Sailing is a truly unique experience and a distinct passion of millions world-wide. Part of the allure of sailing is that it gives us an opportunity to escape our daily routine, face new challenges, and connect with both nature and ourselves. Through sailing, as in life, anything is possible, as exemplified by the incredible story of Geoff Holt.
Geoff Holt has always been one with the sea. By age 18, he had more than 30,000 nautical miles to his credit including multiple trans-Atlantic crossings. In 1984, a tragic accident in Cane Garden Bay on the north side of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands left Geoff paralyzed. Extremely motivated and strong willed, Geoff refused to give up his passion, and despite his handicap, has left his mark on the sailing world.
On Monday January 11th, 2010, twenty-five years after his accident, Geoff completed what many thought was an impossible journey. He returned to Cane Garden Bay aboard his 60’ catamaran “Impossible Dream”, becoming the first paraplegic to complete a solo crossing of the Atlantic. The 2,700-mile sail from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Cane Garden Bay took Geoff 28 days and proved be a trying adventure. Burdened by rough seas, unseasonal winds, and mechanical failure, Geoff refused to give in. News of his accomplishments have spread like wildfire throughout the sailing community and are certainly worthy of all the attention that they have garnered.
Stories like Geoff’s leave a lasting impression on us, demonstrating something remarkable, the enduring nature of the human spirit. His story challenges our preconceived notions of what is possible. Inspired by the unlikely and improbable, we begin to wonder what extraordinary accomplishments we might be capable of. The accomplished sailor imagines his or her own adventure across the Atlantic. Standing behind the helm as the wind drives the bow of the boat through the rolling swell. Our minds fixate on the voyage. Soon, the emotions and the feel of the voyage become very real and we can related to Geoff in new ways, finding ourselves not only intrigued, but inspired by his journey. This is the true beauty behind stories like Geoff, they inspire us to follow in their footsteps. So to Geoff Holt and his family, congratulations on your accomplishments and Thank-You, for the inspiration and sharing your love for sailing with us all. It is certain to touch all those read it, both sailors and non-sailors alike.
The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.