A 55-year-old New Zealand doctor sailed alone out of Sydney harbour on Thursday (19 October) on the first stage of a seven-month-long voyage around the bottom of the world.
GV & SV Relatives help to load supplies (3 shots) (silent)
CU Lewis answers questions
SV Lewis hugging daughter
SV & GV Boat pulls away (2 shots)
REPORTER: "What will be the main danger you will be facing?
LEWIS: Well, bad weather is probably the worst, because the seas are stormy in the Southern Ocean. But all one can do is take the biggest precautions one can for them. And the boat of this size is almost ideal in this size. A bigger boat is hard to manage. A smaller boat is just as seaworthy. Seaworthiness is not a matter of size. But it is slower and you have to bob up and down and stop the boat earlier. But this, if you cam imagine a forty-four gallon drum in a cyclone, it's not nay more likely to be stove in than this boat would be.
REPORTER: But you are still facing icy conditions, gales, perhaps even icebergs. Are you at all afraid?
LEWIS: Well, I expect when I see them I may be afraid. But icebergs are, after all, rather like land. And I am planning on this voyage to go down in twenty-four hour daylight, so if you have a hundred-foot high iceberg, they should be pretty visible for a long way away.
SOF STARTS: What will be...."
SOF ENDS: "....long way away".
Initials SGM/1832 SGM/1849
The sound on this film includes a portion of Dr Lewis' remarks in answering reporters' questions. A transcript follows.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A 55-year-old New Zealand doctor sailed alone out of Sydney harbour on Thursday (19 October) on the first stage of a seven-month-long voyage around the bottom of the world. Dr David Lewis has spent ten years preparing for his solo trip around the Antarctic in his 32-foot (10 metre) sloop, "Ice Bird".
During the next months, his solitude will be relieved only by visits to the U.S., British and Soviet Antarctic bases. The sloop is stocked with supplies and equipment for the trip including protective clothing against the sub-zero temperatures, some fresh, but mostly tinned food, and plastic containers of water, petrol and de-icing fluid.
Dr Lewis is a Doctor of Medicine, who has just completed four years as a research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. Besides three solo crossings of the Atlantic Ocean to his credit, he has also made a global circumnavigation by catamaran with his wife and daughters, aged one and two.
Dr Lewis says he'll occupy his time reading and studying the effects of environmental conditions on himself. He also intends to write a book about his experiences during the voyage.
Before setting off, he spoke to reporters, as seen in this film supplies by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
SYNOPSIS: Friends and relatives of Dr Lewis gathered at Sydney Harbour on Thursday to bid farewell to a New Zealand yachtsman. He hopes to be the first to sail around the Antarctic in a seven-month, single-handed voyage.
Dr Lewis' two daughters, who have sailed with him on previous voyages, were there to see him off in his thirty-two foot sloop, "Ice Bird".
He explained that his reactions to loneliness during the seventeen-thousand mile voyage would be of immense scientific value.