Round-the-world yachtsman docks in Bundy
JON Sanders is on his tenth circumnavigation of the world but for now, his sea legs are firmly planted on Bundaberg ground and he is ready to sink a few hard-earned Bundy Rums.
Docking at the Bundaberg Port Marina yesterday, the 78-year-old Western Australian yachting legend said he felt happy to be back in Australia for the first time since October.
"I love Bundaberg, there is a rumour they sell rum here," he said.
Last year, Sanders set sail from his home in Fremantle and travelled to places like Reunion in France, South Africa and the British Virgin Islands on his tenth round-the-world trip.
He will stop in Bundaberg for a short time before making his way back home to Western Australia, completing his record-breaking feat.
When asked why he found sailing around the world so appealing, Sanders had a pretty simple answer.
"It gives me something to do, what else would I do?" he laughed.
"I like having the time, cruising and seeing the islands.
"I have done it non-stop before but this time I thought I would be more sensible and stop along the way."
The yachtsman is no stranger to long sailing trips- his first taking place in 1975.
"I sailed to South Africa for an ocean race," he said.
"When I got to Brazil I thought instead of going back to Fremantle I would just keep going."
Sanders then completed his first solo, non-stop triple circumnavigation, on board SV Parry Endeavour, in 1988.
The 71,000 nautical mile journey took 658 days to complete - the longest distance sailed continuously by any person or vessel.
Since then, Sanders has continued escapading around the globe, this time in his vessel Perie Banou II, and said his tenth trip was made extra special because it would be his last.
"It was good but I don't think I am allowed to go again, I am 78 this year," he said.
"But who knows, maybe I can sneak out."
Sanders said his journey over the last ten months had seen a few challenges but nothing that he couldn't handle.
"Approaching South Africa in what's known as the Agulhas Current, I got a forecast of what was a 50 knot gale against the current," he said.
"It's not a smart place to be.
"The boat is like putting a cork in a bottle, difficult to sink, but when you are on it it doesn't feel like that."
Now on solid ground, Sanders said he was looking forward to catching up with friends in Bundaberg before the trip home.
He said coming back to Australia was a highlight of his trip but also an eye-opener.
"I like coming home and I am very proud of being Australian because of what we have got," he said.
"It is a worry in fact, that so many hundreds of thousands of people don't have our same fantastic lifestyle."