Now, the article here is really cool, but all I can think of is "I'm a rich old man, and I'm going to spend three years in total isolation with a girl thirty-one years younger than me who's never been on a boat before..."
If NASA one day fulfills the dream of sending a manned expedition to Mars, Reid Stowe will have plenty of advice for the first astronaut crew. He could offer suggestions on mundane details -- bring plenty of socks, because they wear out faster than you expect -- as well as deep thoughts. "You have to put yourself in a timeless state of mind," he says. "You have to really abandon everything that's on Earth, and just live."
The 55-year-old Stowe, a sailor and professional adventurer, is currently sailing the 70-foot schooner Anne through the South Atlantic. He's attempting to stay at sea, beyond the sight of land, for 1,000 days. Stowe calls his project the Mars Ocean Odyssey, because he thinks the journey will provide valuable lessons for a manned flight to Mars, when astronauts would be confined to a small vessel for two to three years, separated from terra firma and most of humanity.
Stowe has made a number of long, grueling sails, including a trip to Antarctica in 1986. But if he succeeds in this mission, it will not only be the longest trip of his career, he'll also shatter the 1988 record world record for the longest continuous sail -- held by Australian Jon Sanders, who was at sea for 657 days.
Stowe's only companion and crew is 24-year-old Soanya Ahmad, his girlfriend, who says she had never stepped foot on a boat before meeting Stowe four years ago. But the novice Ahmad seems to be well suited for the particular rigors of this voyage.