Guo For It

When your name translates as “Boat of the Nation,” no one should be very much surprised if you quit your day job, take to the high seas, and decide to sail around the world single-handedJoshua Slocum did it first, in 1895, but he took his sweet time, stopped at every cheery port along the way, and returned to Newport, Rhode Island three years after his departure.

Guo Chuan (from Qingdao, Shandong Province) was in more of a hurry …

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… On Friday Guo became the first sailor from China to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe, [returning to Qingdao] after a grueling 138-day, 21,600-nautical-mile voyage.  Guo jumped into the sea in celebration before his yacht reached the dock, and swam towards the pier to meet his wife and sons. He knelt with tears streaming down his cheeks as soon as he reached land.
“I can’t even believe I made it.  If this is real, I am the happiest man in the world,”  said Guo.  “I am so happy that I can again see so many people, so many people who care about me.”

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Certainly, if you want to see many, many people after four months alone at sea, China is definitely the place to go.

Guo’s childhood dream was becoming a scientist, and he worked on China’s commercial satellite program before becoming China’s only professional sailor 12 years ago.  After departing from Qingdao last November, Guo piloted his Akilaria 40ft monohull eastward across the Pacific Ocean to Cape Horn in Chile, sailed into the Atlantic Ocean, then went via the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean before transiting the Sunda Strait in Indonesia to return to Qingdao.

Lunghu wonders how much of the ocean recently traversed by Guo Chuan has already been claimed as China’s territorial waters.

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