Moe & Joe on Virgin Fire
These books are very well written, entertaining, and full of soul. Many harken to a prior era in which people sought the prize of experience over the clothing, boats, and other gadgets employed to capture it. Many of these tales are about sailors who have found both adventure and personal fulfilment through voyaging in simple, often small boats, something close to my heart.
Cruising in Seraffyn by Lin Pardey: These days, it's hard to imagine sailing around the world in a boat just 26 feet long, but Lin and Larry Pardey did; and thanks largely to this wonderful book about their voyage, they became enshrined as leading statespeople of the cruising community. Their core message is to focus primarily on the minimum you need to accomplish your dreams, to prioritize actually taking off to capture experience over maximizing the tools (boat) with which to capture it. It's a wonderful example for any life, not to mention for a voyaging one. Lin and Larry have since published numerous books and videos, but this one will always stand out. Find out more and Buy.
The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier: The 1960 Golden Globe Race, the first nonstop singlehanded circumnavigating event ever held, generated a host of amazing sea stories. Before the era of fully professional, specialized speed machines and such crew friendly devices as self-tailing winches and autopilots, people like Moitessier took off on aquatic adventures with little more than simple boats and their wits. During this race, one sailor would be driven so hard that his boat was destroyed and he ended up committing suicide; another submitted to the pressure, tried to cheat, and was never seen again; Robin Knox Johnson meanwhile won sailing a small, double-ended wooden boat. But Moitessier stands out as the quintessential seaman and voyaging romantic. He grew up in Vietnam, sailed junks, and was already a survivor of shipwreck. A westerner with Eastern sensibilities, Moitessier was among the leaders when he decided to continue another half rounding of the world simply because he loved the sea and could not face the hoopla that would surround him had he finished the race. His prose captures for me the essence of why many of us voyage, despite its challenges. Simply not to be missed. Find out more and Buy.
Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum: Slocum, a ship's captain and the first man to single hand a boat around the world, was caught in the era between the great age of sail and its displacement by steam-driven ships. Slocum found himself out of work when he spied in a field an abandoned fishing boat. After rebuilding the boat, he set off, trail blazing an entire realm of shorthanded sailing in the modern era. Along the way, he outwitted pirates and survived a goat eating his charts, among other adventures. A real yarn spinner, Slocum must be read by anyone serious about voyaging the world. I highly recommend you also buy Slocum's Voyage of the Liberdade, in itself an incredible tale of how Slocum turned shipwreck into a successful journey. Find out more and Buy.
Trekka Around the World by John Guzzwell: Before the Pardeys, Laurent Giles was challenging the yachting establishment's traditions and norms by designing light weight and small boats that proved to be incredible achievers. His tiny Sopranino went across the Atlantic. John Guzzwell took a huge leap forward when he sailed the Giles-designed 22-foot Trekka around the world. Unlike today, when people seem to constantly try to claim a record by going a few inches smaller than the last guy, Guzzwell was, like the Pardeys, primarily interested in getting the job done, which required he go simple and small. Trekka proved a wonderful platform with which to maximize experience while minimizing the resources required to do so. Find out more and Buy.
Copyright © 2011 Steven Callahan