P.E.I. man sailing around the world is home for a rest

A P.E.I. man sailing around the world is back on the Island for a short while before setting out again.

Alan Mulholland has battled many challenges so far. His eight-metre boat, Wave Rover, even made it through a hurricane in October while docked near Horta, in the Azores.

Now, he says he is happy to be home to get some sleep. The bunk on his boat is only 18-inches wide.

"The first thing I am really thankful about is sleeping in a proper bed again. I am getting the best sleep in a long time," Mulholland said.

He left Summerside, P.E.I., in late July to begin his sailing trip around the world, and on Tuesday the city gave him something to take when he continues his adventure.

"It's a flag, a City of Summerside flag, and it was presented by the mayor and it is now going to be sailing around the world with me on Wave Rover," he said.

Flying the flag

Mulholland said when he returns he plans to take the flag and a few other items around to local schools to help explain the voyage.

Wave Rover/Facebook

He said he is proud to be taking a piece of Summerside with him.

"I think as Canadians we're very proud when we travel of being Canadian — and even more so if we're from P.E.I.," Mulholland said.

While his wife, Glenda, helped him prepare for the trip by canning food, painting and sewing sails, she decided to stay at home on P.E.I.

It's the first time they are together on the Island since he left four months ago.

"It's just, you know, that cliché, distance makes the heart grow fonder. It's so true," Mulholland said.

Sewing sails

Glenda has another project before her husband sets back put to sea, working on a new sail called a jib. 

A jib is a triangular sail that sets ahead of the foremast of a sailing vessel. Its tack is fixed to the bowsprit, to the bows or to the deck.

"The jib that I took originally was damaged on the first passage about mid-Atlantic," he said.

Mulholland was able to repair the jib at sea, and while it is holding he said it won't be strong enough to finish the trip.

"This new jib is custom made for Wave Rover," he said.

Mullholland said his boat is tough and has battled high winds and harsh waves.

Rude awakening

In a few days Mulholland will head back to the Canary Islands and the trip will continue from there, eventually heading toward Panama.

"That's about 50-odd days.…That's the longest trip yet and it's quite a distance for Wave Rover," he said.

Mulholland said it will be interesting going through the Panama Canal because of specific rules in the area. 

"You have to have four line handlers, each with 150 feet of line. And you have to have a pilot from the Panama Canal zone and myself, so that is six people on my little boat," he said.

"We will be so low in the water with that amount of people and stuff on the boat."

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