Peter Harley, 61, hopes to sail next week, weather permitting, from Virginia Beach and make his way to La Trinité-sur-Mer, France.
“I’m not nervous,” Harley said. “I’ve been on boats at sea in South Africa for many years, so I kind of know what’s coming and I’m not afraid of it.”
Harley said he was inspired to take such a trip while in his native South Africa a few years ago, But after he moved to the United States in 2019, the goal became more achievable.
“If the boat capsizes, it is designed to re-correct itself,” Harley said. “Bad conditions eventually pass, so I’ll have to get through things.”
The ship is equipped with a sleeping cabin, ample storage space and solar panels for communication and navigation purposes. “I’m afraid the bathroom is just a bucket,” Harley said.
Also on board is a desalination device, which turns ocean water into clean, drinkable water.
The solar panels will give Harley the ability to stay in touch with his daughter, Bonnie Evans, at home, who has helped him prepare along the way.
Evans told CNN she was more excited than nervous for her father. “If there’s anyone I know who can do that, it’s definitely my father.” Evans said. I described him as a meticulous person, who had all the details of this trip calculated.
“It was a very intense process and required a tremendous amount of discipline, dedication and focus,” Harley said.
Think of the trip so far in advance Help Harley prepare mentally. He says he’s not worried about the loneliness aspect of the trip either, as he’s had a lot of time alone before.
“We wanted to touch on three components: the planet, people, and animals,” Evans said of their choices.
If Harley lands successfully in France, he will go down in history as the first to do so. Two previous attempts failed.
“I’ve prepared as well as I can, I’m as strong as I can be, I’m as fit as I can be, I’ve done everything I can done,” Harley said.