Webb Chiles Remarks on Turning 80

How a noted Cruising World contributor plans to mark a milestone.


November 11, 2021
Webb Chiles
Happy 80th birthday to six time circumnavigator Webb Chiles! Chiles thinks perhaps next year he’ll sail to Iceland. Webb Chiles

The age of miracles has not passed. I am 80 years old today. Few, if any, including me, expected I would reach such an age. “Almost dying is a hard way to make a living,” I once wrote, and I have almost died more times than I can easily recall. It goes with the territory of pushing beyond the edge of human experience. Either I was very good or I was very lucky. Perhaps both.

I now mostly live in a condo on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island overlooking Skull Creek, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway. Gannet is docked 500 feet away. I can see her mast from our windows and deck.

Hilton Head Island has a wonderful climate from October to May, but is too hot in the summer with heat indexes routinely of 105 degrees F. So I am considering sailing somewhere cooler next summer. Iceland sounds cool.


Carol and I will spend the day quietly. I’ll go down and sit on Gannet for a while and consider what I’ve done with my life and what I might still do. This evening we will go out to dinner and when we return I will pour some of my favorite liquid, Laphroaig 10 year old single malt Scotch, and raise my glass to you and to me and to our dreams and to the passion to fulfill them.

To life.

Editor’s note: You can read more of Webb Chile’s writing at his website,


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