Captain Joshua Slocum (1844-1909) was the first man to sail around
the world alone. His craft was a thirty-seven foot Sloop called the Spray.
He sailed from Boston on April 24, 1895 and returned on June 27, 1898 in
Newport, Rhode Island. On the way, he encountered pirates, ship problems,
and bad weather, yet he still prevailed.
Joshua was born in Mount Hanley, Nova Scotia, but came to Westport,
which was his mother's birthplace, in 1852 at the age of eight. At ten
years old, he was forced to leave school and work in his father's boat
shop. He didn't like the job, and would soon leave it. He had strong interests
in boats and sailing, and after his mother died in 1860, he ran away to
sea. He didn't return to Westport until 35 years later.
Westport was the first port of call for Joshua and the Spray
on his world cruise. He also returned many times after, to his boyhood
home that he loved so much. In honour of Joshua Slocum's voyage, a monument
has been erected in Westport to commemorate this piece of history.
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