In Just the sea we remember Robin Lee Graham, soul of the sea, the first teenager who went around the world, alone, on a sailboat.
Robin Lee Graham has blown 70 candles this year. He still lives with Patti, his wife, in Montana. On it there are two books, several National Geographic numbers focused on his feat and a film produced by Gregory Peck.
It has been no less than 54 years since he decided to embark on Dove, a small sailboat, to go around the world with only 16 years. He was the first to do it. Eight teenagers followed him later.
Robin had plenty of determination, despite his youth, and he was used to sailing since childhood. He was born in a family connected to the sea. His parents instructed him since he was six years old. And the boy was carried away by the waves. For three years, he sailed with his parents across the Pacific so time and sea were not a problem for Robin.
While the rest of the teenagers of his time dreamed of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and his country buried Malcoln X, the teenager left San Pedro, in California, to sail, until he was 21 years old, age at which he returned. Dove was eight meters long and had cost $ 8,000.
With Robin sailed two kittens: Joliette and Suzette. During their trip, they were embarking and disembarking different cats. When he returned, it was Kili, Pooh and Pigle who accompanied him.
Its first port was on Fanning Island, a British Pacific atoll and its first problem came when a storm destroyed Dove. In Western Samoa, the boat was repaired and Robin was able to continue with his initial plan: sail towards Pago Pago and stay there under the cover of the hurricane season.
In 1966, Robin met in Fiji where he met Patti, whom he would marry a while later. In that year, Robin passed through New Hebrides, Solomon Islands until he arrived in New Guinea, in 1967, the year he would arrive in Australia, exactly on May 4. The Indian became his new challenge: Cocos Islands, where Dove suffered further breakdowns as a result of bad weather; and back to repair the ship in Mauritius. Recomposed the sailboat, Dove headed to Reunion Island and then to South Africa, where he landed on October 21. Robin stays in this country for nine months and in Cape Town decides to marry Patti.
In 1968, it goes to the north coast of South America. And in October of that year, he arrives in Barbados. In that place, Robin decides to sell Dove for his new boat, Return of Dove, with which he arrives in the San Blas Islands, where he spent two months exploring.
After spending Christmas and New Year he decides to navigate the Panama Canal with Patti on board (this means that he did not finish the journey alone) and arrived in Balboa on January 17, 1970. In April of that year he manages to finish his trip in Long Beach, California.
After Robin they have repeated feat eight more young people who have imitated their adventure. The Americans Tania Aebi, in 1985, with 21 years, and Brian Caldwell, in 1995, with 20 years; Australians David Dicks, in 96, with 18, and Jesse Martin, in 1998, with 18; Zac Sunderland, 17-year-old American, in 2008; the British Michael Perham, in 2008, with 17 years, the Australian Jessica Watson, in 2009, with 16, and the Dutch Laura Dekker, in 2010, with 16 years also.
Nine years have passed without a new Robin appearing to complete ten Mr Fogg of the sea. Meanwhile, the first to fulfill his dream, he smiles in Montana and remembers how happy he was, along with his grandchildren.