Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Boy and A Sailboat… on the edge

Three years ago, Michael Perham, then all of 11 years old, informed his parents of his dream: he wanted to be the youngest person to ever sail solo across the Atlantic.

National Geographic Adventure magazine recently published his story recounting how this fourteen-year-old boy from England sailed a 28-foot sailboat called Cheeky Monkey some 3500 miles across the Atlantic.

Michael Perham beat the record for the youngest crossing by 434 days.

In the magazine interview, written by Andrea Minarcek, Michael had a lists of 'musts' that helped him reach his goal.

- Dream big
- Get an early start
- Be true to yourself
- Don't get distracted
- Keep in touch
- Sleep tight
- Stay the course
- Savor the moment
- Push the envelope

Here are a few more quotes from the under-aged but undaunted navigator:

"I slept about three-and-a-half hours each day, in one-hour naps. With all the noise of water rushing past it sounds like being in a car wash. But it wasn't hard to fall asleep. Put your head down after a day out on the water, and you'll just drift off to sleep straightaway. It does exhaust a person.”

"I ate every variation of canned food thinkable. I'm not the best cook, so I'd just put it in the pan and heat it up. It wasn't at all nice. I was able to call my mom and sister almost every day, so that was good, but I really missed warm toast, ice-cold drinks, and crisps.”

"Near the Canary islands the VHF radio and satellite tracker on my boat died on me. My dad and I lost contact entirely for three days. No one in the UK knew where I was but it didn't really bother me to be off the radar. I knew where I was headed, so it was as simple as sticking to the course."


Dream big, get an early start, be true to yourself, don't get distracted, keep in touch, sleep tight, stay the course, savor the moment, push the envelope ... sounds like good advice for keeping your edge!