CLIPPER Race adventurer Jonpaul Lowles has arrived safely home after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on the Liverpool 08 boat in an awe-inspiring trip of a lifetime.
The 36-year-old Barnstondale Centre fundraiser left Jamaica on May 24 in the last leg of the round the world yacht race.
He chased storm systems with 16 other crew members to increase knot speed and challenge the other nine boats in the fleet.
Throughout the journey, the Liverpool 08 boat sailed around the Statue of Liberty, through the Bermuda Triangle and across the Grand Banks of Newfoundland where the Titanic sank in 1912.
Jonpaul, who won his place in the race, said: “After finishing third in our first race of the last leg, we all sat on the boat watching a Caribbean sunrise when all of a sudden there were pilot whales on the bow of the boat - it was incredible.
“Another night the water was phosphorescent and there was thick fog surrounding us, but when we looked up we could see the full moon captured inside rainbows - you couldn’t buy moments like this.
“Other times were terrifying - we were travelling in storm force 10 winds one day when the boat was forced on its side with the sail still up.
“I was gripping on to the boat as we were being catapulted across raging waves and I thought, this is it, this is where I die.
“We managed to cut the rope to let the sail down and the boat came back upright - afterwards we were all screaming and shouting because we were alive.”
The Liverpool 08 boat sailed back into the Mersey on July 5, finishing in fifth place.
Jonpaul added: “I was awestruck when I heard the crowds - I had to fight back the tears.
“The whole experience was absolutely enthralling. I didn't want to go to sleep when I arrived home because I knew if I did, it would be over.”