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Joshua Slocum and His Travels

JOSHUA SLOCUM (1844 - 1909)

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Joshua Slocum
and His Travels
  Captain Joshua Slocum: A Time-line
  • Born February 20, 1844, in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, by the Bay of Fundy.
  • Ran away at age of 14 to be a cook on a fishing schooner, but returned home.
  • Left home for good at 16 (1860) when his mother died, shipped as ordinary seaman on deep-water sailing ships, merchant vessels to Europe and the U.S.
  • Obtained his first command on the California coast in 1869, and sailed for 13 years out of San Francisco to China, Australia, the Spice Islands, and Japan.
  • Married an American girl, Virginia Albertina Walker, on January 31, 1871, at Sydney, Australia.
  • Built a steamer for a British architect in Subic Bay, P.I., in 1874.
  • Bought shares in and commanded the three-skysailyard ship Northern Light in 1882, considered at the time by many to be the finest American ship afloat.
  • Sold the Northern Light and bought the bark Aquidneck in 1884. In the same year, his wife Virginia died (July 25) and was buried in Buenos Aires.
  • Married Henrietta M. Elliott ("Hettie") in 1886.
  • Made several voyages on the Aquidneck before she was lost in 1887 on a sand bank off the coast of Brazil.
  • The Libergade, a 35-foot sailing canoe, built after the stranding; Slocum sails with Hettie and his oldest and youngest sons to Washington, D.C., 5000 miles away.
  • Voyage of the Liberdade published in 1890 at Slocum's expense.
  • In 1892, a friend, Captain Eben Pierce, offers Slocum a ship that "wants some repairs" Slocum goes to Fairhaven, MA to find that the "ship" is a rotting old oyster sloop propped up in a field. It is the Spray.
  • Slocum prints Voyage of the Destroyer from New York to Brazil in 1893, again at his own expense.
  • Slocum departs from Boston Harbor, MA on his famous circumnavigation on April 24, 1895, at the age of 51, in the rebuilt 37-foot sloop Spray. Click for Map of his Journey
  • Slocum returns, sailing into Newport, RI, on June 27, 1898 in his tiny sloop Spray and after single-handedly sailing around the world , a passage of 46,000 miles. This historic achievement made him the patron saint of small-boat voyagers, navigators and adventurers all over the world.
  • Sailing Alone Around The World published in book form in 1900 by The Century Company. It describes his experiences on this adventurous voyage and became an instant best seller. It has been translated into many languages, and is still in print today.
  • Slocum buys first home on land in 1902, a farm on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
  • Slocum sails each winter to the tropics, 1905 - 1906, returning to New England in the summer.
  • On November 14th of 1909, at the age of 65, he set out on another lone voyage to South America leaving from Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard, but was never heard from again.
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