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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars91
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 6 November 1998
I have read any number of books by small boat sailors, but never have I enjoyed one more than this. Why? I love success stories, and Capt. Slocum was the sort who assured his success before he set out. He anticipated, and prepared for every contingency, and he succeeded in spite of doubters. But, what really sets the book apart is its language and the scope of knowledge of this third-grader. I gave most my other 'sea' books away, but will keep this one forever.
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on 25 May 2004
I share other reviewers' enthusiasm for this book, but for me astonishment and admiration are the dominant emotions it evokes. At an age when most of us are ready to start taking it easy, and long before the days of modern aids to navigation and survival, Captain Slocum cobbles together his tiny boat and sets off around the world single-handed, braving wild seas and fending off wilder but barefoot natives with tin tacks scattered on the deck. Don't look for any modern angst or self-revelation as to why he decided to do it, or what drove him to persist when, for instance, it took him exhausting weeks of battling to get round the Horn. The whole saga is so quietly told that the man's huge competence, sagacity and sheer fortitude emerge only slowly. I'm no sailor, but this is one sailing book that I will always keep to hand for inspiration.
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on 3 October 1997
Slocum eases the reader on an adventure around the world, baiting us along with peaceful respect for the sea, and a love of sloitude. No hollywood storms or disasters. He is as good at story telling as he is at sailing. I would recommend his work to non-sailors and non-adventurers alike. This is a slice of history as he visits the South Pacific and South America in the 1800's, quietly cruising past a world just comming to grips with expansion into unknown cultures and countries. A wise "old Salt" and a teriffic story teller!
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on 3 October 1997
Slocum eases the reader on an adventure around the world, baiting us along with peaceful respect for the sea, and a love of sloitude. No hollywood storms or disasters. He is as good at story telling as he is at sailing. I would recommend his work to non-sailors and non-adventurers alike. This is a slice of history as he visits the South Pacific and South America in the 1800's, quietly cruising past a world just comming to grips with expansion into unknown cultures and countries. A wise "old Salt" and a teriffic story teller!
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on 24 February 2011
This book takes you on a facinating jouney to many wonderful ports & across vast oceans.In a boat that he constucted single handed over 13 months.
the authour is obviously a very human & humuorous man, which makes a very enjoyable read.The trip was made in a in a more innocent time in many ways,which adds to it's appeal.
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on 23 November 2007
After spending years commanding large merchant vessels, Capt Joshua Slocum completely rebuilds a 37 foot yacht and sets sail around the world in it. Slocum's grasp of the English language is exemplary as he describes his single-handed voyage around the world. The book is a fascinating insight into life 100 years ago when sailors were unable to use electronics for navigation, meteorology or helming and vessesls had to sail around the Capes as the "shortcut canals" (Panama and Suez) had not yet been constructed.
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on 27 April 2011
This is a classic sailing tale, by a man who did it. A good read and a must for any sailors library.
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on 13 November 2010
A tale of adventure and of different times and people (and fish). I loved this book for its pace, understatement and the descriptions of a different world. Truly an inspiring tale. How much do I need to save up before I can do my own circumnavigation?!
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on 12 April 2013
If I had my life again and if I had only read this book when I was 16 or 17, I may well have learnt to sail early on in life and then try to follow in Joshua Slocum's footsteps (so to speak)...or at least try to follow his route to adventure, fame and fortune. Not that he thereafter lived that long to enjoy his fame or fortune, dying mysteriously in his mid-60s in 1909 on his way from the USA to the West Indies in his famous sailboat, Spray. His book Sailing Alone Around the World has a wonderful and exciting narrative style, with short and pithy sentences. My wife liked the book as much as I did, perhaps even more. It surely encouraged us to learn to sail! You'll love the old Master's adventures and courage and acts of derring do….and sheer pluck…as well as luck. Many people might not even get as far as Land's End were they to try and sail from Plymouth westwards….but Joshua Slocum sailed from Boston, Massachusetts right round the world in just over three years starting April 24th, 1895….and on his own…a record that was not broken until Sir Francis Chichester did it again in 1966-67 via the clipper route in his yacht Gipsy Moth IV. Slocum stopped at several places en route, including Australia and South Africa, to have the boat re-fitted and see the countryside. His descriptions of the Cape are especially interesting. Chichester stopped once en route during his trip around the world….in Sydney, Australia, Sir Robin Knox Johnston did the whole thing in 1968-69 without ever touching land, and our very own Ellen MacArthur (now Dame Ellen) did the same amazing feat herself more recently (2004-2005), single handed in the fastest ever time with all the very real dangers that this involves. Surely, still one of the greatest feats a person can do, requiring great skill, stamina, courage, luck and the ability to sleep little and stay alert. So, all in all, I thoroughly recommend Slocum's uplifting book.
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on 6 January 2016
The importance of this early account of the first solo navigation cannot be over emphasised. The detailed accounts of balancing the Spray to sail her self, connect with a deep understanding of ocean behaviour must still be of much benefit to modern sailors. In preparation for the retro Golden Globe 2018 competitors could do well by using this book as a useful guide, where no modern equipment was available or invented, yet Joshua Slocum and the Spray got home safely. What happened to him in 1909, can only be surmised.
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