Book Review: Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum

After a tough  introduction into the hard-core world of solo sailing, not to mention in an open boat, I was totally hooked and decided that I should continue the study of the history of small boat sailing from its beginnings, namely from the first ever solo circumnavigation. This mighty feat was achieved by Joshua Slocum, an experienced sailor from Nova Scotia at the turn of the 19th century, in his 36-foot sloop Spray. Using solely traditional methods of navigation he undertook and East-West circumnavigation, and in its course he was also the first to cross the Straits of Magellan in…

Book Review: The Ocean Waits, by Webb Chiles

I had to know how Webb Chiles’ open boat circumnavigation ended… and so I followed him from the New Hebrides where he recovered his boat, all the way to Saudi Arabia where he was imprisoned and lost his boat again, only this time for good. And then again a year later, with a new identical boat departing from the Red Sea, crossing the Mediterranean and reaching the Canary Islands. Overall, his voyage is a true inspirational story and his feat unique in the history of small boat sailing. After reading many-many accounts of single-handed voyages, Webb’s books still remain among…

Book Review: The Open Boat: Across the Pacific, by Webb Chiles

And since after reading Storm Passage I have become a huge fan of Webb Chiles, I decided to continue my sailing readings with Webb’s depiction of his second voyage, his bold attempt to cross the oceans in an open boat. And I was not disappointed – his adventures surpassed everything I could have imagined. His boat was capsized twice, he endured strong gales, experienced unique moments in the Pacific islands, and finally lost his boat and drifted for two weeks in his life raft before managing to come ashore on an island in the New Hebrides…. Fabulous stuff, although I…

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

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…