ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Dr. Stanley Paris' will sail from St. Augustine on Saturday afternoon in his 63-foot pride-and-joy. The sailboat will also be his home for the next 130 days or so that the University of St. Augustine's founder is attempting to circumnavigate the globe.
"We know that there's about a 3 to 5 percent chance that something serious could happen on a trip like this," Paris said. "Well, maybe a bit higher than that. But I'm 76, and there's an 8 percent chance I'm going to not live the next 12 months, so I'm really not concerned about the percentages out here."
The New Zealander and his wife sailed into St. Augustine in 1995 and never left...
As we near the 450th anniversary of the nation's oldest city, he plans to sail St. Augustine's name around the world, hoping to set a record as the oldest and fastest ever to make the trip solo.
"Being alone with somebody else for 130 days, that could be worse than being by yourself for that period of time. When you have a house guest, how many days do you really want them? Three? Four?"
He also plans on doing it green -- meaning throughout the entire voyage, he will not turn on the engine or generator. He will shower about once a week and sleep on deck for about 45 minutes at a time because he'll need to trim the sails to make sure he doesn't get off course -- or hit something.
"I could strike an iceberg -- a small one you wouldn't see, the size of a living room, only a foot and a half would be above the water -- a log or a container."
He has enough food to get him through the trip, and he's taking enough booze to have two drinks per day -- incentive to get home in record time.
"You get 30 drinks out of one Scotch bottle, 18 out of a bottle of rum and only four out of wine. So yes, considering weight and volume for a return, it's mainly Scotch and rum. "I even know the number of wraps on the toilet roll."
Paris has been preparing for this trip for four years, even designing the vessel: The Kiwi Spirit. The boat has a sacrificial bow, one less watertight bulkhead than the Titanic and a life raft on deck.
"Pretty much everything you see in this area, I hope never to use."
He has a device called the Yellow Brick that will broadcast four times each day to StanleyParis.com to update where he is and how fast he is going.
Down below, he's equipped with medical supplies, survival suits, reserve pumps, even dive gear, should he need to free a net.
'That's where I'll be when all hell breaks loose. Put the helmet on, strap myself into there, throw out the sea-drogue at the back and wait for a hurricane to finish."
But conditions could quickly worsen.
"If I lose the keel and go upside down, then I go out an escape hatch in the back, and there's another life raft there, too."
Recently retired, this 76-year old has more big plans in the works.
"I think I will have a lot of time to think about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. There is a bucket list that I have this is a big item on it, but there's another nine items on the bucket list."
He's already checked several items off, like an Ironman in Hawaii, a swim across the English Channel and last year's motorcycle ride across America in less than 48 hours - twice.
And he's already sailed the world once before with friends. But this one's just for him -- a big competitor who's not afraid to fail.
"Fear of failure stops you from doing so many things in life, and I don't have that fear."
Every name on his boat is someone who donated to the foundation for physical therapy. if you'd like your name on the boat, go to StanleyParis.com. He'll carry your name on a list, and then he'll stick it on his boat when he gets back to St. Augustine.
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