Solo sailor Will Fantom has vowed never to live on land again after finding his home at sea.
- Will Fantom will circumnavigate the globe with his dog Captain Mistchief
- He is raising money for a national para-sailing fund to help others with a disability
- Mr Fantom has dedicated 10 years of his life to sailing around the globe to inspire others
Living with acute anxiety and agoraphobia, Mr Fantom three years ago purchased a yacht and set sail in a move to heal his mind.
The sailor – who is circumnavigating Australia – is now preparing his yacht for a global solo challenge to raise awareness and funding for his campaign Solo Sailor for the Disabled.
“Just over 14,000 nautical miles and three yachts later, I am never going back to land,” Mr Fantom said.
Mr Fantom and his trusty companion Captain Mistchief – who sails with him – is believed to be the first pooch in the world to be entered into a non-stop solo global sailing challenge.
Conceding his new lifestyle at sea was precarious at times, Mr Fantom said he was committed to a minimum 10-year sail around the world.
“At sea, you get beaten up and thrown around a lot, but the mental rewards outweigh any negativities,” Mr Fantom said.
While any minute his boat could sink, he said it was all worth it when he witnessed dolphins racing against the hull or the breathtaking rugged coastlines.
“And in some places, when you cross the planet, the closest person to you is the International Space Station.”
Moored at the small tourist town of Robe in regional South Australia after sailing from Tasmania, he said the journey across Bass Strait was “rough and hairy”.
“There were buckets of water, barrels of water being dumped on the boat, and I got seasick,” Mr Fantom said.
Mr Fantom, who is originally from Sydney, said he struggled with everyday living on land and navigating the daily pressures of life.
“With people struggling emotionally, financially, economically, on every given level, I found taking to a boat was one way of giving me some peace of mind,” he said.
Mr Fantom said he was not the only solo sailor with a disability and he wanted to spread his message of hope around the world.
“I’m sailing around to promote the awareness and benefits of sailing and what it can do for people with a disability,” Mr Fantom said.
Mr Fantom said Captain Mistchief had found her sea legs on board the yacht.
Although she did not get sea sickness, going to the toilet was a bit tricky ritual for the canine.
“I put jack lines on her, and I walk up with her I stand there with her to make sure she’s alright,” Mr Fantom said.
Mr Fantom said Captain Mistchief kept him warm, but conceded she was not the best conversationalist.
He purchased his British-made Colvic Countess Cutter Rig yacht with the money his mother left him.
“The yacht is very comfortable and stable — think of a nice comfortable house on water,” he said.
Find ‘purpose and direction’
Mr Fantom said it was important for people to find something that gave them “purpose, direction, and positivity”.
“Whether it be sailing, art or the community, the important message is that you’ve got to do in this world what you love to do, no matter how much of a struggle it may be,” he said.
He said the worst thing that was ever going to happen was death.
“But the thing is, what you put out in this world is what you get back.”
Mr Fantom now plans to head to Adelaide, Port Lincoln and Western Australia.