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Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat [Paperback]

Peter Nichols
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat 4.1 out of 5 stars (15)
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Book Description

10 Feb 2000
Peter Nichols set off for the USA to sell his boat when his marriage ended. Ten days from the U.S. coast the boat sprang a leak and he had to scupper it. More than a sea story this is a story about Nichols, his marriage and his boat.'

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New edition edition (10 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861971850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861971852
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An astonishing tale of survival, physical AND spiritual. But leave it at home if you're travelling by sea! -- The Sunday Express Review

Honest, poignant, full of humour, good sense and the sea. -- The Bath Chronicle, 1999

Nichol's account of his madcap voyage is intimate and introspective, but sparing enough in detail to remain dignified.. -- The Observer, 1999

What a tormented looking hunk! More to the point, Nichols is a very good writer. -- Daily Mail, 1999

Worthy of a place amongst the best survival stories.. -- The Sunday Times, 1999 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

I'm the editor and would love to chat with readers
If you're a fan of this book, or haven't read it but are a sailor, or an adventurer, or a veteran of the ebbs and flows of love--take a look at Sea Change and let me know what you think. This was an incredibly rewarding book to edit because Peter is such an amazing writer and we really shared the same vision for the book. It's such an intense experience to work on a book like this, yet I only get feedback from my friends and family (and you know what they think). I've always enjoyed and learned from talking to readers at book signings, so if you have comments or questions I'd like to chat with you. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mix of emotions - honest and informative 28 May 2003
Peter Nichols is a superb writer. The first emotion I experienced when reading this book was 'I'm going to enjoy this'. His prose is so crisp and flowing that you're just carried along with the story like a piece of flotsam on the ocean.
And what a story. At times heartrendingly open and honest about the break-up of his relationship, he mixes this seamlessly with his feelings about sailing and his trusty boat, Toad. He's sailing her to America to sell her, as the boat is the only thing of value that he and his ex-wife owned together.
The best recommendation I can give about this book is that I was reading it at the airport before a particularly nerve-wracking trip, and it inspired me enough to forget my worries and get on with the trip!
It's the kind of book that you buy just because. Just because it LOOKS interesting, even though you haven't read the blurb. The difference with this one is that it stays with you long after you finish it. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and sensitively written book! Fabulous! 14 April 2000
By A Customer
I first heard about this book from a short article in one of the broadsheet newspapers. It had just come out and I stopped off at my favorite (yes, I'm American!) London bookshop on my way somewhere or the other. I was disappointed that they hadn't yet received their copies! Flash-forward, a year later. I see the book in the shop, now in paper back. I snap up a copy. I read it, avidly from cover to cover. Now I want to be a sailor. What did I think? For one thing, it is very well-written and full of sailing fact and folklore--it would be a heck of a read if that was all it was. But it was much more than that: the real story is woven into the subtitle: "Alone across the Atlanic in a wooden boat". It is the story of a journey, of love and of a life. A life very much in progress--a man "under construction". This is an uplifting and courageous book about life and all that matters. I thought it was a fabulous book, thoughtful and sensitive without being TOO sentimental. I want a sequel--I want to know how he got on. I want to see him on another boat of his own, equally wonderful and idiocyncratic. I want him to be the captain of his boat and of his life, with another woman whom he loves as much as he loved J.--A woman could do worse!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate and original sea story 9 July 2001
By A Customer
I stumbled across this in a book shop and vaguely remembered it had very positive reviews. As a journalist, I'd just written a piece about sea survival, which required reading five classic non-fiction accounts. I enjoyed all of them and was left wanting more. This very personal tale would not have fitted into my story on subject matter alone but I truly came to relish the times when I could sit down and read it. A low key, honest account of an apparently doomed relationship, set against a number of sea voyages, might not sound compelling. Yet I found myself strongly rooting for the author and his partner (who is 'off-screen' throughout). Nichols writes marvellously about the sea and his small yacht, especially when he goes single-handed. I came to envy the experiences he's had - although he makes no attempt to romanticise them. There's none of the overheated language I've come to expect from authors who actually don't know the sea - such as Junger (The Perfect Storm). It manages to be intimate and real without betraying respect or confidences. His honesty is rewarding for the reader. I guess it's book about dreams not working out quite as one hopes. Nichols' bears his disapointments engagingly. I came to care about all the people and places he writes about. I still conjure up visions of him sitting alone in the cockpit at night, the self-steering mechanism guiding him across a big, empty ocean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Much more than a narrative of his single-handed attempt to cross the Atlantic, Peter Nichols keeps you engrossed with a fascinating picture of his life and travels. A must read for any sailor who wishes they had the freedom of spirit to attempt such a feat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is about one man's thoughts in the aftermath of a failed marriage. It is also about sailing alone, wherein the solitude becomes a kind of cleansing isolation. More comparable to the prairie meditations of Kathleen Norris (*Dakota*) than the recent spate of adventure-at-sea works, this true story will sweetly haunt your dreams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I wandered into a book store to find Peter Nichols there for a book signing, he spoke of his journey, his life before and after setting sail, he read from his book and I was glad I had the chance to meet him. I found the book riveting at times and a comfortable cruise at other times. I recomend it not only to someone who has an interest in the sea (I never did before this book) but to anyone whoever loved or hopes to love for I found it as much of a love story as a journal of the wooden ship of days goneby, now crossing the ocean. Get and read this book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much personal information .... 2 Dec 2012
By Richard
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another book on the shelf pre crossing the Atlantic. Not to underestimate the challenge of doing it on your own. An okay read sitting in a comfy armchair but could have done without hearing about his ex every five mins.
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Although I had certain expectations for a book with such a title, and these were not quite fulfilled, I found it very hard to stop reading! The narration grips you in an unexpected way, it leads you through more than "just" a crossing of the Atlantic, and that entwining of present and past was what caught my eye, did't give me a rest, until the last page was read! Maybe not a book for every sailor, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and will add it to my permanent on-board library!

An unexpected result of reading the book was the purchase of several books mentioned in Peter Nichols narrative! If you dream of crossing the Atlantic or going even further than that, in whatever boat, I highly recommend this book!
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