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Feb 13, 2019

This is a very special episode, because our guest is sailing around Antarctica. And, because of where our guest is, the interview was conducted via satellite phone. What has taken place is an incredible and historic journey that we can't wait for you to be a part of.

Randall Reeves is about to undertake two treacherous routes. The goal is to navigate both the American and Antarctic continents in one season. The Figure 8 Voyage will go through a circuit of the Southern Ocean and a transit of the Northwest Passage (forming a figure 8). No one has ever done this before!

Randall has been alone at sea for 125 days, thus far. He's passing Tasmania, Australia and plans to be near New Zealand in about a week. Average wind speeds are around 25-35 miles per hour. He averages around 145 miles a day. Today is a nice day, but it isn't always like that!

On the boat, Randall does not have any luxuries like pressured or hot water. He doesn't have heat, a microwave, or even a coffee maker. His journey is bare-bones. He sleeps in a sleeping bag at night and has 6 pairs of socks that he circles through. He is unable to wash them, because it gets so cold on the boat that they would never dry.

This is Randall's second attempt. The last time he tried it, he experienced a lot of hardship and unexpected problems. He lost both of his self-steering systems in the course of a week and it set him back a couple of extra weeks. When he was near Madagascar, he got caught in a huge storm. It was 20-foot sea waves coming and crashing down all around him. Water ended up getting on his equipment and everything was dead. By that time, he was approaching winter and he had to stop.

Randall has been planning for this project since 2013. It took him a couple of years of trial and error to find the right boat type that could navigate the waters. To get a taste of the Arctic, he also joined a boat crew to become familiar with the environment. Even now, with his journey underway, there's a high risk that the project might fail simply because the Arctic Northwest Passage might not open this year. Last summer only one boat with a crew of 35 was able to get through. But, he remains optimistic.


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