932 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1932), Pidgeon embarked on another solo circumnavigation, this one lasting five years. During World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II), in his seventies, Pidgeon married for the first time to the daughter of a sea captain. The two then set out for yet another circumnavigation, but the trip was cut short when the Islander was damaged by rough weather and then driven up on some rocks in the New Hebrides (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hebrides) Islands.
Pidgeon was somewhat unique in that his trips were not done as tests of his bravery, publicity stunts, or any other reason than merely seeing if he could succeed. Moreover, Pidgeon had no previous experience with ocean navigation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation), boat-building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boat-building), or long-distance sailing.
His experiences during the first voyage are recounted in his book Around the World Single-Handed: the Cruise of the "Islander".
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Pidgeon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Pidgeon)"

PeterSibley
07-13-2008, 07:37 PM
Yeah , I don't know Peter, you've a hard row to hoe at the moment eh. I've no doubt you'll be strong enough but you definitely want a deadline to finish the build I think.

Thanks again everyone ,encouraging responses all .

John ,that is particularly good advice .

farwesthoops
07-13-2008, 11:30 PM
The BigFella just hit my laugh button and added another decade onto my sailing life at the very least...That's the first philosophy of aging that hits the nail right on, at least for me anyway..won't see that in the AARP magazine.

PeterSibley
07-14-2008, 02:34 AM
I've mentioned this man before -- Harry Heckel. I'm posting his photo again to perhaps give an idea of his size. He stands about 4'11" and weighs, I'd guess, about 125.

Anyway, he sailed the boat he's sitting in, a Tahiti Ketch fiberglass hull he rigged and fitted out as a cutter, around the world twice over a period of 11 years. All singlehanded. When he finally came back home, he was 89. The only thing that prevented him from sailing on was his eyesight.

If you want to do this, you can. It's that simple.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f92/Woxbox/HarryHeckel.jpg

Very impressive and inspirational indeed !

WX
07-14-2008, 04:53 AM
Once there, I'd head south toward Italy, and find some great gelato. (If you spend too much time building a new boat, there won't be as much time for gelato.)

I think I will even take note of that advice.

Shoulda built the Badger Peter:D

PeterSibley
08-29-2009, 04:33 AM
I've mentioned this man before -- Harry Heckel. I'm posting his photo again to perhaps give an idea of his size. He stands about 4'11" and weighs, I'd guess, about 125.

Anyway, he sailed the boat he's sitting in, a Tahiti Ketch fiberglass hull he rigged and fitted out as a cutter, around the world twice over a period of 11 years. All singlehanded. When he finally came back home, he was 89. The only thing that prevented him from sailing on was his eyesight.

If you want to do this, you can. It's that simple.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f92/Woxbox/HarryHeckel.jpg

I've just been reading this thread , for obvious reasons .I just realised that the gentleman above was 78 when he set out on his first circumnavigation ! :)

coelacanth2
08-29-2009, 07:15 AM
One of my occasional patients gave up his "big" boat last year o so, and downsized to an Alerion 28 he could singlehand. Knees shot, the 38' really needed one crewmember to help with and, ""My crew (his sons"are too busy with their own kids right now". He's a WW2 vet in his late 80's. His last Newport to Bermuda was about 6 or 7 years ago...

TerryLL
08-29-2009, 07:49 AM
Peter, pull your head out of your butt. You're just a sprout and you've got many decades left to fulfill the dream. But the important thing to remember is that striving for the dream is the one thing that will keep you young.

I had a friend in Alaska who started construction on a new summer house on his remote island property when he was 99, for his hew wife, and he finished it before he died.

dhic001
08-29-2009, 08:41 PM
Get your bum out into the shed Peter and get to work. Built the boat, and go sailing. You may never go offshore, but you will go sailing, and coastal sailing on a nice boat has its pleasures. Design your systems around the knowledge that you are getting older, ie everything controlled from the cockpit if possible, suitable winches, and plenty of handrails.

As another example of an old sailor, Ralph Sewell (designer/builder of 'Breeze', 'Ripple' and countless) others sailed 'Ripple' until he died, infact he died in his bunk, aged 79. By the end Ralph was actually a one armed sailor, a stroke having left one side of his body fairly unusualbe. I think this is a picture by John B, I'm sure he won't mind me stealing it for this purpose. Here is Ripple (with Silver Tern in the foreground): http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2652/3869436582_8a094a2a15.jpg


I'd second John's comment, set a deadline, and go for it. The other thing is that whjile you can't give it much attention at the moment, do one thing for the boat everyday, even if its making a phone call about a part, making a small pattern, ordering timber etc. its suprising how much gets done when you doa little bit everyday.

Daniel

JimConlin
08-29-2009, 09:49 PM
At least the way I do it, the duration of a boatbuilding project is quite uncertain. At age 58, I started a project that I thought would take a year or two. Well, it took more like seven years and in that time, I was laid low by a heart problem, a hip replacement and a couple of falls which immobilized me for months. I'm now 66 and OK and I'm very happy with the boat I built, but I'm not gonna get those years back. If you have the option of buying a boat that's ready to go, I'd seriously consider it.

