Minister explains seafaring trip

A CHURCH minister has explained why he undertook a "mildly dangerous and foolhardy" solo circumnavigation of an island.Simon Ladd, baptist minister at Horham, near Eye, sailed 80 miles around the Isle of Wight in an eleven-feet long dinghy.

A CHURCH minister has explained why he undertook a "mildly dangerous and foolhardy" solo circumnavigation of an island.

Simon Ladd, baptist minister at Horham, near Eye, sailed 80 miles around the Isle of Wight in an eleven-feet long dinghy.

The voyage included some anxious moments as the small craft twice capsized, leading to the loss of much of his food, and was buffeted by winds and waves.

A first attempt by Mr Ladd to circumnavigate the island had ended in failure three weeks earlier.


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Married with three children, he said the reasons for the voyage included ambition, entry into middle-age and the death of his father a few years ago, aged just 61.

"He had a variety of unfilled ambitions - one of which was an ocean voyage. His early death was a warning to me to 'seize the day'. If there is something you really want to do why not get on and do it now," he said.

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"I would like to sail a small craft around Britain so going round the Isle of Wight was a small-scale test of equipment and how I would react to it.

"Partly, also, the undertaking of a mildly dangerous and possible a little foolhardy trip is a reaction against finding oneself middle-aged with all its predictability and restrictions," added Mr Ladd who holidayed on the Isle of Wight as a boy and sailed off its shores.

He said he had felt very isolated and vulnerable during part of the voyage when a long stretch of cliff-lined coast offered no place to land in an emergency and he could see no boats out to sea.

The size of waves and the strength of currents had surprised and alarmed him at some stages.

However, he had enjoyed a fantastic feeling of satisfaction after completing the challenge.

"I had travelled almost eighty miles and, like those who marched around Jericho, I felt I had triumphed," he added.

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