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England's Mike Perham, global sailor, to follow in wake of Capt. Bligh

September 10, 2009 |  9:21 am
Mike Perham celebrates aboard his yacht, Totallymoney.com, after arriving at Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth, England, on Aug. 29.

England's Mike Perham, 17, who in late August became the youngest person to sail around the world alone, did not wait long before announcing his next seaborne adventure.

He reportedly will join an expedition that will attempt to follow the course of Capt. William Bligh after he was cast adrift from the Bounty following the famous mutiny of April 28, 1798.

The journey, with Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and two others, will be aboard a 25-foot open boat with few provisions and no charts in order to create a situation similar to what Bligh endured. The voyage, which will raise funds to battle a neurological disorder known as motor neuron disease, will begin April 28 to commemorate the 221st anniversary of the mutiny on the Bounty.

After Fletcher Christian cast Bligh and 18 of his men adrift in a 23-foot open boat, there began one of the most remarkable open-boat voyages in maritime history. Bligh and his men traveled for seven weeks and covered nearly 4,000 miles with little food or water and no charts.

The 2010 expedition will sail to Tonga to hopefully find extra food and water, then head to the west and travel north of Fiji and the Vanuatu Islands and ultimately toward the Queensland Coast, Australia, where they will land on Restoration Island. The journey then will take them north, inside the Great Barrier Reef, to Thursday Island, and then through the notorious Torres Strait to Kupang and Timor, Indonesia.

The crew -- the search is still on for two additional members -- will attempt to live off the sea. It will carry a GPS device, charts and other safety equipment, but they will be sealed and not used except during an emergency, McIntyre said on the expedition website. It will not carry toilet paper.

Comparatively speaking, Perham lived in spacious luxury aboard the 50-foot racing yacht he guided around the world. This next trip might cause him to ponder mutiny.  

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Mike Perham celebrates aboard his yacht, Totallymoney.com, after arriving at Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth, England, on Aug. 29. Credit: Adrian Dennis / AFP/Getty Images

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