Alone at Sea: The Adventures of Joshua Slocum

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9781552093948: Alone at Sea: The Adventures of Joshua Slocum
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"I had only a moment to get all sail down and myself upon the peak halliards, out of danger, when I saw the mighty crest towering masthead-high above me. The mountain of water submerged my vessel. She shook in every timber and reeled under the weight of the sea ..."

What would it be like to sail around the world by yourself, especially without the telecommunications and technical equipment we have today? Alone At Sea takes readers on such a thrilling journey.

In 1895, Joshua Slocum embarked on a three-year, 46,000-mile solo circumnavigation of the globe. His boat, a refitted oyster sloop called Spray, took him through pirate-infested waters and horrific storms amidst the ghosts and demons of 36 months of solitude. Alone At Sea is his story:

"On his first solo day, Slocum found himself enveloped by fog so thick 'one could almost stand on it.' It was as if his loneliness had been made visible as the thick fog 'lowered over the sea like a pall.' ...He and the Spray were one small speck on an all-encompassing sea, invisible to the rest of the world. Slocum pondered his invisibility with a growing awareness of his insignificance in the universe: 'In the dismal fog I felt myself drifting into loneliness, an insect on a straw in the midst of the elements.'"

This is the first original full-scale biography of Joshua Slocum in over 40 years. Ann Spencer spent years poring over the sailor's own journals and historical records buried in libraries and archives throughout New England and the Maritimes. She uncovered new facts, documents and photographs now published here. With Spencer's engaging text and peppered with Slocum's own journal entries, Alone At Sea is captivating reading for anyone interested in sailing, nautical history, travel and the soul of a true adventurer. Heroes come rarely in real life and this is the story of a too-little known maritime hero.

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From the Inside Flap:

The true story of Canada's greatest sailor, the first to sail around the world single-handedly.

When Joshua Slocum sailed into port in Massachusetts on June 27, 1898, he was the first man ever to have completed a voyage around the world without technology, money or companion. It took him three years to cover the 46,000 miles, and along the way he was chased by pirates, buffeted by storms, and narrowly escaped death by sharks. When a goat ate his charts, he managed to navigate through the Caribbean by memory and intuition.

This is the true-life adventure story of an extraordinary man, who ran away to sea at sixteen and never looked back. Born on a farm in Nova Scotia, he apprenticed on voyages to China, Hong Kong and Indonesia; met and married his wife in Sydney, Australia, and raised his family aboard sailing vessels in ports around the world. He survived mutinies, lost cargoes, terrible storms, and treacheries at sea before resolving on his voyage around the world in a dilapidated oyster sloop he named The Spray. After settling down and writing his memoirs, he set sail on November 14, 1909, and was never seen again.

About the Author:

Ann Spencer is a freelance writer and broadcaster. She is a regular contributor to magazines and produces radio documentaries. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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