The Iceman Cometh
Sailing Today|November 2020
The Iceman Cometh
Few have enjoyed a sailing career as varied and adventurous as Bob Shepton’s. From Cape Horn to the North West Passage, he has seen it all. In part one of a two part series, he recalls a few of his personal highlights...
Bob Shepton

Sometimes I have been asked, ‘Which was your best adventure?’ Apart from a flippant reply, ‘The day I married my wife’, it is almost impossible to select one as the best; I have been privileged to enjoy so many, both climbing and sailing. As I said at the Banff Mountain Festival in Canada one year, ‘God has given me a wonderful life’. Not sure what they made of that; and I am not sure what you will make of these either…. So apart from the thrill of pioneering new previously unclimbed rock climbs at Portland and on the Ormes of Llandudno, what about the sailing adventures? We must leave aside unwittingly burning the boat through the ice when wintering alone in the boat in Greenland – that was too disastrous to be termed an adventure! But what about Antarctica…strangely again that too shows how apparent disaster can turn to high adventure

We were sailing round the world in my Westerly 33ft boat Dodo’s Delight – some lads who had been at the school where I had been Chaplain and myself - ‘The First School Group to sail Round the World’, via Antarctica, Cape Horn, Torres Strait and Cape of Good Hope. We set off from Falmouth and sailed the usual, Madeira, Canaries, Cape Verdes, Rio de Janeiro with that huge statue of Christ watching over the city. The lads were desperate to reach the Falklands by Christmas and we pulled into Port Stanley on December 19th, so we had made it.

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November 2020