Ann Davison (1914-1992) was,
at the age of 39, the first woman single-handedly to sail the
Ocean. She departed Plymouth, England in her 23 foot boat Felicity Ann on May 18, 1952.
in Brittany, Portugal and the
Islands, before setting sail across the Atlantic on 20
November 1952, aiming to make land-fall in Antigua.
event storms pushed her south and having been driven past Barbados she
eventually touched land in Dominica on January
Her autobiographical account was published as
My Ship is So Small
(1956). The Felicity Ann, built in 1939, is currently in
private possession in Haines, Alaska undergoing restoration.
Ann Davison was the author of several other autobiographical works.
Her first book, Last Voyage
(Peter Davies, 1952) was
written to pay off debts incurred with her husband in re-furbishing
a 70 foot ketch, "Reliance
". In the book she describes her
life in the early 1930s as an aviator, delivering mail around the
UK, and her marriage to Frank Davison, another aviator, with whom
she bought and ran a small commercial airfield at Hooton which had
to be closed at the start of the Second World War. After the war
they bought "Reliance"
, with the aim of crossing the
Atlantic and starting a new life. The boat, which was moored at
Fleetwood on the Lancashire coast, required more refurbishment than
anticipated and Frank was unwilling to compromise on standards.
Debts grew, and with a writ of repossession about to be nailed to
the mast, Ann and Frank hurriedly set sail for the West Indies,
with the boat unfinished, and into the teeth of a gale. After
intense hardship, first blown down the Irish Sea then to the East
along the English Channel, they were wrecked on Portland Bill on 4
June 1949, where Frank died and Ann managed to scramble
book, Home was an Island (Peter Davies, 1952), describes
her and her husband's life after the sale of their airfield and
before the purchase of Reliance, during which time they
bought and farmed the small islands of Inchmurrin and then Inchfad on Loch Lomond.
In the Wake of the Gemini
(Little, Brown 1962) is an
account of a trip by small cabin cruiser, with twin outboard
engines, from Miami to the Hudson to the Great Lakes, then down to
Florida again by way of the Mississippi
(Peter Davies, 1964) describes a holiday
circumnavigating around part of the Florida coast in an outboard
driven speedboat with her second husband Bert. They fish and camp
and explore remote islands and sand banks.
According to the Museum of Yachting, Newport, Rhode Island, War Ann
and Frank worked as civilian flight instructors Second World. In
her autobiographical book Last Voyage
, however, Davison
did not mention any such occupation.