SBrookman
08-29-2009, 10:59 PM
Then there is Sjr Francis Chichester (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Chichester). Reading his Gypsy Moth tales should give any of us "more advanced individuals" the oomph to pursue our dreams at any age. At least that's my plan.

py
08-30-2009, 01:41 AM
Suggest you keep building to remain sane. Plenty of good years ahead.
I'd probably not set a deadline-your life sounds a bit unsettled and you need to be able to make adjustments/compromises without feeling you've let yourself or anyone else down. Just keep at it. Don't be redesigning the boat halfway through though:)
My dad turns 75 in a few days, and he's still fitter than I am. Won't have winches on his boat. 2 years ago we did a trip down south of Hobart, and in one of the calm spells Dad was out in front rowing the dinghy, with a towline back to the boat. He's always been in a bit of a hurry.
Most of all don't feel guilty about having a life-sure you've got some challenges in your family, and you've perhaps had better luck than some people very close to you, but none of that means you have to give up everything.
Phil

P.L.Lenihan
08-30-2009, 02:54 AM
Peter,

Keep your dream firmly and dearly planted right smack in front of your thoughts every passing day.Never skip a day.
Work on your boat like your life depended on it.It kind of does:)
Ignore all thoughts about time speeding up.It isn't. It is just your own perception of it.
Force yourself to dream about you actually sailing your boat.It takes time but you can plan your dreams before falling asleep.
Spend less time on the internet. Minutes become hours,become days,become months :D:D


Cheers!!

Peter

PeterSibley
08-30-2009, 02:55 AM
Get your bum out into the shed Peter and get to work. Built the boat, and go sailing. You may never go offshore, but you will go sailing, and coastal sailing on a nice boat has its pleasures. Design your systems around the knowledge that you are getting older, ie everything controlled from the cockpit if possible, suitable winches, and plenty of handrails.

As another example of an old sailor, Ralph Sewell (designer/builder of 'Breeze', 'Ripple' and countless) others sailed 'Ripple' until he died, infact he died in his bunk, aged 79. By the end Ralph was actually a one armed sailor, a stroke having left one side of his body fairly unusualbe. I think this is a picture by John B, I'm sure he won't mind me stealing it for this purpose. Here is Ripple (with Silver Tern in the foreground): http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2652/3869436582_8a094a2a15.jpg


I'd second John's comment, set a deadline, and go for it. The other thing is that whjile you can't give it much attention at the moment, do one thing for the boat everyday, even if its making a phone call about a part, making a small pattern, ordering timber etc. its suprising how much gets done when you doa little bit everyday.

Daniel

Daniel ,I will be going sailing , deep and shallow I may even get back to EnZed , where I grew up :) .
Here's the current excuse for not working on the boat , nearly finished though and I can get back down the shed .More accomodation for the family .

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL282/9443996/17245530/373028183.jpg

http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL282/9443996/17245530/373028181.jpg

Stiletto
08-30-2009, 03:10 AM
What sort of water supply do you have Peter?

PeterSibley
08-30-2009, 03:32 AM
One pretty good dam ,around 20m diameter x 2.4 deep,spring fed . 9000 litre of rainwater on the house

P.L.Lenihan
08-30-2009, 03:55 AM
Nice cabin! Must be shear torture when the rains are heavy,no?

Cheers!


Peter

PeterSibley
08-30-2009, 04:05 AM
Nice cabin! Must be shear torture when the rains are heavy,no?

Cheers!


Peter

Torture ?? :confused: Just wet .....we get a few months of very heavy rain ,6 months of drought .

WX
08-30-2009, 04:33 AM
It's looking good Peter.

P.L.Lenihan
08-30-2009, 04:39 AM
"Torture" as in the racket from the rain falling on that tin roof :)


Cheers!

Peter

PeterSibley
08-30-2009, 04:43 AM
A couple inches of thermal insulation in the roof cavity eases the dim Peter ......and Australians rather like the sound of rain !

P.L.Lenihan
08-30-2009, 04:50 AM
Ah good and fair enough! Canadians love the sound of snow flakes falling and the sharp phissst of a bottle opening :)


Cheers!


Peter

PeterSibley
08-30-2009, 04:59 AM
Ahh ,yes the pssssfft is a given.:)

seedy
08-30-2009, 09:20 PM
"Torture" as in the racket from the rain falling on that tin roof :)
Used to put me in a good place, listening to that drumming on my metal roof. Problem was, I worked for the railroad and just as I was getting comfy, thinking what a miserable night it was out there, the phone would ring and I'd be headed out to go work in it.

Seems like they didn't call as much when it wasn't drumming.

WX
08-30-2009, 10:29 PM
I wouldn't mind hearing a bit of drumming now, it's a bit dry here.

