Sailing to the Reefs

Overview

Perhaps the title of this book, Bernard Moitessier's first, should have been "Sailing on the Reefs'—for that is exactly what he did, almost unbelievably, twice. After finding his beloved Marie-Thérèse, a beautiful junk in the Gulf of Siam, he set off across the Indian Ocean for Africa and eventually the Caribbean. Eighty days or so into the trip, Moitessier and Marie-Thérèse found themselves on the reef at Diego Garcia.

It took Moitessier just nine months to build Marie-Thérèse ...

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Overview

Perhaps the title of this book, Bernard Moitessier's first, should have been "Sailing on the Reefs'—for that is exactly what he did, almost unbelievably, twice. After finding his beloved Marie-Thérèse, a beautiful junk in the Gulf of Siam, he set off across the Indian Ocean for Africa and eventually the Caribbean. Eighty days or so into the trip, Moitessier and Marie-Thérèse found themselves on the reef at Diego Garcia.

It took Moitessier just nine months to build Marie-Thérèse II from scratch in Mauritius with no boat plans or power tools. From her launch he sailed her down to South Africa. His observations during a stay of almost two years are as interesting as the people he met and the innovative boat improvements he came up with. Unfortunately, he and Marie-Thérèse II managed to end up on the rocks near St. Vincent in the Caribbean.

In between these two heartbreaking disasters is a tale of courage, resourcefulness, and creativity. It is told with refreshing honesty, in which Moitessier, still really an apprentice sailor, admits his blunders. And it is told with marvelous humor.

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Editorial Reviews

Sailing
His observations... are as interesting as the people he meets and the innovative boat improvements he comes up with.
Booknews
Originally published in France in 1960, Moitessier's first book describes not one but two shipwrecks: first in a Siamese junk called the , on an atoll in the Indian Ocean, and the other<-->after a voyage via South Africa, St. Helena, Ascension Island, and Brazil to the West Indies<-->in the , which Moitessier built from scratch in nine months. In his introduction, Charles Doane calls Moitessier "one of the greatest bluewater sailors of the 20th century." After this book he went on to write three others about the exaltation of sailing and self-revelation; he died in 1994, a legend among people who sail. This edition was translated by Ren<'e> Hague. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574091205
  • Publisher: Sheridan House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 698,724
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Moitessier was one of the greatest ocean voyagers. He became a legend in his own time. A gifted writer, he wrote four books describing his seagoing adventures. The Long Way became a bestseller worldwide.

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Table of Contents

1. In the Indian Ocean
2. Mauritius: the friendly island
3. Mauritius to Durban
4. A Year in Durban
5. Durban to Cape Town
6. Nine Months to Cape Town
7. Cape Town to St. Helena
8. On St. Helena
9. St. Helena to Ascension Island
10. Ascension ISland: a lunar port of call
11. Ascension to Fernando-Noroña
12. Fernando-Noroña
13. Passage to the West Indies
14. Trinidad to Martinique
15. In the Caribbean
16. The Dream Boat
Author's postscript to this edition
Postscript on Heavy Weather Sailing
Postscript on Self-Steering Devices
Index

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