Sailor, circumnavigator, delivery captain, writer, video personality, husband and frequent Ocean Navigator contributor Patrick Childress died June 8, 2020, in Cape Town, South Africa, after contracting the COVID-19 disease.
While growing up in Miami, Fla., Patrick was bitten by the ocean voyaging bug early in life; his dream of circumnavigating the globe began at age 14. Fourteen years later, in 1979, he did it on board a 27-foot Catalina named Juggernaut. After returning to the U.S., Patrick’s main business was home renovation, but he also performed yacht deliveries and skippered boats for Offshore Passage Opportunities, which takes sailors offshore to gain experience at sea.
On one of these trips, Patrick had a sailor on board by the name of Rebecca Taft. Rebecca was an experienced sailor with dreams of a circumnavigation. They later married and decided to voyage aboard Rebecca’s boat, Brick House, a Valiant 40.
Patrick has written articles for a variety of sailing magazines, including Ocean Navigator. He also launched a highly instructive video series aimed at offshore sailors on his YouTube channel, which currently has 40,000 subscribers.
In May, Patrick and Rebecca were in South Africa and sailed to Cape Town. When they arrived, both were ill and suspected they had contracted COVID-19. Rebecca recovered, but Patrick was hospitalized in the ICU at Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital, where he later succumbed to the illness.