Skip to main content

Blind sailor set to start solo circumnavigation

Legally blind, veteran sailor Dennis Howard is preparing for one of the most challenging journeys of his life - a solo voyage around the world.

“There's no question in my mind that I can do this,” he told CNN. “There is also no question in my mind that I absolutely have to take it seriously 24/7. I need to be vigilant.”

After suffering a severe form of glaucoma, which causes damage to the optic nerves, Howard, who is 62, had his right eye removed and lost most of the vision in his left.

He plans to depart on his specially designed 20-foot boat, the Avalo, from San Diego in late October. The voyage is expected to take about one-and-a-half to two years, with Howard hoping to end the journey in France.

Although he admits it will be difficult, Howard sees the voyage as an opportunity to show others that disability needn't be a barrier.

“After I lost my sight I didn't go into the tailspin of despair and fear,” he said. "But what I immediately gave up on in my head was sailing. I just thought, 'Well, I'll never do it again.' But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just had to change the way I sail. ... I want people to realize that they shouldn't just give up.”

Howard's boat not only has been refitted to make sailing easier, but it is also equipped with essential technologies to ensure the safety of Howard and other sailors, including an Automatic Identification System, which alerts Howard to ships within a 50-mile radius, CNN reported.

As well as being tailored to Howard's needs, the Avalo has been redesigned to be as eco-friendly as possible. The boat's diesel engine has even been replaced by a small outboard charged by solar panels.

Click here for the full article.

Related

FUTURE-ANGLERS

FAF Brings New Anglers into the Fold

The nonprofit organization will leverage Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29 to raise funds for its grassroots fishing and boating participation efforts.

1_NAOS.YACHTS.EXPANDS

Naos Yachts Plans New Offices

The San Francisco Bay area location will expand the dealer’s midcoast footprint and help grow its Groupe Beneteau, Lagoon, Neel, CNB Yachts, Four Winns and Wellcraft brands.

1_THANKSGIVING

Trade Only Today Returns Monday

The e-newsletter will not publish Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

CORRECT-CRAFT-ORPHANAGE

Correct Craft Gives Back

Employees spent a day serving at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, impacting more than 500 kids in need.

1_GH.ELECTRIC.HOIST

GH Motion Launches All-Electric Lift

The GH70e mobile boat lift is powered by a modular solar/battery system and has a 65-ton capacity.

1_PULSE.PING

Dealers: Are You in Compliance?

A new FTC Safeguards Rule designed to protect consumers’ personal information goes into effect Dec. 9 — are you prepared?

1_NMMA-CANADA

NMMA Canada President Steps Down

NMMA Canada president Sara Anghel is leaving the recreational boating trade group after nearly 15 years of service.