Welcome to the boating book club.
From solo trips around the world to high-seas adventures, these epic voyage tales are bound to inspire you, or at the very least provide an excellent source of entertainment.
Hit the water with some of our favorite reads.
Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum
This iconic ocean journey recounts Slocum’s solo trip around the globe. In 1895, he set off in his 36-foot wooden sloop from Boston and didn’t return until over three years later. He journeyed for some 46,000 miles, becoming the first person to successfully sail around the world
His story takes you through his close call with pirates off of Gibraltar, fly fishing in the Pacific Ocean and visiting fellow explorer, Henry Stanley, in South Africa. It’s a classic within the sailing community and an inspiration for solo voyagers.
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The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float, by Farley Mowat
In 1969, Farley Mowat outlined his travels aboard the Happy Adventure. He did not expect this rickety boat to require every single nautical repair possible.
In a hilarious account of constant leaks, a bad-tempered engine, and regular sinkings, Mowat and his wooden sailboat miraculously made it through a five hundred mile voyage across the Newfoundland coast.
His story affirms the romantic idea to sail through the sea, but incorporates the cold-hard reality of what such a journey entails.
The Curve of Time, by M. Wylie Blanchet
After Blanchet became a widow, she looked to the ocean to find peace. She took her five children along the coast of British Columbia, packing into a 25-foot boat and cruising summer after summer in the 1920s and 30s.
Blanchet single-handedly worked as the skipper, navigator, and engineer, encountering several adverse conditions, including heavy fog, rapids, and even bears.
Wylie Blanchet and her children pioneered the concept of family traveling. They were able to spend quality, uninterrupted time together, discovering the wonders of the natural world. It’s a British Columbia classic.
"Our world then was both wide and narrow -- wide in the immensity of sea and mountain; narrow in that the boat was very small, and we lived and camped, explored and swam in a little realm of our own making."
Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea, by Steven Callahan
This thirty-six week New York Times Bestseller, recounts a dramatic tale of Steven Callahan’s survival at sea.
After setting off the coast of Rhode Island in 1982, Callahan’s small sloop capsized only 6 days out. He then spent a month alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and survived on a five-foot inflatable raft.
He encountered terrifying storms, shark attacks, and of course, a lack of food and fresh water. It’s a truly incredible survival story.
Swell: Sailing the Pacific in Search of Surf and Self, by Liz Clark and Daniella Manini
Liz Clark always dreamed of traveling the world on a sailboat and surfing wherever she found ride-worthy waves.
At the age of 22, she set sail from Santa Barbara, California on a 40-foot sailboat. She began by venturing south, cruising through the Pacific Ocean. She now has spent more than a decade (and over 20,000 miles) on the water and she’s still going.
Her memoir outlines her love of the sea and eternal quest for a great surf.