Who sailed the ocean alone first

On a December evening in 1875 in the American town of Gloucester, local fishermen were sitting peacefully in the Harpoon Line beer hall. Suddenly, one of them announced that he was going to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in a small fishing boat.

This daredevil turned out to be Alfred Jensen, a 27-year-old native of Denmark who has lived in America for many years. Jensen was a fisherman and had a reputation as a fearless sailor. But even his comrades, who knew Alfred well, did not believe in the reality of this insane plan.

But the stubborn Dane did not intend to retreat from his goal and began to build a sailing ship. He named his ship "Centenniel" ("Century"), as he decided to devote his voyage to the centenary of US independence.

On June 16, 1876, the brave traveler left the port of Gloucester and went to Sag Harbor, where he completed the equipment of the ship and on June 25 headed for Europe. Alfred Jensen had to travel 2, 500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

This sailor had to endure many dangers. Already at the beginning of the journey, Alfred was caught in a violent storm that lasted five days. With difficulty it was possible to keep the ship on the right course. Only on the sixth day Jensen was able to rest a little.

Sometimes in the open ocean there were ships, the crew of which was very surprised to see a lone traveler on a small sailing ship. Jensen was repeatedly offered to board the ship and sail to Europe as a passenger, but the proud Dane refused such a temptation.

On August 2, already at the end of the journey, not far from the Irish island of Clear Island, a terrible storm hit Jensen again. The sailor was thrown overboard and saved only by a safety rope, with which Jensen tied himself to the mast. During the storm, the entire supply of food and fresh water was lost.

Fortunately, the American brig Alfredon approached the Centennial and shared water and bread with Alfred.

On August 9, after forty-six days of fighting the Atlantic, Alfred Jensen reached the coast of England. He moored ashore near Cape St. Davis, where he rested for two days and went to Liverpool.

A few weeks later, Jensen loaded his sailboat onto a steamer and set sail from Liverpool back to Gloucester. This time as a passenger.

Alfred Jensen returned to America as a real hero. Friends were proud of him and nicknamed "Jensen-century". A desperate sailor showed that a man, even alone, is able to fight the formidable ocean element.