Sail the next world on the bucket list

FOR Fabian Fernandez, an upcoming round the world marks the completion of an ultimate bucket list.

The voyage aboard his yacht called Destiny will be a five-year voyage spanning more than 30 countries and some 50,000 nautical miles (92,600 km).

Fernandez, a resident of Klang, said: “It was the death of my sister-in-law in 2017 that served as a wake-up call. She had a typical rags-to-riches story, but died young at 42.

“It is common to pursue goals for monetary gain, but this does not always provide fulfillment and meaning in life.

“I didn’t want to grow old and regret things not done. I then embarked on a journey to fill my to-do list, which included watching the Brazil soccer team play at the World Cup and Celine Dion live.

As well as filling out that list, the 51-year-old expressed hope that the trip would recapture the “feeling of being small in such a big world” that he once had.

“There are things I have experienced at sea in my six years of service on merchant ships that I could not find on land, like seeing a billion stars under a clear sky and finding the true presence of a higher being,” said Fernandez, who quit his job as a marine engineer to take on leadership roles in the plantation business when his first child was born.

“I bought Destiny, an American sailboat built in 1995, in 2016.

“It took five years to plan my trip, including the physical and mental preparations for me and my boat. I had to take care of my personal affairs, write my will, make sure I was mentally prepared for all possible scenarios at sea, plan my route while taking into account the weather conditions and make sure my boat was well equipped for the crossing. of the ocean,” he said.

Fernandez believes his planned five-year voyage covering more than 30 countries and some 50,000 nautical miles has never been made by a Malaysian.

While he originally intended to sail last year at the age of 50, Fernandez said the closures and restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic offered small blessings, like seeing his children go. to college and graduate.

Her 24-year-old son will soon start working as a pharmacist while her 22-year-old daughter plans to teach English.

To his knowledge, Datuk Azhar Mansor is the only Malaysian to have sailed solo non-stop. Azhar’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1999 covered over 21,600 nautical miles and 190 days, and was carried out on the Jalur Gemilang sailboat which cost RM2 million.

“My trip will be completely self-funded and I hope to be joined by another crew member, hopefully a Malaysian, to make this an all-Malaysian team.

“Destiny’s voyage itinerary has been planned in such a way as to allow different crew members to join at different stages, for example from Cape Town in South Africa to Namibia and from Saint Helena Island to the region. from the Azores to Portugal.

“The crew will spend between three weeks and two months on the boat, depending on the stage and the destination. Each crew member should have some experience at sea, have basic to intermediate skills with a boat and be self-funded,” Fernandez said.

The westward voyage will see Fernandez and his crew cross the Indian Ocean in 2023, the Atlantic Ocean in 2024, the North Pacific Ocean in 2025, the South Pacific Ocean in 2026 and return to Malaysia in 2027.

The trip will allow him to visit places that ordinary tourists cannot visit or can only be reached by boat.

“For example, the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean is uninhabited by civilians because the inhabitants have been moved to make way for a military base on one of its islands. So I hope to get permission to land and visit the Chagos,” said Fernandez, who believes a sailing trip covering such distances has never been done by a Malaysian.

He will embark at the end of September for a shakedown cruise which will serve as a trial gallop before his round the world trip.

He accepts cash or in-kind sponsorships, such as airfare for himself and his crew members, as well as diplomatic support to facilitate his trip.

For more details, email [email protected] or search “Destiny Dawn” on Facebook.

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