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Airbourne a Sentimental Journey Paperback – 1977


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Paperback, 1977
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Not your everyday parachute adventure. 29 Mar. 2000
By Gerald J. Landers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Buckley at his most relaxed. The book chronicles a trans-atlantic crossing under sail, starting with insuring that the ship is seaworthy, through picking the crew and plotting the course to the "mundane" aspects of a sea advdnture. Along the way one has the rare chance to observe a crew interacting spontaneously. The use of the ship's log to aid in the revealing the details and even the thoughts of some of the shipmates make the story all the more enjoyable. By journey's end you feel like you know what it must be like to cross the mighty Atlantic under the power of sail. A surprisingly enjoyable read as you and Buckley glide towards Europe.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Delightful Read 3 Jun. 2008
By A. Courie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
William F. Buckley's "Airborne: A Sentimental Journey" is an entertaining and humorous chronicle of Buckley's trans-Atlantic sail with his son and a group of good friends. This isn't a strictly-constructed story but reads instead more like a collection of loosely-connected essays about sailing and seamanship, along with excerpts from the ship's log, culminating in their Atlantic crossing.

With typical Buckley wit, he describes his first sailboat, its demise, and his second sailboat. He waxes on about his observations of sailors, the qualities that make good crew (and friends) aboard a boat, and even describes (in detail) how to make position fixes using the sun and stars.

Buckley's writing shines in this introspective look at himself, his son, his friends, and their journey. I often tab pages with good quotations to remember, and this book was filled with tabbed pages by the time I finished reading it.

Although the book is a bit dated, it's a charming and delightful read for anyone who enjoys sailing or is a fan William F. Buckley's writing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Can't put down 24 July 2013
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like sailing, this and 2 other Buckley books on sailing are a much read.... and than again it's Wm F Buckley, It's up to you.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
interesting, funny 17 Mar. 2010
By 1riverrat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book, it is funny, intersting, and Bill Buckly is an interesting man.
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
too "clubby" for this sailor-Chichester's book better 1 Oct. 2009
By desert reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First, I am a fan of Buckley from his Firing Line shows to his ability to accurately skewer the liberal opposition.
Thought his would be a recreational diversion, and to some degree one is a voyeur of this journey.Unfortunately, one does not feel a crew member. Even readers like me from a middle class family with years of postgraduate and professional education may sense a feeling of alienation at the lifestyle reflected by this yachting set.

It's not a feeling of resentment but more like visiting an alien social planet. There are indeed honest and vivid descriptions of what can and does go wrong with a boat, at precisely the worst time on a voyage, and Buckley's descrtiptions of such adventures do not gloss over cases of carelessness or neglect by the crewmember responsible.

The essay on expertise and responsibility for competent maintenance is given poignancy by the example of the nonswimmer who drowned on a Hudson River evening cruise because he sat on an unsupported lifeline.

I tended to become irritated with "WFB"'s spontaneous beginning of an anecdote, then jumping to another recollection, then returning to try to complete the anecdote. It may work in conversation but as a literary device it smacks more of rapid free association which tests the reader's patience.

Also irritating was the frequent use of the first names of people I do not know. There was just too much name dropping of WFB friends.

I hestitate to be too critical of Buckley's writing here for fear that maybe it is just beyond me. But I immediately dismiss that; my respect for his debating and literary political prowess cannot impair my judgement that this book is worth at best a quick read from a library copy.

If you really want to go along for the voyage, I highly recommend Sir Francis Chichester's "Gypsy Moth IV" account of his round the world solo sail. That book is masterful in placing you, the reader, in the eye of the storms of Cape Horn and beyond.
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