- Published on Sunday, 26 August 2012 17:43
- Written by Carlo Caraluzzo
26 August, 2012: When someone attempts a solo circumnavigation, an oceanic trip around the world, the trip can put them at sea for between 5 and 8 months, depending on winds and weather. The trip has only been accomplished by about 300 people under sail, which is only 1/5 of the number of people who have successfully climbed Mt. Everest. While this challenge is difficult for any sailor, the idea of tackling this feat without a full range of senses can be daunting indeed. But daunting does not seem to be in the vocabulary of Scottish teacher Gerry Hughes, native of Glasgow, Scotland however. Gerry is not intimidated. He has spent his professional career teaching St Roch's Secondary School in Glasgow and is the first deaf sailor to navigate the Atlantic Ocean during his 2005 crossing.
Mr. Hughes will be leaving the Troon Marina on September 1, 2012, leaving his supportive wife and two daughters behind and will be keeping the yachting community posted on his website and made his feelings about the attempt known in an interview with yachting monthly. The trip has been his life-long dream and while he recognizes the challenges he has complete confidence in his vessel, a 42 foot Beneteau, and his sailing ability. Gerry says that he struggled a great deal with his deafness when he was a youth but sailing, always one of his strongest passions, gave him an escape. This pioneer has spent his live overcoming adversity and became the first deaf teacher in Scotland in 132 years after struggling to learn how to read and write until he was 15 years old.
Gerry´s main goal is to inspire the deaf community and to raise awareness that dreams are achievable regardless of what your physical challenges may be and his life is a testament to his drive. Gerry will not only be the first deaf person to circumnavigate the globe under sail but he will also be the first deaf person to sail around all five Capes during his trip.