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Sail Magazine Article: Donna Lange to Solo Sail Non-Stop: Twice Around

O&A: Donna Lange

She's already circumnavigated solo once around the great

capes. Now she's planning to do it again, this time non-stop

By Lauren SaalmuUer

Donna Lange is not just a grandmother

of 11—she's a musician, songwriter,

registered nurse, delivery captain, the

founder of Oceans Watch North America and

one of the few American female sailors to circumnavigate

solo. In 2007, Donna sailed around

the globe and stopped twice along the way. Now

she's planning to again circumnavigate solo on

her Southern Cross 28 Inspired Insanity, this

time non-stop. She'll leave Bristol, Rhode Island,

in July and return in May 2016. Along the way

she'll raise funds for OceansWatch. To fund her

trip. Donna is producing a CD and the book,

Finding My Way in Song.

SAIL: What inspired you to circumnavigate

solo ^ a i n , but this time without stopping?

Donna Lange: I'm circumnavigating west

to east, travehng with the Southern Ocean

Current, like I did in 2007.1 started sailing

when I was 38 years old and my leaps of faith

landed me on the ocean in my own sailboat.

This trip allows me to extend my time offshore

to 270 days. Diuing my last trip, I had email

communication, so I wasn't solitary and

didn't complete my personal goals. Sailing is a

philosophical journey that allows me to become

immersed in nature and focus on my work

and myself I want an opportunity to share my

experiences through songwriting and need this

extended time to do so. I hope to communicate

new pathways of knowledge as to how we,

as individuals, can understand our intrinsic

mental and physical energy.

SAIL: Why do you plan on using only a sextant

fw navigati<m and SSB radio to ccwnmnniarfe?

DL: I learned to sail aboard a traditional taQ

ship skippered by Virginia Wagner, a renowned

instructor in celestial navigation and an adlvocate

for traditional sailing and seaman^iip

skills. This voyage will emj^iasize the n^ed fin*

traditional seamanship skills to safely navigate

ofl&hore. I'll enhanoe my experience by being

tuned into the energy of the ocean and the

celestial bodies. Ihe most exciting a^ect of my



adventure will be finding my way

by being connected to my inner

self and immersed in the environment.

The SSB allows me to

access weather reports, transmit

email logs to my website and

provide adequate communication

while I'm sailing. I will have

a transponder so I can be followed

and located if I have any

safety needs, but I should be able

to navigate accurately.

SA7L: How wiU you incorporate sailing for marine

safety and conservation into the voyage?

DL: My background includes years working

in parasailing as crew and as a captain for

SeaTow, so I have experience using a kite as an

emergency sail if a boat is dismasted. Having

been a part of salvages that required airbags

to raise sunken boats, it seems obvious that

we should be able to equip a boat with a bag

inflation system that can be deployed if a boat

is holed in order to keep it afloat. Subsalve

Inc. is working with me to provide a floatation

s}'stem. They have already created prototypes.

Peter Lynn, a New Zealand kitemaker, and I

are collaborating to provide an appropriate

kite system and attachment apparatus for this

trip. As the executive director of Oc^uisWatch

North America, I will be using marine

conservation and research surveys developed by

OceansWatch, perform radiation surveying and

collaborate with a research team to take water

samples along the way.

SAIL: What did you learn from your last

circumnavigation that will be of most use on

your second loomey?

DL: Fve become a better sailor, and I plan to

make the boat more solo-firiendly. Inspired

liisa»f^ is a cq^uk of chan^ and growth for

me. I learned that sailing sin^ehanded is a tremendous

o{^Qrtuiilty to become healthy in all

aspects of my body. After investing in my skills

and beii]^ cfaallexiged by my previous circumnavigation,

I've built my confidejice, which wiJ

only continue to grow as I prepare mentally an

physically for this journey. Truly, this will be a

healing journey.

SAIL: What are you doing differently this time

DL: It'll be a challenge to pack the proper

clothing to keep warm and dry, especially in

the Southern Ocean. However, because of

the timing of this voyage, this trip won't be as

cold as the last. Last time, I departed Rhode

Island in mid-November, so at night it was

20 degrees on board. This time, I'll have a late

summer Atlantic crossing. I also plan to focus

on a healthy diet and onboard exercise, so I've

developed an exercise and stretching routine.

SAIL: What are you most looking forward to,

and what do you anticipate will be the most

difficult part of the voyage?

DL: I'm excited about finding my way celestialh

and becoming a whole, healthy being. I can't

wait to be able to focus on my own needs. I believe

this itinerary will offer me a less traumatic

e3q)erience. This trip should be downwind,

fester and on better points of saiL The most difficult

aspect is the physical challei^es of sailing,

m miss my family, but I know they'll care for

one another while I'm gone. .

SAIL: How can we follow your progress? |

DL: There will be daily logs and sponsored vi

and ]^otos ihat will be streamed from my boai.

A transponder will show my position on my

for folks to follow. Go to §


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