Trekka was built by John Guzzwell in Victoria and launched into the Inner Harbour in August, 1954. Her keel had been laid, clamped and glued-up in the boiler room of the YMCA and the rest of her building done in a storeroom at the rear of Johnny Bell’s fish and chip shop on View Street. Trekka means “to journey” and journey she did – from Victoria around the world and back again!
Departing one fine September day – the 10th to be exact – in 1955, John Guzzwell sailed Trekka to the Hawaiian Islands via San Francisco. From there the route was southward to the South Pacific Islands with New Zealand as the planned destination. During the voyage Trekka was often in company with another well-known yacht, Tzu Hang, sailed by Miles and Beryl Smeeton of Salt Spring Island.
In New Zealand, Trekka was laid up for 16 months while her captain, John Guzzwell, joined the crew of the Tzu Hang. In this time, he survived the pitchpoling (capsizing end over end) of Tzu Hang near Cape Horn and assisted in getting the damaged vessel safely to a port in Chile.
In December, 1957, Guzzwell readied Trekka to depart once again on their original journey. Here, she survived a cyclone and delivered Guzzwell through the waters of the Great Barrier Reef into the Indian Ocean. The little vessel later passed the stormy Cape of Good Hope and continued through the Atlantic to the Pacific and eventually the Panama Canal.
Trekka completed her epic voyage as the smallest vessel to circumnavigate the globe. She returned to Victoria on September 12th, 1959 almost exactly on the anniversary of her original departure. She then began a different journey through different owners until the spring of 1980 when she was brought home for good. The Thermopylae Club of Victoria made arrangements with her then owner, Eric Abranovich, for her purchase and delivery back home.
Abranovich sailed the little vessel from Honolulu on August 10th of that same year and after 3500 miles and about 50 days, he sailed her into the Inner Harbour. He and Trekka were greeted by hundreds of people as well as, John Guzzwell, her original builder and master.
Today, Trekka is a proud addition to the Maritime Museum of BC and, after a little restoration, will be viewable to the public.