Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad – 1000 Days in a Boat
How does confinement for three years in a boat sound for relationship therapy? That’s exactly what Americans Reid Stowe (55) and girlfriend Soanya Ahmad (23) are enduring in an attempt to complete the longest non-stop voyage ever. They will spend 1000 days in a 70’ sailboat, perpetually plying the world’s oceans. They will not be stopping in any ports or reprovision for the duration of the voyage. And if all goes to plan Reid and Soanya will circle the world three times.
The record for the longest non-stop voyage is set by Australian, Jon Sanders, who spent 657 days at sea, circumnavigating the world three times to complete his journey in 1988.
The FER-A-Lite and steel two-masted schooner, named Schooner Anne, is packed with provisions including rice, pasta, beans, tomato sauce, chocolate, spices and cheese. The duo also plan to fish extensively to augment their dried provisions. Water is obtained utilizing rain catchment systems and an electric desalinator.
The route of the journey will take place mainly in the southern hemisphere as the vessel clears the Cape of Good Hope off Africa and Cape Horn at the southern extremity of South America. With each circumnavigation sweep, Reid and Soanya will make an arcing curve northwards to the equator on the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
So far the expedition has been in progress for 37 days and all is not well. On their fifteenth day out at sea, at 2:00 am, the schooner slammed into the side of a freighter. Fortunately the maritime collision didn’t sink their sailing vessel; however the boat suffered major structural damage. “The bowsprit got smashed over,” Reid said describing the collision over the sideband radio. As to the cause of the accident, “They didn’t see us…It was a moment when neither of us was watching for long enough.”
The good news is Schooner Anne and her determined crew will be pushing on. The sailing performance is slightly reduced as a foresail can no longer be rigged, however Reid has decided the boat is seaworthy enough for the voyage to continue. Jury rig repairs have been made, and twenty-two days have passed since the collision with no further incidents.