SLOCUM CENTENNIAL to be celebrated this April in Boston. Captain Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail around the world alone, departed Boston on April 24, 1895 aboard Spray, his 35-foot sloop. He returned to Newport, R.I., in June 1898, having sailed more than 46,000 miles alone. He wrote a book about his experiences entitled Sailing Around the World Alone, which has become a classic with its wit and dry humor.
Though best remembered for his single-handed around-the-world sail, Captain Slocum was also a respected merchant captain who commanded the ship Northern Light and barque Aquidneck.
Aquidneck was lost to a sand bank off the Brazilian coast in 1886. Slocum returned to the U.S. by building a log canoe, christened Liberdade, which he sailed 5,000 miles back to New York. Liberdade is now preserved at the Smithson-ian Institution in Washington, D.C.
In 1909, at the age of 65, Joshua departed Bristol, R.I., on Spray, by himself, and was not heard from again, presumed to be lost at sea.
Members of the Joshua Slocum Society are planning to commemorate the centennial of Captain Slocum’s departure from Boston on his voyage this coming April 22 and 23 in Boston. Information may be obtained by calling 203-790-6616 or 518-371-4270.