Three years at sea

A sailor’s claim that he has set a record for making the longest non-stop passage is being checked by the Guinness Book of Records.

Reid Stowe, 58, landed in New York after his 1,152 day voyage, and was greeted by his girlfriend and 23-month toddler who he had never seen.

Mr Stowe left in the 70-foot (21m) schooner in April 2007.

Mr Stowe set off from New Jersey on a round-the-world trip which finished in Manhattan.He originally set off with his girlfriend, Soanya Ahmad, 26, until she had to return to shore after suspecting she was pregnant.

The couple agreed that he would continue without her, despite it meaning that he would miss the birth of their son.He said that seeing her go was the hardest part of his trip.

“Before we left, we had an agreement that if I had to get off for any reason, he would go on,” Ms Ahmad told the BBC.”I knew if he came back and didn’t finish the voyage, he would just go back again. There was no way he wasn’t going to finish it.”

Mr Stowe said his trip was a “voyage of love”. The vessel was built by Mr Stowe and his family 30 years ago, and named Anne after his mother.

While at sea, Mr Stowe says he spent his time repairing torn sails, painting, practising yoga and writing a book.He was able to send e-mails and make satellite phone calls.”She’s done what no vessel in the world has done,” Mr Stowe said.

Charles Doane, editor of Sail magazine, said he believes that Mr Stowe set a new sailing record.

He said that the GPS satellite system that tracked the voyage provides evidence that the boat had not touched land during the trip.