Boat trip spans around the globe all the way to Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

The boat is docked at the Demopolis Yacht Basin.

It is red and white and it is being repaired.

And no, it doesn’t belong to Christopher Columbus or Ferdinand Magellan.

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It belongs to Paul Vanoss, from Holland, and Vivian Clark from Guatemala.

These two sailors have been sailing through the Caribbean for the past five years, not for the sake of anything else, they say, except pure enjoyment &045; nothing else.

The journey began in 1998, when Vanoss, purchasing a sailboat from California, began his sailing journey in Rockport, Texas, making his way through Mexico, then eventually reaching Guatemala, where he met Clarke.

The two have been sailing throughout the Caribbean, making stops in various other places, including Haiti, Florida, and various other destinations.

Vanoss said that sailing has always been a dream of his, a dream that started in his native town of Amsterdam, or more precisely at the University of Amsterdam, where he attended university.

One might assume that sailing for five years could take a lot of out of one’s bank account, but Vanoss said that he has saved up enough money for his journey, through working as a program director for various informational companies throughout Europe.

Vanoss said the sailing is minimal, however.

But while on the water, Vanoss said the couple spend time relaxing on the boat, catching fish throughout the day, while each member alternates driving the boat, changing over at the rate "of about every four hours."

Vanoss said he and Clarke travel about 100 nautical miles a day.

The couple said they will be docked in Demopolis until Nov. 1.

Why Demopolis?

Vanoss and Clarke said that Demopolis is an inexpensive place to work on their boat.

Vanoss said that the place he enjoyed visiting the most so far – Haiti.

Besides the fun of sailing through the Caribbean, Vanoss said he is a jazz musician, who enjoys playing saxophone at various at stops throughout his and Clarke’s journey.