Whitby man, 73, ready to embark on 10-month round the world solo voyage

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A 73-year-old Whitby man is soon to embark on his mission to sail around the world solo, as he aims to fulfil a lifelong ambition.

Jim Carritt will be leaving Whitby harbour between July 12 and 14 in his boat Niema – which is also his home – for an 10-month trip around the world which will see him traverse some of the world’s most dangerous waters.

Experienced sailor Jim attempted the voyage in 2019, but got caught up in storms – however, he did manage to record the remarkable feat of becoming the oldest person to sail round the coast of Great Britain and Ireland single-handedly, spending 47 days at sea on his own.

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Another attempt a year later saw Jim encounter a severe force 11 storm off the Orkney Islands which damaged the boat.

Jim Carritt is to embark on a 10-month round the world solo voyage.Jim Carritt is to embark on a 10-month round the world solo voyage.
Jim Carritt is to embark on a 10-month round the world solo voyage.

His latest attempt will see him depart Whitby between July 12 and 14, setting off down the Atlantic towards the Azores, heading towards the Southern Ocean, south of Australia and New Zealand and along to Cape Horn, off the coast of Chile.

"All you can do is keep trying,” he said, “and if you don’t try, you don’t succeed.

"If I can get clear of the UK waters, I’ll be okay.

"My view is if I can sail round Britain, I can sail round the world.

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"It’ll take around nine to 10 months, and I don’t have any satellite comms.

“I’ll just have a hand-held VHS set, so once I get out of sight of land, I’m on my own.

"You can have all the stuff [technology] in the world, but still come to grief.

"In the very worst case scenario, or the boat sinks, I can get in my life raft with 10 days’ emergency food and water.

"I’ve got a gas cylinder for cooking.

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"Three hundred days at sea is not a problem unless I capsize in the ocean.

"I live on the boat and can’t just abandon ship at the drop of a hat!”

The boat Niema – a single masted 30ft sloop which has no engine – was named after the first wife of jazz musician Joe Coltrane – a name Jim has decided to keep.

"I took it as a good omen,” he said. “I need some luck.”