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Friday, May 25 2018 @ 06:49 AM EDT

Mike Perham, Youngest To Sail Around Globle Alone, Nearing Panama

Boats and Sailing By DON WINNER for - Mike Perham, the 17 year old young man who has already sailed more than 25,000 miles around the globe, is approaching Panama, slowly but surely. Mike has been calling me every evening on his Satellite phone to report his progress, and it's been frustrating. "I'll get there sooner or later, but it's been slow going the past couple of days - there's just been almost no wind at all," he said. Mike is striving to become the youngest person to ever have sailed around the world, alone and unassisted, and right now he's predicting his arrival in Panama as "Wednesday-ish." The really cool guys from the Panama Sailing School are going to head out aboard their 44.7' Beneteau First "French Kiss" to meet Mike in the Bay of Panama and escort him into the Flamenco Marina. This morning at about 6:00 am local, Mike was making 9.6 knots. (more)

Progress So Far: Mike has already logged more than 25,000 miles of open ocean sailing. And remember, this is a 17 year old kid who's doing this completely alone with no outside assistance. Well, I think it sounds kind of disrespectful to call a person like Mike a "kid" - so let's go with "exceptional young man." Here's a map-snap of his route so far;

"Nearly There" Here the most recent YouTube video posted by Mike on his status and progress;

Most Recent Blog Post:

  • Birds, Dragon Flies and Bits of Plastic - 07 07 09

  • Slowly but surely, I'm edging ever closer to Panama! It's been a very up and down day speed-wise. There’s been a little more wind today, which is a very welcome change and hit seven knots for a quarter of an hour or so. It felt like we were flying!

  • This morning brought with it today’s entertainment. We’d just come out of a very rainy and windless cloud when I noticed a bird sitting on a bit of wood around 20m away from me. I had no wind so couldn't sail, the bird had no wind so couldn't fly. Peas in a pod, really. I tried to edge a bit closer but with the 0.2knots of wind it was fruitless, so we both sat there wondering when the wind would come and visit us next.

  • I've since sailed past a few more lumps of wood with other lone birds sitting on them, watching the world go by. The amount of debris and junk has steadily increased as I neared Panama. It’s really disappointing to see loads of plastic rubbish floating past.

  • This shipping has picked up a lot and I passed through what was obviously the main lane heading up and down from South America. One ship came within around 300m, altering course for me slightly as I was only going at around 3knots. I've made my way over to the eastern side of the bay as this is where the counter current is and should hopefully help me into Panama. If I made my approach via the western side, I'd be battling a current that can sometimes get up to 4knots. I'd probably end up going backwards.

  • Well, I originally thought I'd be in today but I never expected being 'parked' quite so often. At the slow rate we're going it's now looking like I should be in sometime on Wednesday-ish. It’s pretty hard to predict when the wind here is so darn variable! The bugs decided to join me here today on, including a couple of dragon. I must be getting closer...

Now Just 116 Miles Out: A check of Mike's position this morning indicates he's closed the distance to 116 miles (as the bird flies) as of 6:00 am this morning. Depending on the wind, he might make it in sometime tomorrow morning, and we will know more depending on what happens during the day today. Mike will be staying at the home of the owner of the Panama Sailing School while he's here in Panama, and he's looking forward to a hot shower, some fresh fruit, and a good night's sleep. During the day today I'll be coordinating with a gaggle of local and international press who are going to accompany us out to meet and greet Mike, and to escort him in to the marina.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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