Ivan MacFadyen's sea odyssey

Source: Newcastle Herald

He may be broke, completely exhausted and unsure where his next pay check is coming from but Ivan MacFadyen has no regrets after completing a life-long dream.

The 56-year-old has spent the past seven months sailing around ‘‘about three-quarters’’ of the world, covering a massive 23,000 nautical miles.

He returned home in the early hours of Monday morning, greeted by friends and family at the Newcastle Yacht Club.

‘‘I’m totally run down, I can barely stand up straight,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s pretty good [to be home] to be honest. I can’t believe that I actually did it.’’

Mr MacFadyen departed Newcastle on board his boat Funnelweb in February to compete in the 2013 Melbourne to Osaka yacht race.

After that epic journey he took on the 7000 nautical mile trip to San Francisco via Hawaii in order to compete in the Transpac race between Los Angeles and Honolulu.

‘‘People were looking at this Australian boat coming in and were saying ‘no one does this kind of thing’, they were stunned,’’ he said.

‘‘But it had been a dream of mine for more than 25 years, my heart was filled with joy to be on that starting line,’’ he said.

The trip between Osaka and San Francisco was the most galling for Mr MacFadyen, where the devastating aftermath of Japan’s 2011 tsunami was on show.

‘‘It was 7000 miles of shear and utter terror,’’ he said.

‘‘The ocean is full of debris, some as big as a house.

‘‘It’s kinda really sad, it’s like the ocean has died,’’ he said.

‘‘We did the same race [Melbourne to Osaka] in 2003 and every time we put a lure in the water we pulled out a fish. [This time] we only caught two in the entire seven months.’’

As he settles back into normal life Mr MacFadyen has little idea what the next seven months will bring.

‘‘I’ve got to find a job,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve got no money and big credit card bill but it was all worth it.

‘‘You couldn’t do this when you’re old, it could never be a retirement plan and you can’t take your money to the grave.

‘‘The memories I have - when I settle down - will be absolutely cherished.’’

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