California To Ibiza – Pensioner Sails Atlantic In A Boat He Repaired

An elderly British sailor has travelled from California to Spain across the Atlantic Ocean in a nine-month odyssey aboard a multihull sailboat he repaired and made seaworthy himself.

British sailor Stuart Rogerson, 72, is a sailing enthusiast and ship restorer that lives in Spain and his latest adventure started after he spotted a vessel online available from a seller in San Diego, which he then arranged to buy.

Rogerson told Spanish radio network Cadena SER: “This all started a little over a year ago when I saw an advert on an internet forum which mentioned a 30-foot multihull abandoned sailboat called ‘Nandi’ in the San Francisco Bay in California.”

After spending six months fixing the boat to make it seaworthy, Rogerson was finally able to set sail in November 2019 with his son Zack, 40, to the city of San Diego where they spent the holidays.

Later, in January of this year, he left California and headed towards Mexico with the son of the man that sold him the boat named Tristan, 20, which is around the time COVID-19 was quickly becoming a global emergency.

From there the pair headed towards the Panama Canal where they crossed over to the Atlantic Ocean and would eventually make it to Key West in the American state of Florida.

Due to the pandemic, Rogerson was forced to dock for a little over two months there. Tristan was reportedly able to leave the boat and go back to California to spend the rest of the health crisis with his family.

Rogerson, however, went back to sea on 6th May with a new crewmate and headed towards Europe, eventually making it to Ibiza.

His journey ended when he arrived at the Cala d’Hort beach on the Spanish island of Ibiza located just east of the country on Friday 14th August.

His arrival signalled the successful completion of a 10,000-nautical-mile, nine-month-long journey.

But the first things he did was to “ask to be taken for a beer” and “kissed his daughter”.

The British sailor said: “I have lived on the island for 45 years. I set up here and am always coming and going.”

When speaking about spending the pandemic aboard his boat he said: “The safest place in the world is in the sea during a pandemic. We didn’t have to wear masks. We were safe.”

Rogerson does not have a clear destination for his next journey because “there are many. I only know a small part of the world. The destination will depend on where the boats are” as he is always looking to fix abandoned boats or improve his own.