Dec 20, 2016
#173. The Reverend Bob Shepton, now 81, got his start shortly after WWII as a climbing instructor in the British Armed Forces, where he used the outdoors to teach leadership & scripture. He didn’t start sailing until much later in life, but got real serious about it real quickly. I sat down with him at the Southampton Boat Show to talk religion, spirituality, his early days as a climber, losing his boat during an Arctic winter, his 15 Atlantic crossings, meeting the Wild Bunch, and the story behind the film series ‘Vertical Sailing Greenland.’
The music in this episode is courtesy of the Wild Bunch.
Bob Shepton might not be a household name in the US, but he certainly is in the UK. He was honored as ‘Yachtsman of the Year in 2014, which may sound irrelevant until you realize the winners in 2013 & 2015 - that would be Sir Ben Ainslie & Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Good company indeed. Anyway, Bob is one of the most accomplished and yet most humble sailors I’ve ever met. My interview with him was like sitting down with your favorite grandfather and hearing him tell old stories. We could have talked for hours, and Bob seemed to enjoy every second of it. Before you listen to this episode, take five minutes and watch Episode 2 of Vertical Sailing Greenland - it’s linked for you in the show notes. That film is what initially inspired me to reach out to Bob, and he tells the behind-the-scenes story of it at length about halfway through our chat.