Interview With Solo Global Adventurer Tom Darcy
Solo world sailing adventurer Tom Darcy. This interview with Tom came about when he pulled up in Cairns Qld, Australia at the Marina. The random conversations happen when you least expect it, "where did you come from mate?" Tom simply replies " England"... My brain spins and a big smile creeps onto my face and a funny giggle "what solo?" Yes! Toms quiet unemotional about it and is just going about life his way.
Having had quite a few of these conversations over the time I was there living on the marina, Toms journey stood out as the most extraordinary. Probably because he was solo! I met lots of great superyacht crews doing world races on the 50ft plus yachts and they all inspired me and I loved hearing about their amazing adventures, but when you go it alone it's different. Tom shares this with us in this interview. These are the great conversations that happen when travelling. This is one of them, a story of courage not outwardly but more facing your own stuff.
To set the scene, it all came about after our dear friend Lara Wilde from Wilde Garage gave us an opportunity to live on her boat for a month. Living on a boat is something we had talked about but had not put it into action. This was a great opportunity. Living on a boat in the Marina for a month inspired me so much that we have decided to start looking for a deep water liveaboard. And that's how we met Tom Darcy, a quiet fellow just going about his way in the world, you wouldn't know he was there, you have to watch those quiet ones they always surprise you!
Why live on a boat instead of a house? Well, it's because of people like Tom Darcy, just doing his thing his way, the curious traveller, that just decides and goes and does it. These kinds of people remind us to not let dreams just slide, and to reshuffle what important to you, and place it in the forefront of our mind and make it happen.
Our dreams are important, and it's up to us to make them happen rather than letting them fade into the distance without ever experiencing the adventures of a lifetime.
This story is what dreams are made of and when you meet people just doing it, it triggers something inside to say, "hey why are we still talking about it?" it makes you question where you are and reassesses what's important.
What's important is meeting people like Tom Darcy's of the world, while we travel and hear their story. By sharing these stories of inspirational people doing extraordinary things. My hope is that it will spark some of your dreams to do something that makes your heart and soul dance for joy. And maybe a great adventure with few bum clenching moments to make it all worthwhile!
The simple act of watching Tom leave the port in Cairns a few months back now, knowing the epic journey he's taken to that point and where he's was going, made me smile so hard it triggered a spark and made me do a little happy dance jumping up and down with joy arms waving, wishing him well as he sneaks quietly out of the marina into the great unknown toward his most excellent adventure once again. Mostly the thought of the adventure ahead and the spirit of freedom that it represents makes me so excited for him.
I asked Tom if I could ask him a few questions about his adventures. He gracefully agreed and here is the outcome.
What're your epic big lessons so far?
Don't be afraid to dream big. This quote from T E Lawrence is a favourite of mine:
" All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
Why did you decide to travel the world on a 28ft yacht?
The challenge excited me, I wanted to discover true freedom away from the pressures and commitments of land life and to have a big adventure. My yacht is a Vancouver 28, 28 feet, and designed for offshore sailing. She looks after me well and is ideally suited for one or two people. The smaller the boat, the smaller the running costs.
How long have you been travelling for since you left England?
I left the UK in May 2016 so just over two years
What brought about this challenge?
I was working as a Shipbroker in London, UK, and after 7 years in the job became increasingly aware time was slipping by faster and faster. I was becoming stale and unhappy with the routine of land life. If I didn't leave on an adventure soon I knew there was a good chance I would never have the opportunity again. I would spend the rest of my life regretting not setting sail when I had the chance and I didn't want to be one of those people.
Are you working and travelling? How are you funding it?
I was lucky to earn a decent wage as a Shipbroker and saved every penny. The choice I had was to put everything into a deposit and get on the property ladder or buy a boat instead and go sailing for a few years with the remainder of the savings. Although I have no income during the voyage I invested some of the money which has helped a little.
What’s the best part and the worst part of sailing the world solo?
Most people think that it must be very lonely sailing around the world on your own but I don't find that. The hardest part is probably dealing with the fact that when alone at sea, thousands of miles from land in bad weather, there is no one to help if things go wrong or something breaks, you have to be self-sufficient and deal with everything yourself which does take some mental strength. On the other hand being able to experience solitude and true freedom, to become one with the boat, the ocean, nature and the environment around you is an extremely powerful and unique feeling.
What is your advice to someone who dreams of sailing the world?
Do it! If the opportunity exists don't put it off for the future because circumstances continually change and it may no longer be possible down the line. Cruising in a yacht is not as expensive as most people think if marinas are avoided and you eat as the locals do so you don't need to be a millionaire. Cutting land ties and leaving the dock at the beginning is probably the hardest part so if you can get past this point the world is your oyster!
What will you do after this epic journey?
I can't answer that right now I have no idea!
Where to next after Cairns?
Up the coast to Thursday Island and across to Darwin before venturing into the Indian Ocean towards South Africa.
You will be very pleased to know as we speak (Oct 2018) Tom has just anchored in Madagascar, an epic journey of high seas and 23-day passage on the water he's now kicking back with a beer. Cheers to you mate! ( see cover picture)
In closing, I hope you enjoyed meeting Tom Dacy on his grand world adventure. As you can see you can follow his epic journey. Tom has certainly inspired me to get the boat and just start sailing. What about you?
My intention for sharing this story is so that you can see that your dreams matter and or next adventure is not that far away. Sure there are always reasons why you can not do it, but there is a lot of reasons why you could and can. I guess it really depends on where you choose to put your energy.
If you have an epic global adventure that you would like to share with us please send it to email@example.com and we would love to do an interview with you.
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Adventure on my friends!