Teen sailor returns after smooth sail across the Atlantic

Aug 6, 2022

MARION – After spending 28 days in solitude on the high seas, 16 year-old Cal Currier has returned to shore to plenty of company.

Since docking in Lagos, Portugal, Currier appeared on the Today Show, reunited with loved ones in Marion and Duxbury, and flew home to Palo Alto, California — just in time to start his junior year of high school.

Currier took off from the Marion harbor on June 27. Marion has significance to the California teen, who has spent every summer there with his grandparents, Tinker and Bill Saltonstall, and attended Tabor Camp.

“I don’t think I’ve ever spent a summer in California,” he laughed.

Currier only learned to sail at the beginning of this year, but he worked hard, attending sailing classes every weekend, and he credits his parents' confidence in him as a huge part of his journey.

“Not many parents would let their kids do that,” he said. But his family knew exactly what Currier was getting into.

His father grew up racing dinghies and sailed across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in his twenties. And his grandfather, Saltonstall, was co-founder of the Buzzards Bay Regatta, and sailed across the Atlantic twice.

The Currier family believes Cal might be the youngest person ever to sail the Atlantic alone. Currier’s father, James, noted that it was hard to be completely sure, because the Guiness Book of World Records told him that they did not want to encourage anyone younger than 16 to take the trip.

Currier explained the experience of seeing his family again after a month alone at sea as “surreal.” He said that all the days tended to blend together while he was at sea, and his biggest struggle was managing his boredom.

Even though he brought dense high fantasy novels, such as “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” he finished them quickly and spent a lot of time looking out over the water.

That was okay because, for Currier, it was all about enjoying the journey.

“The funny thing about this trip was that it was never designed or meant to be fun,” he said. “It was meant to be meaningful, so the knowledge that I was accomplishing this was my favorite thing about it.”

Currier said that the journey was a smooth one, apart from the last three days, where he was often raising and lowering the sails as a result of changing winds. But at no point was he worried or scared, he said.

His boat, the Argo, held up so well that the day after he landed, he said “could’ve left again.” Currier raised the funds for the boat himself by tutoring in physics and seeking sponsorships.

Currier is already tentatively planning his next journey, a trip through the Mediterranean Sea next summer.

“I think all kids should try to do really cool things,” he said, adding that being a kid is the point in your life where you don’t have as many responsibilities. “There’s so many options. You can climb mountains or go on long walks. There’s so many things to do with your life other than spending time on Tiktok.”