Blind sailor to cast off today

July 26, 1993

Hank Dekker, a blind sailor from San Francisco who hopes to add a solo Atlantic crossing to his list of maritime accomplishments, was to set sail at 10 a.m. today from the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

The 14- to 34-day voyage was to begin with a tow from the Inner Harbor to Cape May, N.J. From there, he will set out alone for Plymouth, England, 3,200 miles away.

He will navigate with special charts, a Braille compass and a satellite positioning system that speaks to him in a computer-synthesized voice.

In 1983, Mr. Dekker became the first blind person to sail from California to Hawaii, a trip he has now done twice.

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