53 year old Briton sets record for solo travel by sea

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John Beeden

When John Beeden set-off from San Francisco, with the singular purpose of directing a solo journey all the way to Cairns, Australia, he did not expect that his journey would be so difficult. No stranger to the sea, Mr Beeden had rowed the Atlantic four years ago. Even so, his journey this time was much more perilous and tiring. He even admits that for a while, he thought he could not go on.

The moment when he finally stepped onto the shores of Cairn (to a wonderful reception by the locals), was blissful and unreal. At that moment, Mr Beeden became the first person in history to complete the exhausting journey non-stop.

Nine other people have successfully crossed the Pacific Ocean till today. John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook were the first people to cross the Pacific Ocean in 1971-72. But none of the journeys have been non-stop or as long as the one made by Mr Beeden. Peter Bird had to be rescued after 294 days at sea, when he had attempted a solo journey in 1983.

“To be the first person to achieve something on this scale is incredible really, and I haven’t processed it yet,” said Mr Beeden, currently a resident of Canada.

“Always knew he could do it, it just took a lot longer than we expected and just glad that he’s home and safe”, added Beeden’s wife, Cheryl.

“I kind of think it’s like childbirth,” she added, “because he says he’s not going to get in another boat for a while – but I am sure in a couple of weeks he’ll be having some other adventure, and I will have to restrain him a little bit.”

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