Seasoned sailor Jerome Rand shared his unique experience of circumnavigating the globe — over 29,805 miles — in nine months at a Wisconsin Union event co-hosted by the Hoofer Sailing Club. 

Rand shared both his positive experiences and the challenges he faced in the southern waters of the Indian Ocean.

Rand said he was inspired by great sailors who had achieved similar goals.  After months of preparation, he set out from Gloucester, Massachusetts in a 32 ft sailboat and did not touch land for another 271 days. 

Ex-Westboro Baptist member tells why she left churchMegan Phelps-Roper spoke about how Twitter allowed her to grow into her own beliefs and leave the Westboro Baptist Church Read…

“I must have read ‘Sailing Alone Around the World’ by Joshua Slocum 10 times … it fascinated me, I had to see what it was like,” Rand said. 

Rand said though harsh storms while sailing can be scary, the complete absence of wind is even more so. He experienced completely clear seas near the equator. He said it took him nine days to get across the region and catch wind again. 

While traveling south, Rand said fresh water supply, wind and harsh storm conditions concerned him the most initially.

“The further south you get the scarier it gets, but the adventure really began in the Indian Ocean,” Rand said. 

Rand said his lowest point occurred in the Indian Ocean — he began the journey with 60 gallons of fresh water, and by the end he was down to only two.

Additionally, Rand spoke about being hit with frightening weather conditions.

“As things seemed to be calming down, I was dead asleep and woke up to what sounded like a bus hitting a brick wall, the whole boat went 90 degrees sideways then back up,” Rand said. 

Astronaut, physician, engineer Mae Jemison interprets MLK’s legacyAstronaut, engineer, physician and the first American woman of color in space Mae Jemison spoke to a packed crowd for Read…

Rand said though weather conditions could be trying during the voyage, there were positive elements as well. Rand came in close contact with marine life and witnessed gorgeous sunsets.  

Rand said he encountered krill, whales and dolphins on his journey.

“They were at the point where I could almost touch them … that was my entertainment, that was my ‘Game of Thrones,’” Rand said. 

After completing the voyage successfully and being back on land for over a year now, Rand is already planning another trip.

Rand said he is thankful for both the known and unknown challenges of the journey. 

“Never pass up a great challenge when it’s put in front of you. It’s a great way to grow as a person,” Rand said.