A journey of biblical proportion
01 September 2015
Visit Seattle skipper Huw Fernie is taking an artefact of maritime history around the world with him which holds great significance for both his grandfather and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
Just before Sir Robin set off to make the first ever solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in June 1968, Huw's grandfather, Rev David Roberts, the Chaplain for the Mission to Seamen in Falmouth, presented him with a Bible.
After 312 days at sea, on 22 April 1969, Sir Robin sailed back into Falmouth, and the history books, and returned the bible, signed by himself, to Padre Roberts. The Bible circumnavigated again on the ship Endeavour with Captain Chris Blake. Incidentally Chris was Second Officer on the liner Kenya when Sir Robin was First Officer.
Now the bible is setting off around the world for its fourth time with grandson Huw.
Huw, pictured with his Aunt Siân and Sir Robin ahead of Race Start, says: “The bible was originally a gift to Sir Robin when he left Falmouth with Suhaili, and after the trip Robin returned it. It then went with Nigel Rowe as he competed in the Around Alone race and once again was returned safely. It left aboard the replica of Captain Cooks Endeavour and completed its third circumnavigation under Captain Blake. As my grandfather had passed away by this point it was passed on to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall by my Aunt Siân, where it has been safeguarded ever since.
pleased that the museum has loaned me the bible for my own circumnavigation. It
was a wonderful gesture by my grandfather to Robin and I’m pleased to be able
to keep its journey going in his memory.”
Sir Robin adds: “Before I left for the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968, The Rev David Roberts asked me whether I had a Bible. I said I did not so he bought me one. Now one of our skippers Huw Fernie, who happens to be the grandson of Rev David Roberts has decided to take it on his own circumnavigation. It was a much appreciated gesture by David and I’m really pleased that Huw will now get to share it for himself.”
The bible was also used during Sunday’s blessing of the fleet.
Click here to find out more about the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.