Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boatby Peter Nichols
Peter Nichols and his wife bought and restored an old wooden sailboat, Toad, and lived aboard it for five years, sailing through the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to Europe, where their marriage broke up. Sea Change is the story of Nichols's return to the sea alone. In the middle of the ocean, the twenty-seven-foot engineless Toad springs a leak, and Nichols… See more details below
Peter Nichols and his wife bought and restored an old wooden sailboat, Toad, and lived aboard it for five years, sailing through the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to Europe, where their marriage broke up. Sea Change is the story of Nichols's return to the sea alone. In the middle of the ocean, the twenty-seven-foot engineless Toad springs a leak, and Nichols struggles to keep his boat afloat. As he tests the limits of his courage and the depths of his fear, he discovers more than he knew about his marriage, his boat, and himself. Nichols shares his love of the sea, the literature of the small-boat sailors who have gone before him, and his own unsuspected strength and grace when faced with catastrophe.
Nichols quits his soured marriage and takes to the sea, there to feel better about himself, to do something well for a change. His self-appointed challenge is a single-handed sail across the North Atlantic in a shallow-draft, motorless, 27-foot sailboat by the name of Toad, a boat in which he and his wife had recently made the trip in the opposite direction. Nichols is a likable soulimpecunious, living by his wits, a sailor's sailor who navigates by sextant and instinct, adapting to the dictates of sea and sky. Meteorologically, the weather is with him; emotionally, he finds choppy seas: The bust-up of his marriage plagues him, memories insistently emergethe more so when he discovers his wife's five-volume diary and flips through its pages. The diaries afford Nichols the opportunity to reminisce about his vagabond years with his wife, sailing in the Virgin Islands and in European waters, always on a shoestring, always bickering. While his inner journey is in no way as tedious as it might have been, it is a relief when Nichols snaps into the present and takes a look around. He has a knack for rendering his landfallsthe Scilly Islands and the Azoresin sharp relief, and a way of making his voyage feel like something out of time: Nothing more than wind drives his boat (remember, this is the North Atlantic, where a motor often comes in real handy) and reckoning is an art, not a digital readout.
Though Toad springs a major leak and must be abandoned before reaching its destination, one comes away with the feeling that Nichols has indeed acquitted himself well.
"I think Sea Change is a magnificent addition to the literature of small-boating adventuring."--Jonathan Raban, author of Badlands
- Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.17(w) x 7.71(h) x 0.84(d)
Meet the Author
Peter Nichols, in addition to his sailing adventures, has worked in the film business as a screenwriter, propmaker, and ship-wrangler. He lives in Northern California.
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