Four reads for the seafarer at heart

Posted by: Pen Marine

Go on epic voyages around the globe with these books.

Maybe you’re a dab hand at rigging and navigating. Maybe you’re a novice unsure about setting sail, or maybe the very idea of rolling waves kicks your seasickness into high gear. Whatever your story, you might find inspiration in someone else’s.

Sail the seas of your imagination with these real-life tales of record-breaking courage and then check out a new guide for your own daring exploits.

Sailing Alone Around the World: The Illustrated Edition by Joshua Slocum and Geoffrey Wolff
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If you judge covers as critically as you do content, prepare to fall in love with this book. Joshua Slocum was the first man to circumnavigate the globe alone between April 1885 and June 1889, and his classic memoir in 1900 was an immediate bestseller.

This coffee-table edition (check out the link above) by Zenith Press documents Slocum’s journey of 46,000 miles with photographs, maps, artifacts, and era-authentic illustrations of his audacious quest. Commentary by sailing writers such as Henry Dan and Nathaniel Philbrick honour the man who achieved the impossible.

Gipsy Moth Circles the World by Sir Francis Chichester
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If you’ve been dismissing your dreams because you’re no spring chicken, neither was Sir Francis Chichester when he sailed his 53-foot ketch, Gipsy Moth IV, out of Plymouth. He was 65 when he became the first person to circumnavigate the globe solo from the west to the east in 1967, setting the then-record for speed in a small yacht.

His return 274 days later after a single stop in Sydney inspired the first solo-around-the-world-nonstop race the following year. With hostile waters highlighting the boat’s design flaws, his story is a testament to man’s tenacity and that age is no obstacle when adventure beckons.

A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols
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One would lose his mind. One would lose his life. Only one of nine men would cross the finish line and earn the fame, wealth, and glory that came with being the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping. A Voyage for Madmen chronicles the infamous Golden Globe yacht race of 1968, in which the truth is more fascinating than fiction.

This gripping narrative dives into the individual journey of each sailor: their drive, demons, composure under pressure and in solitary despair… and their fates. Human drama and technical yachtsmanship meet in this provocative exploration of preparedness and psychology in the open seas.

High Latitude Sailing: Self-sufficient Sailing Techniques for Cold Waters and Winter Seasons by Jon Amtrup and Bob Shepton
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The novel coronavirus might have grounded us temporarily but don’t let your ambitions drift away. Instead, explore the highest latitudes where the world’s last real wilderness lies. Harsh, isolated regions like Svalbard and Antarctica are finally accessible to small boats but adventure here comes with real danger.

Ready yourself for unforgiving waters and winds with first-hand accounts and advice by world-renowned experts. Risk assessment, technical instructions, and the 411 on survival in icy landscapes, spanning glaciers to polar bears, are detailed in this brand-new practical guide. Spectacular photography brings these far-flung expeditions to life with technicolour clarity.

Inspired yet? Tell us your impressions – or better yet, share your own recommendations for our next armchair excursion.