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Imagine, then, what it would have been like to do it in the Note: The edition I read was the free Gutenberg Project electronic text, an edition not listed here. Imagine, then, what it would have been like to do it in the late 19th Century, without electronic navigation, a radio, an outboard motor for getting in and out of ports, or even a good clock. Well, you don't have to imagine it, because between April and June Captain Joshua Slocum made the trip, and in he wrote a book about it.

Here it is for you to read, the story of the first person ever confirmed to have sailed around the world alone, written by the man himself. The book concerns itself largely with how he did it, rebuilding an old oyster boat into a world cruiser, choosing his course, repairing and modifying his boat en route, finding the occasional cargo to sell further along his voyage and meeting helpful people along the way.

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He had a few adventures but doesn't make much of them. Never does he hint that he considered himself an unusually good sailor; but then, in his day, people who had spent decades at sea on sailing vessels weren't as rare as they are today. The Age of Sail was ending. A large part of Slocum's voyage was his hopes that sailing, book sales, and paid lectures would give him the resources he needed to see him through his old age. In a sense they did see him through to the end of his life. Getting low on money again, on November 14, , he sailed south intending to explore the coast and rivers of South America.

He was never seen again. Nov 21, Monty Milne rated it really liked it. How I envied Captain Slocum when he described days spent in peaceful reading, his bark gliding over sunlit seas, always bang on course - even after hundreds of miles. I did not envy him at all when wild seas broke over him, and he spent exhausting nights reefing sails and untangling rigging.

I have done a lot of sailing - thanks to being the son of a fanatical yachtsman - but I have never been more than a semi-competent deckhand. Slocum's unerring navigational instinct filled me with awe, especi How I envied Captain Slocum when he described days spent in peaceful reading, his bark gliding over sunlit seas, always bang on course - even after hundreds of miles.

Slocum's unerring navigational instinct filled me with awe, especially when I recollect a time on my father's yacht in the Aegean, many years ago, when we emerged from below deck to see my two younger teenage brothers , stark naked at the wheel, silhouetted against a starlit sky and laughing wildly with the intoxication of the warm breath of Aeolus rushing over the wine dark sea Slocum must have been rather odd - and one gets glimpses of his oddity from time to time - but this does not detract from his achievement, or the power of his writing.

The pages exhale the flavour of the ocean, just as a good oyster does as it slips down one's throat. And some of the incidents while the boat is at anchor are just as fascinating - such as his meeting with President Kruger of the Transvaal, refusing to believe Slocum had sailed round the world because the Bible told him the earth was flat - and the Indians of Tierra del Fuego, howling with rage as their barefoot attempts to rob the sleeping Slocum are thwarted by the tin tacks spread liberally on the deck.

And the whole book is given added poignancy by the knowledge that after it was written, Slocum and the Spray made another voyage - and were never heard of again May 31, Laura rated it it was ok Shelves: sea , nonfiction. I picked this book off the shelf a few years back, because I realized it was the story behind a song that loved.

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This book really didn't do anything for me. There was enough technical jargon to be confusing to a newbie like me to the sailing world, but not enough to give any real information on how he sailed. In fact, I'm not fully sure how he filled so many pages, because it felt like he hadn't said anything by the time I reached the end. It seemed to mostly be a story of hopping from port to p I picked this book off the shelf a few years back, because I realized it was the story behind a song that loved.

It seemed to mostly be a story of hopping from port to port and meeting with the local dignitaries in each one. Where there could have been adventure, his "modesty" kept him from going into detail aside from making it clear all troubles were easily dispatched. There were occasional great anecdotes, such as the gift of a goat proceeding to gobble up his lines and charts, or the use of carpet tacks as defensive fortifications.

This must have been a hell of a voyage.

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Clearly he is an incredible sailor. I could only wish he were as good a writer. Jul 15, Duncan rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: armchair sailors; lovers of vernacular history. In Joshua Slocum, forced from the sea when square riggers finally lost their place permanently to steamships, rebuilt a small oyster smack and began to sail it around the world.

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Radio was in its infancy and the world was not quite completely at war yet. He left Boston and tried to sail around Cape Horn three times. Failing this, he went the other way, completely around the world. Along the way he was greeted as a hero, feted by yacht clubs and navies, chased by pirates, buffeted In Joshua Slocum, forced from the sea when square riggers finally lost their place permanently to steamships, rebuilt a small oyster smack and began to sail it around the world.

Along the way he was greeted as a hero, feted by yacht clubs and navies, chased by pirates, buffeted by typhoons and visited by the ghost of Columbus. His boat Spray is almost as famous as he is. He navigated with a tin clock using the celestial movements of the moon to find his position and tied himself to his mast during storms.

He was the first person to sail around the world alone. His memoir of the journey is personable and amusing, as well as instructive for those of us who dream sometimes of casting off. His language is laconic and spare but his personality is generous. As a story teller is a sure pilot. This book is a classic and is thoroughly enjoyable. Apr 18, Tuck rated it it was amazing Shelves: sailing-and-fighting. Joshua Slocum is exactly the sort of person you want to sit down and have a drink with. He is humble, hilarious, and full of great stories.

Considering this is a book about navigation, it is remarkably understandable and intriguing. I would highly recommend this one to teenage boys who like adventure and any adult who loves a good, true, seafaring story. Well worth the time. Though I enjoyed this as an audio book, I think it might have been easier to physically read it, as I could have used a m Joshua Slocum is exactly the sort of person you want to sit down and have a drink with. Though I enjoyed this as an audio book, I think it might have been easier to physically read it, as I could have used a map or picture of the boat Jun 07, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: sailing.

Absolutely fascinating. Slocum is my new hero! His dry humor and positive attitude make the book so entertaining to read, and his reports of the places he visited are simply magical. Jan 18, Graychin rated it it was amazing. Their hardships and romantic escapes — those of them who avoided death and worse sufferings — did not enter into my experience, sailing all alone around the world.

For me is left only to tell of pleasant experiences, till finally my adventures are prosy and tame. His book, first published in , has the fresh enthusiasm of a Robert Louis Stevenson travelogue and the humor, almost, of Jerome K. He is pursued by pirates off the coast of Morocco.

He engages in fierce debate with Flat-Earth disciples of Kruger in South Africa who sneer at the mere suggestion of a circumnavigation. I envied Slocum his skill and ability, his stoic resolve, his ease in company and his comfort in extended periods of the most perfect solitude. I envied his opportunity to read through several large libraries of books on his travels, thanks to the self-steering mechanism he invented for the Spray. Nov 19, Wdayne rated it it was amazing. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and I still think about it daily.

That is the mark of a great book to me. Josh Slocum was not afraid of the ocean, he understood it's every breath.


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When you read this tale you feel like you can do it too, and I rank this with one of the most impressive feats that a person could accomplish even today. This is basically the old man's diary. He tells the state of the world from a worldly perspective, in other words he's seen both sides of the globe and he I finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and I still think about it daily.

He tells the state of the world from a worldly perspective, in other words he's seen both sides of the globe and he knows the truth.

Sailing Around the World Alone non stop 2003-4 - Jan Møller

He knows a bit about sailing and boats also. I would recommend this book to anyone, but to those with an adventurous soul, this book will change the way you think about moving through the world.