Joshua Slocum was believed to be the first man to sail single-handed around the world. After a distinguished career, where he worked his way up from cabin boy to captain, Joshua Slocum wrecked his ship off the coast of Brazil. Turning this catastrophe to his advantage, he built a sailing canoe from the wreckages, and sailed back to New York. Moreover, he wrote Voyage of the Liberdad a chronicle of his trip, and earned some literary success. This was the spur to attempt his perilous voyage!