Teddy Seymour: Sailing Was the Easy Part

Published on September 19th, 2016


Teddy Seymour

Former college track star and Vietnam vet Teddy Seymour spent seven years planning his round-the-world journey. Without corporate sponsors or media coverage, it was a solo effort from the start. And when he was done, Seymour became the first African-American solo east-to-west circumnavigator

He worked a variety of jobs, including teaching, to fund his dream, and departed his U.S. Virgin Islands home port in St. Croix in February 1986 aboard his Ericson 35, Love Song, with limited cash in his pocket.

For the next year and a half, he averaged 89 miles per day while sailing west via the Panama Canal, the Galapagos, the Marquesas, Samoa, Australia, Bali, the Red Sea, and Greece. He stopped only 12 times and spent just $5,300.

When he returned to his home port in June 1987, at age 46, he became the first African-American to sail west to east around the world alone.

“That’s my no-frills circumnavigation,” he said. “I’ve been through Vietnam. I’ve lived in L.A. I almost lost my life on many occasions. Sailing around the world was the easy part.”

In 1987, he received the prestigious Golden Circle Award (and a lifetime membership) from the Joshua Slocum Society. Slocum would’ve approved. More details here.

Source: BoatU.S. Magazine

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