After 311 days at sea on the solo around the world voyage, Tom Cichoki, sailing the Delphia 40.3, “Polish Copper” returned to his departure of Brest, France on 7-05-2012.
A long lonely voyage and not without its setbacks. Toms autopilot failed not far from Australia, so he had no choice but to hand steer for almost half the journey. His genoa blew out near the Falklands, and he has continued on with much smaller headsails.
50 days ago, the wind generator expired, and unaware it was not charging the batteries, Tom ended up with very low batteries and unable to use his electronic navigation equipment, and with no sextant, he continued on, navigating by dead reckoning.
He said that the compass card was in his head, and the sun and stars guided him. Both skipper and boat are in good condition, though Tom looks like he could do with catching up on some sleep.
A journalist asked him what his next challenge would be, and I don’t know if he was kidding around, but Tom replied that he wanted to do the voyage again in the same boat, but non-stop this time. His disappointment obvious in having had to turn back approx 1000 miles to South Africa and have himself doctored up, and the rudder repaired after striking what is suspected to be a semi submerged container.
Tom had his 56th birthday enroute, and full marks to him for his achievement, and to Delphia Yachts, vindicating their yachts offshore status and robust good quality construction of their yachts.
I have a Delphia 40 available for viewing here in Townsville for anyone who wishes to inspect and learn more about these well designed and crafted yachts.