Pitcairn Island is not a familiar name to most, but it is the destination of Paul Vibert, a 45 year old sailor from Toronto. It’s an unknown unless you are familiar with the MNS Bounty and the mutiny aboard this ship. Then Pitcairin Island will have meaning to you as it does to the affable Vibert; his own sort of mutiny maybe.
Last Saturday afternoon, when most boats on the Portland waterfront had taken cover somewhere from the impending storm
Irene, Paul Vibert was still at the Portland Yacht Services dock – considering the several options left to him and Rough Bounds, his 30 ft. sailboat that had already brought him through rough Canadian waters to this place 5,000 miles from his starting point. Complicating his limited options was the development of the feared pea soup fog that blocked his easterly passage to a safer harbor. Eventually that passage would take him as far away from people as he can get – to Pitcairn Island in the South Seas.
For Vibert, 45, this passage to Pitcairn Island, is a furlough from the stresses of recent events in his life. For years, he worked in the financial industry. Stressful. Then his 10 year marriage disintegrated over the “loss of a child.” More stress. Vibert fixed up his home and sold it. Two years ago he bought the handsome 30 ft. Alberg in Ontario which will be his home for almost two years now as he journeys to the Island. “She’s built like a tank,” he said proudly of Rough Bounds. “I don’t know what the name means, but there is a tradition among sailors not to change a boat’s original name. So, I’ve kept it Rough Bounds.”
The only relationship I want is with my boat,” he said last Saturday afternoon. “She’s not emotional, but is sturdy and reliable.” He spoke with confidence because he’d already learned that about his sailing partner from his rough passage from the east. There he’d run into such rough water that the trailing dinghy was tossed up into the air over and over again – spinning in the air while he watched in amazement from the cockpit.
During his voyage to “Far Point,” as he calls Pictairn Island, he’ll be recording life aboard Rough Bounds in anticipation of writing a book about this journey of a lifetime. Once he arrives at Far Point, (does that sound like a book title?) Vibert has no plans to go ashore to this romantic and exotic Island. Rather, he’ll come about and reset his compass for Canada – with a different chart for his future.
In the meantime, Vibert PROMISED to stay in touch with mhn.com and to send emails as possible to update readers on his journey to the South Seas aboard Rough Bounds.
*editor’s note: 3/22/12 – Following a search near Easter Island by the United States Coast Guard, Paul Vibert, has been found. Low winds had slowed him down and put him behind schedule. When located he was 20 days overdue at Easter Island.
editor’s note: Pictcairn Island is a 1.75 sq. mile island in the South Pacific which is home to the descendents of the mutineers from the English HMS Bounty. There is much more interesting reading on-line about this Island.