Teenager's tracker turned off 'as a precaution' says father
The team behind Mike Perham’s bid to become the youngest ever circumnavigator has turned off his tracking device as he negotiates his way through the Caribbean. ‘We would be kicking ourselves if anything happened and we had not taken reasonable precautions.’ Said his father Peter. The device will be turned on again once he is through the Florida Straits.
Meanwhile Mike is sweltering in 40 degree Celsius heat inside the boat while tracking up to 20 ships on his radar at any given time. The density of shipping has prevented him sleeping more than a couple of hours a day. ‘The main thing is to be safe,’ said Mike. ‘The traffic has picked up a lot this evening – in the last hour I’ve had three ships pass within a few miles.’
Mike has hooked into a nice current, which is speeding him towards the Atlantic and a long-awaited offwind course. ‘It’s great to look at the log at the moment and see 8 knots of boatspeed, then to see Totallymoney.com is making 10 knots of speed over the ground on the GPS,’ said Mike. ‘I’m really looking forward to turning north so I’ll be ‘freed’ from the wind and getting back into my much loved downwind sailing.
In echoes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s achievements 40 years ago, Mike is adding some spice to life in the same way Sir Robin is renowned for doing. ‘I’m starving, my chicken curry is almost cooked,’ said Mike. ‘In a few minutes I’ll be eating it on deck in a refreshing breeze whilst watching the spray off the bow fly into the moonlight. I’m certainly enjoying myself out here.’
The Potters Bar 17 year-old is due back in Portsmouth in 21 days’ time.