Determined to have a chance at adventure, 71-year-old Richard Carr set out in May, 2017 to attempt to circumnavigate the globe solo in his 36-foot sailboat, Celebration. As his daughter Ali Carr Troxell reports at Outside, Carr’s progress slowed and his communication became nonsensical three weeks into the journey as he sailed toward his first stop in the Marquesas. Was it sleep deprivation, mental collapse, or a pirate attack that was causing his odd behavior?

Then Mom tells me something I didn’t know. “He always felt like we got the life I wanted, not the life he wanted, filled with adventure—diving and sailing,” she says. “He didn’t care about living in a nice house. He cared more about living in other places and exploring.”

“When he talked about buying the boat, I tried to offer him alternatives to make life more exciting,” Mom says. “But he couldn’t be swayed.”

Eventually, they were too far along to turn back. “It felt like the boat was in charge of him,” she says. “I know it wasn’t personal but still, the fact that he went off on this trip felt like I wasn’t enough. Ultimately, the boat won.”

Dad loved us—that’s why he compromised on how he wanted to live. His obsession with the boat and the trip suddenly made sense to me. He wanted to reclaim his life.

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