• Stephanie Birchenough

Book Corner: “Sailing Alone Around the World”

Since there are so many books about the sea, some of my friends like to give me books about the sea. And the one thing many of these books have in common is that they have all started their journey out of Gloucester Harbor and sailed solo around the world.


I would like to start by expressing I have no desire to sail around the world, but it sure is fun to read how men of old & men of my time have done this alone, and in boats that they built on their own as well.


"Sailing Alone Around the World" was a bit different than "Sailing to Oblivion" in that in this account the Captain Slocum stopped along the way to many wonderful places that we all today dream about stopping at.



Captain Slocum began his journey on a 36'9" Gaff Rigged sloop oyster boat from Gloucester Harbor and sailed south and then around the world. The boats name way Spray, and since then many have made replicas of the Spray to follow in his footsteps. His boat was not very big, but it seems most solo men who sail around the world don't sail on very large vessels, they sail on ones they can handle themselves and repair themselves.



The Spray


Since Captain Slocum stopped along the way there were no records broke for speed, but he was the first man to sail around the world solo. What I did notice about many who sail around the world when they leave from Gloucester is they have similar routes weather traveling east or west first, they all seem to round all the capes and head north and south along South America and North America. His route was south to the Caribbean, east along South America, South to Cape Horn, to the South Pacific, North of Australia, around Cape of Good Hope and then back north to Gloucester.


This book was very dry in comparison to Sailing to Oblivion, but none the less it was a good read to hear of all the places the he visited, the people he met and the trepidation he faced as he came ashore to places that didn't speak any English.


If you have read any good sailing books, we do take recommendations, and one day we might just discuss it here for everyone!







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