In Greek mythology when Medusa’s head was cut off her blood spilled onto the earth and became the seed from which the winged horse Pegasus was born. A divine creature with massive wings. She is pure white in color and majestic in form. Through a clever trick the hero Bellerophon captures Pegasus. She rewards Bellerophon by allowing him to ride her. Together they vanquish the fire breathing monster the Chimera which was plaguing the land Lycia. They go onto embark on many other adventures. In every story the hero is imparted with a tool which they use to carry out their adventures. In some stories it’s a weapon like the light saber Luke was given in Star Wars. In other stories it’s a piece of knowledge like the map Jim Hawkins was given in Treasure Island. For Bellerophon it was the winged horse Pegasus. For me it’s my boat Atlas. She is my Pegasus.
Atlas is named after Atlas Shrugged, the novel by Ayn Rand. I am not an Objectivist as Rand was, however, I do share some of her philosophies which are embodied in my journey. Atlas was built in 1965 by a Canadian company called Triangle. They only built a few hundred boats and then went out of business so there are not many Triangles around. She is an old boat and not the prettiest thing you ever did see but she’s got a lot of character. She is 32′ long on the water line but 35′ from bowsprit to stern. That’s a big boat for one person. She has a fiberglass hull, one of the earlier ones built. She is Ketch rigged which means she has two masts, the aft one shorter than the forward one. This makes single-handing her easier as the sails are smaller than you would have on a traditional sloop rig. The cockpit (where you steer from) is in the center of the boat which splits up the cabins creating a larger main cabin up forward and a small aft cabin. The center-cockpit lends to a feeling of protection as you are surrounded on all sides while steering. This is an added bonus while sailing alone. Down below she has a small kitchen, a living room and a bathroom. Up forward there is a small area intended for two berths which I converted to a work shop and storage area. The aft cabin is used as a cargo hold for storing spare sails and long term provisions. She has a faithful diesel engine which doesn’t make her go fast but has gotten me out of many tough spots. Other than that Atlas doesn’t have a lot of additional amenities. No refrigerator, no shower and minimal electricity. That’s good though. If I had all of the comforts of home the journey wouldn’t be as valuable.
Best Money I Ever Spent
I paid $ 13,000 for Atlas but spent another $ 4,000 in miscellaneous expenses by the time I pulled out of New York Harbor. It doesn’t stop there, though. Maintaining her and fixing her up is a constant expense. Actually, the biggest one I have. Owning a boat is like a hole in the water that you just keep throwing your money into. It has been expensive considering my small income but it has been worth every penny. The $25,000 or so I have spent thus far has been a small price to pay for what I have gotten in return. Looking back on my life, buying Atlas and sailing out of New York Harbor has been one of the best things I have done with my life.