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19
4.7 out of 5 stars
Sea Legs: One Family's Year on the Ocean
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:£18.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2013
I picked up this book at the start of a train journey. I had read Guy Grieves Call of the Wild which for me was the perfect adventure book about wilderness, wildlife and survival in a country which I have always had a longing to visit. This latest book wasn't immediately attractive to me. A family sailing around the Caribbean, a region I have no interest in with its picture postcard palm tree fringed islands, large marinas and millionaire boats. I was in for a very different read than expected.
This is about buying an unseen, untested old sailing boat from a yard in Venezuela and sailing it home to the west coast of Scotland!! with your most precious cargo aboard - your family. From the first few pages in you feel you are also along for the ride. It isn't just about sailing and boats, its about weather and tides, people and cultures, landscape and wildlife, but mostly about the many perils on both sea and land that could turn this ambitious adventure into a nightmare.
The author is not the macho, this is how to do things, survivalist type, so he is easy to relate to. You really live the highs and lows from the violence of man and nature and in contrast the warm friendly welcomes and the discovery of enchanted places, but at all times you feel the vast distances and the vulnerability of this family. A great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2014
I am a big Guy Grieve fan, after following his monthly column in Coast magazine, which is how I found out about this book. I was riveted from the first page and really admire Guy and his family for doing this year on the boat - for making such a big effort to do something they found fulfilling, something that would benefit the whole family. You don't have to like or know about sailing, to enjoy this book, as there are not loads of boring descriptions of the technicalities of sailing. Rather, this is an honest account of what it was like to leave the humdrum behind for a year and sail around some amazing places, with his wife and 2 young boys. Guy doesn't shy away from being searingly honest about his insecurities and perceived "failings", and this makes the book even more likable - it is not a glossy account of some smarmy, rich yacht owner swanning off in a glitzy boat. They are just an ordinary family who took on an extraordinary journey. There were more uncomfortable moments than I was expecting....... But the overall impression the book leaves is one of a tight family unit having a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My only criticism is that weren't more photos in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2013
This is an amazing tale and I was so engrossed I could not put it down! Guy writes really well and you live through this journey with him and his family through hardship and joy as they sail for weeks in the most testing circumstances. It has a positive view on life though, despite setbacks from all quarters and the observations on the people they meet is truly up-lifting. There are many wonderful phrases throughout the book but my favourite has to be one written on an idyllic day just before an awful storm on the last leg across the Atlantic - 'united by our shared and soaring love of the sea'. I have never sailed but it do not matter, this is a book for everyone.
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on 20 December 2014
Puts you in a bit of a moral dilemma this one as does Guy's previous book "The Call of the Wild". Now if you're a bloke and you've got a pair you naturally want to go out and do daring deeds and escape the mundane "prison" of modern life. Great stuff BUT Guy does have a young family and some may struggle to reconcile the risks that he exposes both himself and his family to in his/their exploits in both books. If you believe that life is for the living then you'll have no problem. Dick Proenneke's "One Man's Wilderness" might be a good contrasting read, who achieved far more over a much greater period of time with much less help.
Having said all this Guy is undoubtedly a very brave, industrious, hard working and above all honest bloke who tells it warts and all.
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on 23 April 2015
About half-way through the book after several weeks of reading, and not sure I will get to the end. I really don't know why this family didn't just give up and go home. They seemed to have hated almost every minute of the experience and were constantly worried about their abilities, their equipment, and the people they met.

If this book tells you one thing, it is "don't". Don't sell up and take your family half-way round the world for an "adventure" without proper/adequate preparation. You may succeed, but is it really worth it for anyone.
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on 21 October 2014
I adored this book! It is a real life adventure story, a tale about embracing life, facing problems and overcoming them - written extremely honestly, with humour and integrity.

I have just bought two more copies for family who actually sail, but such is Guy's writing, you would enjoy it regardless of any experience on the water. Fabulous!
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on 30 August 2014
This was a fantastic tale of a family's desire to strike out from the ordinary and accomplish a great dream. Truly inspirational for us part time 'yachties' who yearn to take that step into full blown adventure.
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on 4 March 2015
Following a family's adventure especially around the Caribbean islands, were I was cruising at the time.
Very brave,exciting & at times very frightening, well done to the family
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on 5 December 2013
My only criticism was the language used which seemed unecessarily "earthy" in places although I could excuse it on the basis that it conveyed the stress of the occasion.
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on 3 March 2015
After reading about Guy Grieve in the Yukon I could not wait to read this book. Another good read from the pen of a top rate author and a fine gent.
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