Book Review: STORM PASSAGE: Alone Around Cape Horn, by Webb Chiles

Storm Passage

This was my first modern sailing narrative and I could not have picked a better one! Webb Chiles, now a 5 time circumnavigator and the first one to circle the world in an open boat in the late 70s – early 80s, describes in a vivid and sometimes humorous manner his first attempt at rounding Cape Horn. In doing so with a leaky boat that required an enormous amount of bailing every day, he became the first American sailor to round the famous cape on solitaire. Born and raised far from the sea and completely self-taught in the art of sailing, Webb shows that through sheer determination, skill and not ultimately some luck, anyone can achieve even the wildest dreams. His book starts with the following line “I was born for this moment and for all the days ahead.”, setting a tone of self-assurance and acceptance that whatever happened his endeavour was of his own making. He lived, countless times, to tell this and other stories, tales that made me realise that circling the world in a small boat is something achievable even by someone who hasn’t set foot on a sailboat yet.

Amazon link

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