Legend struck down in migration voyage
Veteran ‘ethnic’ multi-hull designer, James Wharram, 80, was stricken with food poisoning after nearly completing a 4,000 mile passage in the South Pacific.
The inconoclastic sailor had set out to follow the ancient Polynesian migration route from the Philippines to the Solomon Islands.
His 38ft V-shaped, twin-masted catamarans with James and crew, including his partner Hanneke Boon, – some of whom suffered ulcer infections – successfully completed the passage.
He told YM ‘Believe me, with bad weather and lousy food, and being continuously wet, it was the hardest journey of my sailing life. But my ancient double canoe, ‘Anuta’, was magnificent, and a major German TV company will have their film out in the autumn.’
The Anuta/Lapita voyage began in the first week in November 2008, a 4,000 mile voyage along the chains of islands of the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and finally to Anuta, at the end of the Solomon Islands.
James gave up his bunk on the last 200 mile leg of the journey. His Polynesian crew, knowing the difficulties of landing at Anuta, had, during planning, suggested that he should jump in the sea prior to landing. They planned to swim James through the surf! Approaching the age of 81 years, with both knees needing medical attention, James decided to stay in Lata, the capital of the province.
Wharram Designs website: www.wharram.com
Lapita Voyage website: www.lapita-voyage.org