Morgan’s Bermuda Voyage Commemorated

December 26, 2010

1dodgeThe epic voyage of Dodge Morgan, whose first solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe by an American sailor began and ended in Bermuda, is being commemorated by the “New York Times Magazine” today (Dec. 26).

Businessman and adventurer Mr. Morgan, who died in September at the age of 78, departed Bermuda aboard his 60-foot yacht “American Promise” in September, 1985 on what proved to be a 150-day one-man odyssey around the world (he is pictured at left raising his arms in a victory gesture as he arrived back in Bermuda) .

Psychologists who interviewed him both before and after he returned to Bermuda were surprised to discover his months alone at sea had not had any major transformative effects on the hard-driven Mr. Morgan.

“On April 11, 1986, he returned to a hero’s welcome, clean-shaven and tanned, his boat spotless,” reports the magazine. “Contrary to one scenario the psychologists foresaw, he had not cracked up or succumbed to hallucinations or religious delusions. But neither, in another possibility they imagined, had the trip transformed Morgan into a more obviously compassionate and humble person.

” … Somehow, it came as a surprise to all that someone could take a life-threatening trip around the world, return to the same spot and find himself right where he started.”

Mr. Morgan’s voyage wasn’t without controversy. Shortly after his death, the UK “Daily Telegraph” reported: ”… no sooner had Morgan moored up on his return to Bermuda than controversy broke out. Bermuda, it was pointed out, was much further south than the traditional start and finish port of Brest in north-west France and it was open to question whether Morgan had achieved a true ‘circumnavigation’.

“The World Sailing Speed Record Council, for one, refused to recognise Morgan’s ‘shortcut’ voyage.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    He also had his first hamburger delivered to him on board by David Hiller from the White Horse Pub^^

  2. Antony Siese says:

    As one of the Ham radio operators speaking with him, the order for a hamburger was mandatory and David obliged. There will be a 25th celebration in Portland in April, organised by the Maine Maritime museum where the film will be shown “Around Alone” together with a panel of speakers.