A factual account of an extraordinary saga of resiliency, courage and sailing skill by a continuous twice-around solo ocean circumnavigator in a 43-foot sailing yacht.
At midnight on February 4 2005, on the second solo circum navigation of the world, on his-43-foot yacht SULA, Ron LLewellyn was hit by a massive, rogue wave the noise and power of which remains for ever carved in his psyche.
In the wild Southern Ocean, 375 miles west of the ship-hungry Cape Horn, 54 years old Ron felt the boat being forced sideways and continuing to roll until she was completely upside down. With the rushing sound of ice sliding down a chute, freezing water was rising around him.
Above, through the sea that closed like a heavy curtain around Sula’s hull he could still hear the muffled roar of the savage storm.
A perennial dare-all type, for the first time in his life the illusion of indestructibility deserted him.
In fast forward, the images of his first circumnavigation of the globe three years earlier flashed through his mind.
Until now he had been naturally wary of the angry ocean, even concerned at times but never afraid of the strong gales he had encountered “Even when serving as a Special Forces Jumpmaster parachuting from 30,000 feet to achieve a five-mile freefall I felt exhilaration not fear,” Ron says.
Nor did he have time to be afraid when struggling with the controls of the plane diving at 200 miles an hour toward the rocky ground rushing up to meet him.
“Delta Papa India this is Brisbane Air Traffic. Do you have control of the aircraft?” The voice of the Air Traffic Controller broke through the noise of the screaming, wing wrenching dive.