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At sixty-five Francis Chichester set out to sail single-handed round the world. This is the story of that adventure.
Sailing Round the World
Before he sailed round the world single-handed, Francis Chichester had already surprised his friends several times. He had tried to fly round the world but failed. That was in 1931.
The years passed. He gave up flying and began sailing. He enjoyed it greatly. Chichester was already 58 years old when he won the first solo transatlantic sailing race. His old dream of going round the world came back, but this time he would sail. His friends and doctors did not think he could do it, as he had lung cancer. But Chichester was determined to carry out his plan. In August, 1963, at the age of nearly sixty-five, an age when many men retire, he began the greatest voyage of his life. Soon, he was away in this new 16-metre boat, Gipsy Moth.
Chichester followed the route of the great nineteenth century clipper ships. But the clippers had had plenty of crew. Chicheater did it all by himself, even after the main steering device had been damaged by gales. Chichester covered 14, 100 miles before stopping in Sydney, Australia. This was more than twice the distance anyone had previously sailed alone.
He arrived in Australia on 12 December, just 107 days out from England. He received a warm welcome from the Australians and from his family who had flown there to meet him. On shore, Chichester could not walk without help. Everybody said the same thing: he had done enough; he must not go any further. But he did not listen.
After resting in Sydney for a few weeks, Chichester set off once more in spite of his friends' attempts to dissuade him. The second half of his voyage was by far the more dangerous part, during which he sailed round the treacherous Cape Horn.
On 29 January he left Australia. The next night, the blackest he had ever known, the sea became so rough that the boat almost turned over. Food, clothes, and broken glass were all mixed together. Fortunately, bed and went to sleep. When he woke up, the sea had become calm the nearest person he could contact by radio, unless there was a ship nearby, Wild be on an island 885 miles away.
After succeeding in sailing round Cape Horn, Chichester sent the following radio message to London:" I feel as if I had wakened from a nightmare. Wild horses could not drag me down to Cape Horn and that sinister Southern Ocean again."
Just before 9 o'clock on Sunday evening 28 May, 1967, he arrived back in England, where a quarter of a million people were waiting to welcome him. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him with the very sword that Queen Elizabeth I had sailed round the world for the first time. The whole voyage from England and back had covered 28, 500 miles. It had taken him nine months, of which the sailing time was 226 days. He had done what he wanted to accomplish.
Like many other adventurers, Chichester had experienced fear and conquered it. In doing so, he had undoubtedly learnt something about himself. Moreover, in the modern age when human beings depend so much on machines, he had given men throughout the world new pride.
a & ad. (done) by one person alone 单独的（地）
a. single-handed 单独的
a. crossing the Atlantic Ocean 横度大西洋
n. part of the body with which one breathes 肺
a. with one's mind firmly made up 下定了决心的
vi. stop working at one's job(because of age) 退休
n. sea journey 航海；航行
n. way from one place to another 路线
n. group of people who work together on a ship or airplane 全体船员；全体乘务员
vt. make (esp. a boat or road vehicle) go in a particular direction 为...撑舵
n. a piece of equipment 设备；装置
vt. cause harm or injury to 损坏
ad. harm, injury 损坏
n. very strong wind 大风
vt. travel (a certain distance) 行过（一段距离）
ad. before 以前
n. try 试图，尝试
vt. prevent (sb.) from doing sth. by reasoning 劝阻
a. more dangerous than it seems 暗藏危险的；奸诈的
a. (of weather or the sea) stormy; not calm （气候）有暴风雨的；（海）波涛汹涌的
ad. luckily 幸运地；幸亏
vt. get in touch with 联系，接触
ad. close by 在附近
a. next; to be mentioned immediately 接着的；下列的
v. (cause to) wake 唤醒；醒来
n. terrible dream 恶梦
vt. pull along with great effort 拖，拉
vt. 封... 为爵士
vt. finish successfully 完成
vt. overcome 征服
ad. certainly 无疑地
ad. in addition 此外，而且
a. of or concerning people 人们
n. a living thing, esp. a person 生物；人
PHRASES & EXPRESSIOMS
begin a course if action 着手，开始
atop doing 放弃
be determined to (do)
have a strong will to (do) 决心（做）
(all) by oneself
in spite of
not taking notice of; not caring about 尽管；虽然
by a large amount or degree...得多
(cause to) fall over, upset （使）翻倒，（使）倾覆
can not help
can not keep oneself from 禁不住