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Around the World in 18 Years

Veteran solo sailor Hubert Marcoux treated CPS members and guests to a fascinating talk during the 2004 CPS Atlantic District AGM held April 2-3 at the Holiday Inn Select in Halifax. About 60 people gathered on the Saturday evening to hear of the sailor’s experiences, spanning 18 years and traveling around the world by sailboat.

Marcoux began his epic voyage in 1985, when he left Florida aboard his 31-foot Hullmaster, “Jonathan”. He cruised throughout the Caribbean, with a most interesting stop in the San Blas Islands, where he befriended the local Kuna Indians and acquired his first crewmember--a pet monkey. He transited the Panama Canal and then ventured up the coast for a stay in Costa Rica, where, in a remarkable twist of fate, he met some residents who also had a pet monkey from the same tribe. The two (male and female) experienced love at first sight and Hubert knew he had to release his friend from his boat duties and allow him to immigrate to fulfill his romantic calling.

Hubert departed Costa Rica and stopped in the

legendary Galapagos Islands arriving without the proper

where, in spite of permission papers,

managed to befriend the customs people there and be invited to stay and explore. Some time later, he continued on to Pitcairn Island, historically significant for being the place where the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty settled. Marcoux continued westward to Norfolk Island, a few hundred miles northwest of New Zealand but politically a part of Australia. It was at Norfolk Island that Hubert met Michelle, a young woman wanting passage to Australia. The two eventually became something of a couple and Hubert stayed in Australia for about a year. The cruising bug again did its work and Marcoux continued his sailing (some double-handed, some solo), hitting such locations as New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands. While on a solo trip to Guam, tragedy befell the “Jonathan”. Marcoux hit a reef off Ponape, Micronesia. Unfortunately, locals stripped the boat while Hubert was in town arranging salvage help. He did manage to retrieve the mast and sell it to another sailor, but the “Jonathan” was otherwise a total loss, so Marcoux flew back to Australia and Michelle. The two then decided to go to Japan where they got jobs teaching English. A year later, in 1993, the couple returned to Australia. Marcoux studied for a year and eventually wound up making and selling jewellery. The business was quite successful for a few years, and Hubert began dreaming of his next boat. His previous sailing experience gave him a lot of ideas about what his next boat should be, and he soon realized it would have to

be a custom design. He hired the services of Col Clifford of Compucraft and began construction of the 49’ “Mon Pays” in 1997. The boat was launched in 1998 and Hubert moved aboard to complete the vessel over the next few years.

In 2002, Marcoux knew it was time to continue his circumnavigation, and he left Sydney to travel along the Great Barrier Reef, and on westward through the Arafura and Timor Seas to the west coast of Australia, where he stopped for engine repairs. He eventually departed and made the 5000-mile trip to South Africa

with just one stop—a four-day part of Mauritius. His engine somewhere near Madagascar.


in Rodrigues,

quit for

the last time

He stayed in South Africa for several months, waiting for favourable weather conditions to make the passage around the Cape. Despite not having an operating engine, Marcoux continued with his voyage and crossed the South Atlantic, arriving at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, a port he had departed from many years before. This was a most memorable landfall for two reasons: First, it marked a complete circumnavigation and second, he fell asleep just outside the harbour entrance and dozed as the autopilot steered him directly into the dock! Fortunately, no great damage was done and Marcoux set his sights on Halifax, Nova Scotia, as he had a sister living in Bedford. He sailed non-stop from St. Thomas to Halifax, arriving in the summer of 2003. Fate would take another nasty turn as, in late September, Hurricane Juan hit Halifax and “Mon Pays”, anchored in Bedford Basin, was driven ashore. Hubert and his vessel appeared in the newspaper, as he was in quite a fix—“Mon Pays” high and dry in a spectacular way and no affordable means of extricating the vessel. Salvation came in the form of the very generous owner of Sagadore Cranes performing a miraculous job of getting Hubert’s boat lifted and hauled away to a location where he could make repairs.

Marcoux is now living in Bedford with his sister and will soon start working on his boat. He hopes to continue his sailing again after taking a couple of years to get the cruising kitty replenished and his boat refitted--a new engine, tanks, etc. Where to next? Hubert has always wanted to round Cape Horn…

To raise funds for his ventures, Hubert Marcoux gives an absolutely fascinating talk and photo show of any length. He may be contacted by e-mail at hubertmarcoux@hotmail.com or snail mail: Hubert Marcoux 8 Richardson Drive Bedford, NS B4A 4E6

Dan White Executive Officer

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