The first time I saw Martha was at her dock, about midnight. I still had a kink in my neck from the flight and the car ride from the airport to Port Townsend, Wash., with my friend Lauren, her dad and her two snoozing siblings. I felt like falling asleep, too, but the prospect of going sailing on a 106-year-old schooner kept me up.
Christian Liebergreen was resting in his bunk below deck. The weather was thick, but nothing he hadn’t seen before. Jonna, he was absolutely confident, was going to handle it. She was his yacht, and he was her captain. Together they were a good team. And this was Liebergreen’s grand adventure: sailing around the world alone, without stops or outside assistance.
Inch by inch, the long orange rudder moves toward the water. There’s no wind to speak of, which is rare in early March in the Antilles. But the slight ocean swell is enough to make this a delicate operation for the skipper perched on the stern.
Page 4 of 15