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Read "Five Hundred Days Before the Mast" in the Summer 1999 issue of ADVENTURE.

related web-sites
small arrowThe Voyages of the Barque Picton Castle
Visit the homepage of the ship featured in ADVENTURE's "Five Hundred Days Before the Mast."

small arrowThe Whitbread: A Race Around the World
Hitch a harrowing ride across the Indian Ocean with a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographer.

    Adventure Forum
  Eighteen Months on the Edge

They had quit their jobs, dropped out of school, sold their houses, left their spouses, and put themselves in hock. Junkies? Gamblers? Well, yes and no.

In late 1997, 25 would-be mariners anted up as much as U.S. $32,000 apiece for the supreme seafaring fix: 18 months of on-the-job training aboard a tall ship. By the time ADVENTURE's story hits the stands, they'll have been sunburned and storm-tossed, seen 40 exotic ports of call, and become masters of "everything from celestial navigation to coconut technology"—certifiable salty dogs.

So what shivers your timbers? What adventure would be worth 18 months of your life?

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