One-thousand, one hundred and fifty two days at sea. One-thousand, one hundred and fifty two days never stepping foot on land. One-thousand, one hundred and fifty two days with no resupply.
That means 1,152 days with only what he had on him or what he could catch. When Reid Stowe stepped on land yesterday, he successfully completed the longest sea voyage in history. But that's the not kicker. He’ll also meet Darshen, his nearly two-year-old son, for the very first time.
But first, the back-story. Dead set on holding a world record, in 2007 Stowe set out on Anne, a 70-foot schooner that he built himself. His girlfriend Soanya was in tow.
But, 306 days in, things started to get literally a little too rocky for Soanya.
”When I was too sick to keep going, it was understood I would get off and he would keep going,” Soanya Ahmad described, “and I would do what I have to do on my end.”
On a rescue yacht Soanya headed for shore, not yet realizing that what she had to deal with was having a baby. Surprise! She and Stowe discussed it by satellite phone, which would become their weekly connection. She would stay in New York and he would finish his journey
Fast forward to June 17th. It’s been over three years since Stowe has been in New York, let alone anywhere in sight of land. You’ll have to excuse Anne for looking worse for wear, but she has been at sea for over a thousand days and in that time she’s had two accidents, one where Stowe says she capsized.
But for as beat up as Anne is, Stowe, gaunt from living off dried fish and sprouts, tears streaming down his face, still glowed with anticipation.
“I want you to understand,” explained Stowe after stepping on solid ground, “that I never missed anything. My state of mind was a state of grace. A state if appreciation.”
No one would say it was the smoothest or least awkward of reunions, as Stowe and Soanya barely embraced and Darshen was asleep. But given a little time and slight urging, the newly reunited family had their moment. Stowe tugged on his little boy’s sleeve and with a slight recognition in eyes, Darshen finally smiled back.
Once things settle down, and the boat is fixed up, Reid, Soanya, and Darshen plan on moving onto Anne for good.