Matt Rutherford, 31, recently became the first sailor in history to travel solo and non-stop around North and South America.
The 300-day journey in a 27-foot boat started in Annapolis, Md., and ended last week with a festive homecoming as more than two dozen boats sailed into Chesapeake Bay to welcome him home, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Rutherford wore the same gray Popeye the Sailor Man T-shirt he had on when he left last June — “the only clean shirt I have left,” he said at the end of his journey — and returned with the same goal of raising money to help Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating.
Despite looking fairly well preserved, Rutherford’s fiberglass boat was battered by the elements, most recently when a swell caused his vessel to lose all power on April 6 while he was still hundreds of miles from home.
Rutherford was buoyed by the support he knew he was getting from his family and friends, and by the money that had started coming in toward his goal of raising $250,000 for CRAB.
“It's expanded quite a bit," said Rutherford, who hopes to write a book about his adventure. "When I left, there was one person on the dock. It kind of snowballed. You get to the Arctic and it picks up a little pace. You get around Cape Horn and it picks up. A snowflake becomes an avalanche.’