Following Seas: Sailing the Globe, Sounding a Life

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9781559493703: Following Seas: Sailing the Globe, Sounding a Life
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What we do in life is perhaps less important than what it does to us. Beth Leonard's story is about change brought about when she found her American dream rotting from the inside out. It is also about the courage to throw away the power and prestige of an international consulting position and seek a new life afloat, a life intimately in touch with herself, her partner, and her planet. Her graceful prose and imaginative photography pull us through raging seas, exotic ports of call, but it also takes us through her journey of self discovery and spiritual renewal. Following Seas is an exciting combination of travel prose and photographs. --Alvah Simon, author of North to the Light, A Year in the Arctic Ice.

In Following Seas, Beth Leonard takes her readers on several voyage at once--personal, social, and historical. As she says, "The literal voyages across oceans...had become a figurative voyage into the depths of my heart and soul..." As she sails, she absorbs the wisdom and courage of the early voyagers--Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook, Charles Darwin, Joshua Slocum--and in port, she learns from the perspectives of the many people she meets.We are carried along with Beth and her partner Evans through calms, storms, and days of unbounded joy until we realize, with them, how much the sea can test us and change our lives. --Patience Wales, Editor, SAIL magazine

About the Author:

Despite a childhood steeped in the liberal activism of the sixties and seventies--or perhaps because of it--Beth Leonard followed the prescribed advice on how to succeed in business. A good college. Graduate school. Hard work at a prestigious company. Serendipitously, she found a sea-lorn kindred spirit at the same time that she found her success hollow.

Since 1992, Beth has followed in her long-time dream of writing and the sea. Her latest book, Following Seas: Sailing the Globe, Sounding a Life, tells of her three-year circumnavigation with her partner Evans Starzinger. The book echoes her rediscovered delight in family, friends from many nation and walks of life, and this fragile planet. After that voyage, she says "Despite being more involved in the sailing community, the adjustment back to shore life has been much more difficult than the transition to cruising."

Ms. Leonard is also the author of The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising (International Marine, 1998) and a regular contributor to major sailing magazines such as Cruising World, SAIL, Sailing, Blue Water Sailing, and Yachting World. She is also a frequent speaker on nautical topics.She and Evans live in Maryland, where in their spare time they are preparing the boat Hawk for cold-water sailing.

INSIDE FLAP: A soul journey begins with a vague dream, whose origins may be uncertain but whose pull is strong. This tale of a circumnavigation is also the story of one woman's journey into her dream. Beth Leonard followed the success path of the materialistic '80s: from college to business school to being an international management consultant--a path that took her away from the core of herself, family and friends, and the sense of fulfillment that only comes from within.

The story begins when, despite her lack of sailing expertise, her partner Evans Starzinger suggests they circumnavigate the world in a small sailing boat. She listens to her heart and chooses to follow the sea and chase her dream of becoming a writer.

In the three-year circumnavigation, there are intervals of up to 29 days when she and Evans are alone at sea. Ms. Leonard reads the early ocean explorers' logs and journals. She feels their presence as she faces the same dangers and celebrates the same landfalls. At each landfall, she immerses herself in cultures where Western values have no place, where life is lived to different rhythms. She learns from the hospitality, humility, and hope of the people she meets in a South Pacific pearling lagoon, a South African laundromat, and a cafe in the Azores. From these new perspectives, she discovers how to live a life both fulfilling and satisfying.

Armchair sailors and adventuers alike will be drawn into her voyage of discovery and change. Anyone with an unquenchable dream will find in these pages the encouragement to chase that dream, right over the horizon...and find themselves at journey's end.

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