Gordon Miller Sailing into History

The Mavericks

Many small boat voyages are mentioned in nineteenth century literature, but the first authenticated single-handed crossing of an ocean was made by an American fisherman. In 1876 Alfred Johnson sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Wales in an open dory named Centennial. It is possible this feat inspired another American, Bernard Gilboy. It is said he sailed from British Columbia to Hawaii in a small Columbia River fishing boat before he made the near fatal crossing of the Pacific Ocean in 1882. 

Long offshore passages in small boats have become fairly routine, but all are still faced with the same challenges of the open oceans, and all are following in the wakes of the early adventurous pioneers like Bernard Gilboy, Joshua Slocum and Captain Voss.