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on 21 January 2017
This version has NO illustrations at all. No drawings of the Spray, no chart(s) to indicate the route, no photos and none of the delightful Fogarty illustrations that I have seen in other versions. It is of course a marvelous read as I already knew and I bought this for someone else as a present. This edition is a sad version and I am returning it. Specifically If you look at the appendix for the body plan and Lines and sail plan of the 'Spray' , detail of the self steering, the cabin layout & accommodation, they have put all the text and cut all six plans that the text describes. There are other editions of this great yarn, which I think are far preferable.
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on 16 September 2017
To say this book is very interesting is an understatement. To think that more than a hundred years ago Capt Slocum sailed without GPS and Navtex, no laptop navigational chart software, his difficulties in acquiring a chronometer, no apps to predict wind direction and strength, is just so inspirational. In addition, Capt Slocum has a flair for writing! His prose at times was amazing, in the early sections as he sets off on his voyage, he says "waves dancing joyously across the bay met her coming out of the harbour to dash them into myriads of sparkling gems..." and "the day was perfect, the sunlight clear and strong. Every particle of water thrown in the air became a gem., and the Spray bounding ahead snatched necklace after necklace from the sea and as often threw them away"...and later another "when I sang a favourite chant a porpoise jumped up from the water higher than the bowsprit!"... Also amazing was how in several places where he visited people seemed to already know he was on a world voyage, all in an age where communications were at snails pace with just postal delivery from place to pace (on horseback??). Hats off to how he managed to keep the boat on the same track without steering for extraordinary distances and time lengths,several hundred miles and weeks, he accomplished by trimming and setting the sails to do was a testament of his experience and sailing abilities. Did he have a secretly hidden away Aries wind vane (lol). After all he was not entirely new to sailing...he was already an accomplished sailor a master mariner by profession...yet admitted to the world his mistakes e.g. taking the paint off another boat while setting off in limited room. He used copper paint on the bottom hull shows his wisdom, you can learn so much from reading this book, amusing items pop up like his arrangements for washing (half a dory!), not that anyone would plan to do that! His respect that he showed to peoples he met (unlike some very famous mariners and explorers of the past who suffered the consequences) showed the strength of his character and humanity. Capt Slocum, we who have read your book, salute you.
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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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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 20 January 2016
Poor quality paperback printed by Amazon; excellent story. I have a hardcover copy of this book that I have read many times and heartily recommend it. This is an A3 size flimsy paperback of very poor quality unlikely to last more than one read. I bought it for my daughter and returned it without it being read and bought a secondhand hardcover copy fromna well known internet auction site instead.
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on 6 February 2018
An amazing tale to hold ones interest throughout but spoilt by the lack of relevant illustrations. To call it "illustrated" stretches the trades description act. It is illustrated but the pictures bear little relevance to the story. There are picture captions but no pictures to accompany them. I had to Google a map of Slocum's route, it should have been included in the book.
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John Kretschmer, one of the most experienced bluewater sailors alive, thinks this is the best tale of all times in the 'recreational sailing' category. I read thisbook 35 five years ago for the first time (in spanish, my mother tongue, twice) then a few more times in english and as ebook. It's always a joy to reread it. This edition is quite nice, with the pictures and drawings.
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on 6 January 2016
I enjoyed reading this.
It seems to be written with an understated opinion of what he did, but the narrative and the photos are very revealing of a time gone by, when sailing alone around the world was rare, and he had very little in the way of creature comforts.
Interesting reminder of what is needed to explore-the will.
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on 4 January 2018
An interesting true tale of Joshua Slocum's adventures while sailing single handed around the world. Probably the first single handed circum-navigation. A classic book from the Victorian era.
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on 14 March 2017
a unique account of one mans trip around the world, written in a blase style, underplaying the rigours of solo circumnavigation of the globe. humourous at times aswell.
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