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Where the Ocean Meets the Sky: Solo into the Unknown [Paperback]

Crispin Latymer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2009
'Nobody grows old living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.' When Crispin Latymer hit 50 he had a 'What now?' moment - and decided he wanted to sail the Atlantic solo. But he was no intrepid adventurer - Latymer was an ordinary sailor, used to cruising the coasts of the UK, who wanted to do something memorable before he was too old. His voyage turned into an epic. Only two days into his trip, Latymer was caught by Tropical Storm Delta. During the following 23 days he also broke two ribs, was followed by pirates in a scary incident off the Mauritanian coast, and then broke a toe. He describes it all as 'magical'. Writing in an understated, inspirational way that speaks to ordinary sailors just like himself, Crispin's captivating story will encourage other cosy cruisers to break out of their comfort zone and dare to push their boundaries to where the ocean meets the sky.

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Where the Ocean Meets the Sky: Solo into the Unknown + Solitaire Spirit: Three times around the world single-handed + Just Sea and Sky: England to New Zealand the Hard Way
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Adlard Coles Nautical; Reprint edition (15 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140811402X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408114025
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...a riveting read with actual relevance to those planning such a trip...real sailing - real emotion.' --Practical Boat Owner

'For those whose aspirations to sail solo are in their infancy this is a very worthwhile book including his "Lessons Learnt". --Royal Naval Sailing Association Journal

'The book is very readable, and the author has achieved much of what many of us of a similar vintage would like to achieve before we run out of time.' --Nautical Magazine

About the Author

Crispin Latymer works in London's financial markets and had sailed with family and friends in the UK and Europe for many years before setting out on his epic solo Atlantic crossing. He undertook the voyage in 2005 for charity and raised GBP40,000 in the process.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story about living a dream 3 Feb 2010
I found this one of the best written books on sailing I have ever read - and I haven't had a moment's hesitation in recommending it to all my friends - even to those with barely any interest in sailing. And I think that is the magic of Crispin Latymer's writing. He turns what could be a rough-tough all masculine adventure into a fascinating insight into taking on an adventure into, literally, the unknown.

I think one of the best ways to start the book is to read his wife's view of the whole adventure, encapsulated in a few pages at the back as an Appendix. I defy anyone not to be touched by the humour, love and dedication that shines through.

For those that want to hear about his adventure, it's there too, and plenty of it. As a self-confessed sailing enthusiast I loved the story and the detail. I was right there as he strapped himself into his berth and rode out Hurricane Delta; hopefully as close as I ever want to be to a hurricane. I hope too, never to be confronted with a boat shadowing me and behaving very like a pirate. If you want exhilaration, his description of surfing his 40 foot yacht down 4 metre waves at nearly 12 knots takes some beating. Solo too! But then, perhaps that was why he ended up surfing in 20 knots of wind!

I think the combination of humour and humility turn this from another me-too adventure story into something much more. What starts as a tale of an ordinary person tackling an adventure turns into a remarkable tale of an extraordinary person going out there and actually grabbing his dream.

I'm not sure which is the better endorsement; that I couldn't put it down or that my wife swiped the book off me and read it throughout too!

