Sailing The Black Seas All Alone Bill Pinkney

Updated: July 22, 2006



That’s Captain Bill Pinkney

all you landlubbers

Black and white

( we have a diverse readership )

The First African American to ever sail around the world alone. Which he did back in 1991-1992. Now a new book to be published soon in August chronicles this journey of discovery and Captain Pinkney’s entire life.

So far because

now at 70 years

he’s far from Finished

Our definition of Sports deserves to be inclusive not that anyone really questions Sailing as a Sport which it is certainly in a society that hails racing cars around a track as a Very Major Sport. And the very idea of sailing around the entire world ALONE on a 47 foot sail boat with no chance of relying on anyone but yourself, your intelligence, your skills, your stamina, your courage …

is a perfect definition of Sports

And let’s place Captain Bill Pinkney is even bolder relief. Not some privileged son of the Sea who grew up sailing boats around Nantucket lulling away his summers or sailing for some Ivy League college.

NO. No Way.

This Captain was born in a Depression era Black neighborhood in gritty sweaty Chicago. Graduating from public schools Pinkney joined the Navy ( a good choice it would prove ) and after 8 years sailing the seas for his Country he went to work in the cosmetics industry rising to management at Revlon. Then to another firm and on to more public service with the City of Chicago.

All before reaching

his true Destiny

To become the First African American in human history to sail the entire Globe Alone. Think about that. In his late 50s nothing but an amateur recreational sailor till then Pinkney decided on the Ultimate Challenge in all of Sailing.

Imagine yourself doing the Same

facing both Exhilaration and

Abject Fear

Most of all facing yourself as can only happen in a small boat all by yourself confronting the Mighty Ocean. Absolutely no control over what kinds of storms or sea conditions you will encounter. Likely to face giant waves that could swallow your sail boat and send you to the Bottom. Never to be found. Or tossed overboard by a merciless sea and howling winds ripping at your boat.

Captain Pinkney said he never slept more than one hour at a time all those months at sea. He could not. Without risky harm or Death. Yet in return he experienced a Saga the rest of us cannot adequately even Dream.

Those magnificent days and nights when the winds were “perfect” and caught his sails magically as he glided effortlessly high in the water surrounded by exotic sea life leaping joyously around him from the white capped watery carpet. Or experiencing the unfathomable quiet peacefulness of a gentle ocean calm as a full Moon rises above the water literally out of the ocean itself to rise high above into the dark sky filled more more stars than you’d ever see from the land.

And without even realizing it

rollicking in a World

without any Racism

in the middle of

the Ocean


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