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By the Grace of the Sea: a Woman's Solo Odyssey Around the World.

Henry, Pat

33 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0071355278 / ISBN 13: 9780071355278
Published by Camden, Maine: International Marine/Mcgraw Hill, 2003, Camden, Maine, 2003
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From P.F. Mullins Books (carlsbad, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since September 15, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Hard Cover. Fine/Fine. First Edition. Signed by Author. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 353 PP., B&W illustrated, with boat plans. The author has signed this copy on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 3743

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Bibliographic Details

Title: By the Grace of the Sea: a Woman's Solo ...

Publisher: Camden, Maine: International Marine/Mcgraw Hill, 2003, Camden, Maine

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


On May 5, 1997, when Pat Henry anchored her 31-foot Southern Cross sailboat in Acapulco Harbour, she became the first American women to sail around the world alone. At 56, with two adult daughters and three grandchildren, she is also the oldest woman in the world to have done so. Her voyage began in 1989 and took her through 40 countries, 27,000 miles and eight years. Her longest passage at sea was her first, 36 days from Acapulco to the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. Sailing without sponsorship and with little money, learning as she went, Henry encountered storms, near collisions, fatigue, equipment failures, uncharted reefs, health problems and weeks of solitude in her voyage. She supported herself by selling her watercolours - one reason the trip took so long. At her nadir in New Zealand, down to her last $3, unable to sell paintings, she abandoned herself to despair and considered ending her life by stepping off the boat. But this resourceful and resilient sailor also found beauty, diversity, romance and a network of friendships around the globe. Her solo circumnavigation is a triumph to rival Joshua Slocum's -the prototype for all that have followed. Henry's adventure began with the collapse of her import business in 1988. In debt and suffering a crisis of self-doubt, she moved aboard a 21-year-old sloop to live frugally in Santa Cruz harbour while working in a shoreside graphic arts studio. But Henry's wanderlust soon propelled her out of the harbour for a "brief cruise" to Mexico, and then, impetuously, onward around the world, never fully realizing the magnitude of her undertaking. A voyage of eight years cannot be written as a continuous narrative. Rather, the manuscript is a rich tapestry woven from discrete, chronologically sequential episodes like those in the attached writing sample. Several recurring elements - the author's letters to her friend Kitty; brief, dated logbook entries; and brief transcripts of the Voice of America broadcasts that brought the momentous events of the world into Henry's cabin in midocean -give structure to the narrative. So, too, do the maps that open each of the book's seven sections. Buoyantly adventurous by nature, Pat Henry is also a good storyteller and an admirable protagonist. There is good travel writing here, informed by an artist's eye and an observant student of human nature. Her best writing is in her descriptive passages, whether of people, a marketplace, or a tropical anchorage. Her story will require careful editing for continuity and transition, but the end result promises to be a winner. Illustrated, full-colour endsheets show photos from the voyage as well as several of the vivid waterclours Henry painted of scenes encountered along the way. These delightful paintings tell the reader much about the storyteller.

From the Author:

By the Grace of the Sea is more than a sailing story of my eight-year journey on board Southern Cross. To understand the drive and motives behind my voyage, I had to examine those moments from childhood, marriage, motherhood, career, and life that had propelled me to the center of a mid-life crisis and pushed me out of Acapulco, Mexico, on May 4, 1989.

In writing By the Grace of the Sea, I shaped the raw experience of my odyssey to create a message of encouragement. Beyond traveling vicariously by small boat to exotic places, I hope readers close the last page and say, "If she can do that, maybe I could......" and search for an old dream forgotten in a dark corner.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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