I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars never too late 5 Nov 2009
Thrilled to find this book. Approaching 50, the author did what many mid lifers have thought about but dismissed as 'too late' - a transatlantic. What's more, he made it sound acheivable. He went solo (which I wouldn't), but I was really interested in the tips and lessons learned section, especially the consideration given to practical issues. Good everyday advice learned fom experience rather than books. I never realised that the Trade Winds could be quite so genuinely challenging. A great read, strongly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A warm mug of a read. 19 Sep 2009
Much enjoyed reading this book - was fortunate enough to meet Crispin at the boat show in Southampton this year, where he signed a copy to me personally. One of life's more charming gentlemen - an impression only reflected in his writing style. The book is a tender mixture of sailing specifics, with thoughts on family - and most interesting to me, his decision to make such an adventure and set himself the challenge (he had wanted to cross the Atlantic since his teens, but had allowed his dream to fade for thirty years before seizing the day and going for it). An inspiration to all those who have allowed their dreams to slip - Crispin's solo crossing of the Atlantic ocean gives us all something for thought. Now just trying not to let my wife read it - there will be no excuse for my idleness! Hiding it under slippers and newspaper ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 17 Feb 2009
I read the first edition of this book and really enjoyed it. It is a good mix of the nautical techie stuff, with enough boys own adventure to keep one engaged, but also with an interesting unsentimental insight into the authors personal life and feelings as he undertook the trip. Honest. Funny. I have lent my copy to others who have enjoyed it - and not sailors either. Interesting. It made me both laugh and cry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At sea 24 Oct 2009
By Anon
As someone who feels sick looking at a boat, I was surprised to find myself tempted to undertake such a challenging journey, but good sense prevailed! I found the book thoroughly enjoyable and it brought to life an experience that was at once difficult and yet inspiring. The book takes you through the journey and makes you feel part of every experience. Undoubtedly a fascinating read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changing voyage of 23 days 10 Mar 2010
Before he set out to travel singlehandedly across the Atlantic, Crispin Latymer was a banker who liked to sail. But these 23 days changed his vision and chances are that he is now a sailor working as a banker for a living. Nothing really spectacular happened. Sure, he has been (supposedly) followed by pirates, went through (the fringe of) a tropical storm, suffered several (short) gale episodes in the inter-tropical convergence zone, but what really changed him was wind and water, the endless voyage towards the place "where the ocean meets the sky". In his very simple and honest way, his well written story helps us all to understand why we go to sea. This is a must read for all sailors, even those of us who spent years out there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life begins at 50! 1 Feb 2010
This is an interesting account of an amateur sailor who put himself to the test of crossing the Atlantic single handed. There is sufficient humility in the story to see how the rest of us non-sailing professionals may experience such an adventure. The comparison with his father's similar voyage is interesting and particularly his account of the "father-son" relationship.Overall it is an enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From an armchair adventurer 26 Oct 2009
Like other challenges, it's not until one is given the opportunity to understand the full consequences of such a mission, that the enormity, ever-present danger and guts required to do it can really be envisioned by an inexperienced observer. This book fills in all the unknowns, the unthought of delights and terrors in a wonderfully engaging and often very amusing style. Accustomed as we are to the armchair safety of televised adventure, this book shakes out the imaginative juices and gives them a good run for their money. From an altogether different trajectory, witnessing at close quarters the burdensome heritage of a deeply disappointing family relationship also gives the reader pause for thought about the human condition and what it means to be a good parent. I loved this book completely and would recommend it to anyone with a desire to get on with life and lead it to the full. Bravo!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read
Crispin has delivered an honest and interesting account of this huge adventure. Written in an enjoyable and often humorous manner. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Lowry
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of ninety nine pence
Poorly written by a person who comes across as smug and self-centred in the extreme that you would expect from what he gives of his background. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Creagh-osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave Adventure
Very good story especially for anyone with sailing experience but does go on a bit about the authors relationship with his Father however he does capture the periods of being... Read more
Published 9 months ago by john shewell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fascinating read
Fascinating account of one man's solo sailing trip and how he copes with the elements and his ability to cope on his own.
Published 9 months ago by Prilly Baron
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Although this is a little of a wave by wave account of an atlantic solo, it has enough literary merit and personal insights to make it a fascinating read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Antony Tomkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Good easy read
Slightly daunted by the prospect of middle age I came on this inspiring read. Got a bit technical for me in parts but otherwise excellent
Published 9 months ago by Robbo1981
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive
I always enjoy true stories of the sea and this was no exception. One is drawn into Crispin's voyage almost as much as being there. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jeff
3.0 out of 5 stars Where the Ocean Meets the Sky
Basically the story about a wealthy man who solo sails across the Atlantic in his fabulously equipped yacht. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Hally
5.0 out of 5 stars What can be achieved !!
At the beginning of another year, its easy to make those resolutions about how one is going to change ones life . By Easter most have been forgotten or given up on . Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2012 by Henry Green
1.0 out of 5 stars Posh boy with father complex
Practically unreadable unless you like the constant repetition of "I". I stopped reading after page 25, browsed through the next tranche of pages and then gave up.
Published on 30 May 2011 by pl
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