The obituary of John Faiffax makes a great read about what was quite an adventurous life. Including rowing across two oceans, working as a pirate and living in the jungle at the age of 13. A few quotes I liked:
“At 13, in thrall to Tarzan, he ran away from home to live in the jungle. He survived there as a trapper with the aid of local peasants, returning to town periodically to sell the jaguar and ocelot skins he had collected…
When piracy lost its luster, he gave his boss the slip and fetched up in 1960s London, at loose ends. He revived his boyhood dream of crossing the ocean and, since his pirate duties had entailed no rowing, he began to train….
Their crossing, from San Francisco to Hayman Island, Australia, took 361 days — from April 26, 1971, to April 22, 1972 — and was an 8,000-mile cornucopia of disaster.
‘It was very, very rough, and our rudder got snapped clean off,’ Ms. Cook said. ‘We were frequently swamped, and at night you didn’t know if the boat was the right way up or the wrong way up.’
Mr. Fairfax was bitten on the arm by a shark, and he and Ms. Cook became trapped in a cyclone, lashing themselves to the boat until it subsided. Unreachable by radio for a time, they were presumed lost.”