The Gull Reef Club

8/9/2008

Sailing Alone Around the World

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:31 pm

Sailing alone around the world. Sounds intimidating, exciting, daunting. It’s been done though. Captain (and crew) Joshua Slocum did…in 1900. Alone. Had he not kept meticulous records, and subsequently written a book about it, I would have no way of imagining such an endeavor.

Regular Beachcombers know I really enjoy a good sailing story. I tend to favor fiction, but in this case, Captain Slocum’s book, Sailing Alone Around the World, is enjoyable non-fiction. It’s a bit heavy with sailing terms and descriptions, but if that bothers you, you can easily gloss over it and not miss much.

What I particularly enjoyed about Slocum’s book is that he has a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor, and it surfaces frequently. His calls for ‘all-hands’ on deck and references to the ‘crew’ of the Spray are a great running joke. I also enjoyed the fact that he had a rather progressive* view on foreign cultures. There are a lot of American writers from this era that come off as racists in modern terms because of their ignorant views on foreigners. His decades of travel experience, and subsequent knowledge, are well in apparent in Slocum’s world view. It was quite refreshing to read.

Well, I now have my obligatory summer sailing book done. I’m sticking with the obligatory summer themes and am now moving on to the guilty-pleasure of legal/crime/drama. This time it’s John Grisham’s The Firm. This is one of the remaining books from the last library book sale I was at. Good thing another’s coming up later this month. I’ll be able to pick up this fall’s reading.

*I am using this term more in its authentic historical sense, and not the currently hijacked by the Democratic party sense.

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