Bert Terhart: His round-the-world sailing solo in the purest tradition

Canadian Bert Terhart defines himself as a soldier, citizen-scientist, serial entrepreneur and adventurer. And this sexagenarian has therefore set himself a challenge to his measure. To be the first North American to complete a successful circumnavigation, using only traditional navigational instruments!

Nsailing non-stop solo around the world through the five great capes, but using only a sextant, pen, paper and navigation charts. Bert Terhart is thus in the process of successfully completing his incredible bet. Last straight line for the skipper, who has traveled the oceans across the planet. He is currently sailing up the Pacific Ocean towards his starting point, Victoria, British Columbia.

Bert Terhart and his carefully prepared sailboat

Built in 1987 in Hamilton, Ontario by Hank Hinkley and a Canadian partner, the sailboat Seaburban is an OCY 45 is based on the hull of the Reliance 44. It is a versatile cruising boat designed by Pierre Meunier. It has proven itself on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as in Alaska and the Bering Sea. Bert Terhart has been sailing for 13 years aboard Seaburban. Questioned by Sails and Sailboats, he then confided in the preparation of his sailboat.

“I gave it a total refit, replacing what I wasn't sure about. And reinforcing everything I thought wouldn't go the distance. »

An intense adventure

The solo sailor shares his experiences, his joys, his difficulties on his Facebook page dedicated to the event, The 5 Capes, Seaburban Around Alone.

One route and five capes

In turn, the adventurer crossed five capes. The mythical Cape Horn first of all, equivalent of the Himalayas for mountaineers. The southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego Islands in South America, it is the official dividing point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Cape Agulhas is well known to sailors for the major danger on this route. Located at the southern tip of the African continent, it is the start of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Cape Leeuwin is the most southwestern continental point of the Australian continent.

Australians consider this site to be the meeting point between the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The south-eastern cape is located south of the main island of Tasmania. The places are known for the violence of the winds. Cape South is located on the south coast of Stewart Island in New Zealand. It is the southernmost point of Stewart Island, and one of New Zealand's 4 cardinal capes named by James Cook.

the rare challenge of Bert Terhart

Before 2019, alone Sir Robin Knox Johnston had accomplished the feat of a solo and unassisted circumnavigation, with traditional navigation instruments. It was in 1969, on the occasion of the Sunday Times Golden Globe race. 50 years later, only five navigators had reached the end of the edition of the Golden Globe Race. Having left on July 1, 2018, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Mark Slats, Uku Randmaa, Istvan Kopar and Tapio Lehtinen had concluded their world tour after long months of navigation, arriving between January and May 2019.


A new edition of the Golden Globe Race will take place soon. Departure planned for Les Sables d'Olonnes in 2022!