A young adventurer
PANAMA. Seventeen year old sailing schoolboy, Michael Perham, arrived in Panama last Thursday in his 50 foot sailboat, Open 50 Totallym...
PANAMA. Seventeen year old sailing schoolboy, Michael Perham, arrived in Panama last Thursday in his 50 foot sailboat, Open 50 Totallymoney. com, hoping to become the youngest solo circumnavigator. But his American rival, Zac Sunderland, who is also 17, wants the title for himself.
Mike, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, set sail last November on his epic 26,000 mile, solo, world crossing. His sailboat has a 7kw generator and solar panels for emergencies.
Mike has a diary blog in which he recounts his experiences, sometimes including photos and videos. This allows him to keep in contact with the outside world and makes him feel less lonely on the high seas.
However, the young British sailor has very little free time. When he is not maneuvering his sailboat, he is cooking, cleaning, repairing things and making sure that everything is under control.
The food he eats is precooked and frozen so he only needs to add water and heat it up. His water comes from a purifier which uses sea water and converts it into drinking water. He is also carrying 60 liters of pure water for emergencies.
He admits that the days are long and tiring and that he manages to sleep for only four hours, every 24 hours, at irregular intervals.
“I cannot leave the boat unsupervised for long periods of time. That could be dangerous and when I am asleep the sailboat is navigated by the automatic pilot,” said Mike.
The young sailor said that what he misses most is food and, as tradition, every time he lands at port he eats a steak with french fries.
Mike said that during his stay in Panama he is having his boat checked, because one of his sails ripped when he was close to the isthmus and his engine was experiencing problems.
Perham is not your typical teenager. When he was asked why he wanted to circumnavigate the world his answer was: “I like to challenge myself and feel that I have accomplished something. During my trip I have to overcome physical, mental and spiritual challenges to make my dreams come true.”
Mike is crossing the canal today and then will sail directly to England, where he started his journey. He has only stopped four times since the beginning of his trip.