Andy Larson was born in Alberta Canada and grew up on a farm. His first job after leaving school was as a railroad Morse code telegrapher. He then became a commercial writer in Canadian radio and television, before leaving Canada in 1962. Signing on as a deckhand on a Norwegian freighter, he sailed to Africa, signing off in Durban, where he worked for a large department store as advertising manager.
With a Canadian friend, he bought a jeep and drove up through central Africa, into the Congo, during the Katangan rebellion, stopping for a year in Nairobi, where he continued to write, first as a newspaper reporter, then in an advertising agency. The agency transferred him to Hong Kong, where he married, and then sent him to Malaysia as manager.
He left to start a computer company in 1975, eventually moving to Australia in 1987 where he became a communication networks designer manager. His last venture was to build a television studio and set up an educational television network to assist professionals in architecture, accounting and the law to continue their professional education.
In 2008, he went walk-about, and began writing. After publishing three books, he bought an ocean-going sailboat in Vancouver, sailed alone down the Pacific coast to Mexico, and then across the Pacific single-handed to Australia. There he finished his 7th book, and while sitting on his yacht Rafiki at the CYCA Marina, he astonished everyone when he announced his plan, and a brave one that would make yachting history––to sail alone around the world via the Northwest Passage. He did more than just announce his plan, he set off.
He departed Sydney in May 2013 but turned back due to an overheating engine. After repairs, he set off again the next day. About a hundred miles out, rough seas upset water he was boiling, scalding his right forearm so badly he had to return to Sydney for medical help. The delay was fortunate for Andy. A cyclone in the Arctic churned the ice up so much it blocked the Northwest Passage; it was likely Rafiki would have been trapped in the ice.
In 2015 it was very warm in Alaska, the channels opened up and Andy set out again.
It’s not fair to tell the rest of the story; we have to leave that to Andy in his next book.
Andy learned to sail about 35 years ago, but it wasn’t until he reached the age of 72 that he decided to buy a boat. He was 79 when he set out on his third circumnavigation.