Larks
08-31-2009, 12:20 AM
The shack is looking terrific mate

P.L.Lenihan
08-31-2009, 01:28 AM
Used to put me in a good place, listening to that drumming on my metal roof.

And so I've heard the same from many friends from the"islands mon". Don't know why it doesn't have the same effect on me unless it has something to do with the considerable empty space of my cranium leaving only wee echoes to rattle about up there to drive me loopy!:D


Cheers!


Peter

Chris Coose
08-31-2009, 06:30 AM
Considering the scope of either desire, I would ask myself which rates highest and consider separating them so one of them gets done.
Or not.
Twenty or 80 we get a day at a time and as I've gotten to be 58 in a few days I know I get my best stuff done by putting one foot in front of the other.

All suffering is in attachment. Just keep moving till you don't no mo.

potterer
08-31-2009, 06:55 AM
I'm 65, and I've just signed up for another trip as Watch Leader on the TSYT brig "Stavros S. Niarchos".

Three years ago I caught pneumonia and had to be rescued from the yards and air-lifted to hospital. It's taken me this long to get fit again.

If I live through this next trip I'll sign up for Southampton to la Coruna this November and then Azores to London next March.

Where would you rather die? In your armchair or at sea?:cool:

mmd
08-31-2009, 07:09 AM
Keep the faith, Peter. I spoke with a former client a few weeks ago who had just finished his fourth and fifth Altlantic crossing, this one solo in J-29 from Boston to the Azores and back. He is seventy-nine this year.

maxwaterline
09-03-2009, 08:07 AM
Another interesting thread Peter. No easy answers here. None of us know how long we have and I guess thats the point. I've known people who have engaged in long term projects, including my father, and often it doesn't end as well as hoped.

I want to be positive here but also realistic. I sometimes feel that I made a mistake with Ghost, essentailly I'm rebuilding her and that perhaps a new build or a better boat would have been a better decision, however I'm halfway through now and cannot stop. The arrival of a son has kind of changed everything but a wonderful change.

Maybe if you can get some horsepower now and then, particularly in the repetetive bits, that would provide some useful boost. What about a combined EBS/boat building boot camp every three months. Say 3 to 5 days, with various competancy modules, such as beverage administration, red lead application, dolly handling (you know riveting) (still doesn't sound right), arrgh! grammar.

I think someone here said try and do a little every day, I reckon thats the best way. The hardest part of a big project is managing yourself.

Anyway, best wishes for whatever you do, would love to give a hand sometime.

Cheers

Steve Paskey
09-06-2009, 06:46 PM
For an extreme example, there's William Willis, who twice crossed the Pacific solo on balsa rafts of his own design. His first voyage was undertaken in 1954 when he was 60 years old. On his second voyage, he crossed 11,000 miles from Peru to the north shore of Australia, arriving shortly after his 70th birthday. At 72, he set out to cross the Atlantic on a small boat, and was not seen again.

The circumstances of his trips were a bit more arduous than anything you're likely to plan. He had no electronics other than a radio that seldom worked. He lived on rye flour and diluted seawater, sang to keep his spirits up, tried to communicate with his wife telepathically, suffered from bouts of temporary blindness, and eased the intermittent pain of a double-hernia by looping a halyard around his ankles and hanging upside down from the mast.

The book describing all this, T.R. Pearson's "Seaworthy," is a wonderful read.

Yeadon
09-06-2009, 07:44 PM
For an extreme example, there's William Willis, who twice crossed the Pacific solo on balsa rafts of his own design. His first voyage was undertaken in 1954 when he was 60 years old. On his second voyage, he crossed 11,000 miles from Peru to the north shore of Australia, arriving shortly after his 70th birthday. At 72, he set out to cross the Atlantic on a small boat, and was not seen again.

The circumstances of his trips were a bit more arduous than anything you're likely to plan. He had no electronics other than a radio that seldom worked. He lived on rye flour and diluted seawater, sang to keep his spirits up, tried to communicate with his wife telepathically, suffered from bouts of temporary blindness, and eased the intermittent pain of a double-hernia by looping a halyard around his ankles and hanging upside down from the mast.

The book describing all this, T.R. Pearson's "Seaworthy," is a wonderful read.

Now that is a book review. I am going to read this fellow's story.

Woxbox
09-06-2009, 09:24 PM
The gent I mentioned earlier in this thread, Harry Heckel, plays down all notions that going round the world twice solo is in any way heroic. He's a humble man, and in fact says he spent the vast majority of his time at sea reading fiction and poetry. He thinks of himself as a traveler who likes to visit foreign places, and uses a boat because it's a convenient and thrifty way to get around.

He had a close chance just once. Returning from Japan to California, the trade winds failed him week after week. Food and water ran short. He reached a point where he was too weak to stand. Finally, a freighter passed by and he hailed it. They wanted him to abandon his boat. Harry refused, accepted some supples, and continued on. But the weather remained contrary even as he approached the California coast. He finally gave up on it, turned and sailed down to Hawaii.

Understand he was in his 80s during this episode, but didn't see age as much of a factor.