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I am not a fan of this word in general as it is so abused and over-used. We have hockey heroes, football heroes, hot dog eating contest heroes, and political heroes. The list seems endless these days.

Yet heroes there are. They walk among us, unsung and unnoticed. And I suspect that each of us has a real hero that they look up and aspire to, and admire. I have mine.

For as long as I can remember, my older brother has been my rock and foundation, my guide-post, my saviour, and mentor. He has been, and always will be my hero.

I have written of him only in passing. Yet there isn’t a day that goes by that he is not here with me. He is unflappable and when I tremble at what lies ahead I think of him. He is judicious and when I want to rush at what must be done I think of him. He is thorough and meticulous and when I am looking for a shortcut I think of him. He is calm and even-tempered and when I feel my temperature start to rise, I think of him.

I know of no one with a sharper mind or quicker wit. To watch him at work in a court of law is like watching a knife glide through butter. He will tell you that he’s in the business of dispensing rough justice to the unwashed masses but I will tell you that he is in the business of looking out for the rights of the underdog and for skewering those who abuse the rights of others.

Growing up we were inseparable. There was nothing he did that I didn’t want to do. And he did everything well, instilling in me the drive to excel at whatever I put my hand to. Wherever he went, I went and never once in all those years was I shooed away as a nuisance and bother. I was accepted as an equal, instilling in me the idea and practice that all are worthy of your attention and time no matter the differences there might be.

And lastly, less I go on forever, he is a renaissance man and adventurer and was those things before we had labels for them, a tremendous athlete and dedicated father, and beyond generous with his time and skills with those things and issues that he is passionate about.

Who else do you know has an actual action figure named and modeled after him? My big brother Jan does. There is an actual Action Jan Major Matt Mason-esque plastic figurine complete with fly rod, bow, mountain bike and camo gear. Sadly, not available in stores.

Action Jan, my life-long hero and big brother turns the calendar on another year today. April 3 is his birthday. Happy Birthday Jan. I miss you terribly and can’t wait to see you again.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

  • Marcel Neamtu
    Posted at 07:14h, 06 December Reply

    What an adventure! But i do have a comment about the structure of the blog: it’s very hard for a late reader to read your earlier posts in a timely order or something. Very annoying to scroll all the time to your earlier posts..is there anything or I can be done? Am I missing something? If yes, pardon my ignorance.
    Cheers and take care!

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