Webb Goes West

Solo sailor Webb Chiles bids farewell to Bali and heads into the Indian Ocean. "At Sea" from our July 24, 2008, CW Reckonings

July 23, 2008


In Bali, Webb Chiles, members of the local bomb squad, and thousands of eager citizens attended an elaborate cremation ceremony.

We’ve been covering the exploits of renowned solo sailor Webb Chiles for years, and now he’s off again, this time on a rugged trek of the kind most of us only dream about. He left his home port of Opua, in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, in late April aboard his 37-foot Heritage One-Ton sloop, The Hawke of Tuonela, sailed northwest around Australia, and made landfall in Bali on June 29. His wife, Carol, joined him there, flying in from the United States.

Webb stocked up on two months’ worth of provisions because the Cocos, or Keeling, Islands-not a frequent port on the cruising-boat circuit-will be his only stop before his next destination, Mauritius. Carol left Bali on July 23, and Webb plans to leave on July 25 for the 1,100-mile trek to Cocos that he estimates should take eight or nine days.

From Cocos, Webb aims to set sail for the 2,400-mile leg to Mauritius, though he hasn’t ruled out continuing directly to Durban, South Africa, which is another 1,500 miles.


Look for updates on Webb’s progress coming soon to


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