The right way to go wrong way round world

A man who has sailed the wrong way round the world to avoid pirates will get a hero’s welcome when he sails in to his home town this weekend.

A flotilla from Crosshaven in Co Cork is expected to sail out to greet Ian Heffernan as he arrives at Cork Harbour on Saturday.

Ian and his girlfriend, Laani Pegler, are completing the last few miles of their epic voyage aboard Kadoona, an Ebbtide 36 yacht.

It will mark the culmination of a lifelong dream for the CIT nautical science graduate.

Writing on his blog before leaving the Azores, Ian said: “How is it possible that we are on the brink of our amazing journey ending, while a whole new one is just about to begin? Is it really that time already?

“I’m not sure I’m ready for it. We’re not sure we are ready for it.

“Nevertheless, we have one final passage ahead of us, more time to enjoy and psych ourselves up for the joys and challenges ahead.

“It really has been one incredible journey.”

The couple began their journey in Sydney in Jan 2011. They have sailed to New Zealand, across the Pacific, taking in the French Polynesian Islands, the Galapagos, through the Panama Canal, visiting the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and the Azores, before sailing across the Atlantic.

Their adventure has been dubbed “The Wrong Way Around” because most sailors sail the other way across the globe.

But Ian chose the reverse route because of the danger posed by Somali pirates who stalk the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

Ian’s love of the sea began at a young age when he worked as a ferry boy at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

After finishing secondary school in 1994, Ian studied nautical science at CIT.

Ian’s career has seen him working mainly on research ships, primarily the British Antarctic Survey, one of the world’s leading environmental research centres.

Ian met Laani while safety officer on the Amazon Explorer in 2006.

They are expected to reach Roches Point at 3pm on Saturday, with celebrations planned at the RCYC later.

* www.exa.mn/7c

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