Alone Around Antarctica - as Far South as a Boat Can Sail
Tell these escutcheons you see
That the bounded sea may be Greek or Roman:
The endless sea is Portuguese.
— Fernando Pessoa, 1918
So opens Amyr Klink’s Endless Sea, a recount of his solo circumnavigation below the Antarctic convergence zone. While not very well known in the U.S., this is the Brazilian sailor, author and businessman’s first book to be published in English. The translation by Thomas H. Norton makes for exceptional reading.
Sailing aboard Paratii, his custom, 50-foot aluminum AeroRig sloop, Klink embarks on a circumnavigation through the planet’s most unforgiving salt water: the Southern Ocean. Klink’s storytelling is captivating and reminiscent of Bernard Moitessier as he takes us along on his four-and-a-half-month voyage. We share his loneliness, joys and fears as he expertly navigates treacherous stretches of ice-choked sea. He struggles to stay warm yet still manages to find joy in every day of his journey — even when he finds his toothpaste frozen stiff.
His skill as a sailor and calm, common-sense approach to problems and mishaps are apparent throughout the book. Even given the dangers he faced during this remarkable circumnavigation, Klink still imbues his account with a gracious modesty.