I originally thought this was an amusing aspect of the man, but I also wonder a lot about it...was he just a serious alky? Was it just boredom? pain from his ailments?
I can see having a few drinks here and there while out there, but to remain tanked most of the time and even in heavy weather?
What do you guys think?
From the Life magazine article.
"The other thing that really strikes me about Chichester's voyage is how much he drank. I only learned recently that while loading gin on to GM IV he was quoted as remarking: "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." And on re-reading his book, I find he was indeed constantly rewarding himself with bottles of champagne or multiple strong cocktails after sail changes, changes in the weather, and what-not. In addition to the champagne and spirits, GM IV also had an integral beer keg that fed brew to a tap fixed on the side of a clever gimbaled chair Chichester had installed in the galley. Assuming the man understated his consumption, it seems likely he was in fact half-drunk during much of the voyage. Which, as he himself noted, only makes it that much more impressive."