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Around the world in eighty months

PHOTO GALLERY

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Even amid the conspicuous wealth of Southern California boat owners, it's hard to ignore the baby blue behemoth parked at the dock. Fischer bought it from an old Alaskan boater who had the resources and raw gall to outfit the vessel as a mothership, capable of transporting smaller boats anywhere in the world, through any sort of weather. (It's a point of pride, as well as of confidence, that the boat was at one time featured in documentaries about crab fishing the in the Bering Sea.)

As Fischer tells it, he encountered the boat one night in March while on a shoot in Costa Rica. The boat's lights were on, attracting snook, and Fischer rode to it in a skiff to fish around it. The next day, after touring the boat, he and its owner sat in the cabin upstairs, where Fischer now keeps his atlas. The man had put a great deal of money into overhauling the boat — Fischer declines to offer numbers for publication, but it was well into seven figures.

The owner explained to Fischer he was getting older, and would hand over the keys for a third of what he had put into it.

"I just reached out my hand, shook his hand and said, 'Deal,'" Fischer recalls. "On the spot. The morning after I saw it. Because I knew I could never put a program like this together financially. That was my one chance in life. I had to go for it, even though I didn't really understand what I was getting into."

He closed on the boat August 1. Since then, Fischer and his crew have been chewing on one big question: Now what?

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