A Speck on the Sea: Epic Voyages in the Most Improbable Vessels

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Overview

More than Seventy Accounts of Big Adventures in Small Boats

In A Speck on the Sea, William Longyard reaches back through five centuries to gather a collection of sea adventures in which the smallest, unlikeliest craft—and the daring individuals aboard them—completed extraordinary voyages against great odds.

From canoes and small sailboats to a pair of strap-to-your-feet pontoons, the watercraft in these true stories make nearly as varied a ...

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A SPECK ON THE SEA: Epic Voyages in the Most Improbable Vessels

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Overview

More than Seventy Accounts of Big Adventures in Small Boats

In A Speck on the Sea, William Longyard reaches back through five centuries to gather a collection of sea adventures in which the smallest, unlikeliest craft—and the daring individuals aboard them—completed extraordinary voyages against great odds.

From canoes and small sailboats to a pair of strap-to-your-feet pontoons, the watercraft in these true stories make nearly as varied a collection as the mariners who piloted them. The intrepid seafarers and their feats of seamanship include:

  • Ed Gillet's kite-powered transpacific kayak voyage
  • Gladys Gradely's 1902 quest to become the first woman to solo the Atlantic
  • Ben Lecomte's swim across an ocean for love
  • Hugo Vihlen's 1968 ocean crossing in the 6-foot sailboat April Fool
  • Peter Bird's tragic attempt to row across the Pacific
  • And scores more

Whether driven by desperation, adventure, or a desire for fame and fortune, the risktakers in these stories show what vast oceans can be crossed in tiny contrivances by those who dare.

"Great fun to read."—Cruising World

"Very few reference books make for such riveting reading."—Good Old Boat

"Re-creates these awe-inspiring adventures in fascinating detail."—NW Yachting

"Seagoing heroes and scalawags come alive with rich detail in Longyard's volume of salty tales."—Judy Blumhorst, Commodore Emeritus, Northern California Association of West Wight Potter Owners and Webmaster, www.trailersailer.com

William H. Longyard has spent twenty-five years paddling, rowing, and sailing small boats of all kinds. He has published several books and written numerous articles for boating journals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071440295
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/27/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,389,303
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

William H. Longyard (Winston-Salem, NC) has paddled, rowed, and sailed small boats for 25 years. A high school English teacher, he has published several books and written articles for boating journals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Would Anyone Cross an Ocean in a Small Boat? 1
1 The Fogbound Past: 63 AD - 16th Century 7
2 Two Desperate Escapes: the 17th and 18th Centuries 21
3 Victorian Venturers: 1865-1876 42
4 The Paths of Glory: 1876-1900 67
5 A World to Conquer: 1900-1920 122
6 Lovers and Other Losers: 1920-1930s 146
7 Big Feat, Little Notice: the 1940s 173
8 Goofy and Gallant: the 1950s 193
9 Doing Your Own Thing: the 1960s 228
10 The Pursuit of Happiness: the 1970s 264
11 The Golden Decade: the 1980s 279
12 Records and Redux: the 1990s 306
13 New Faces and Old: the New Millennium 324
Conclusion: To Sea, or Not to Sea: That is the Question 330
App Rowers and Other Strangers 334
App Other Notable Voyages 334
Notes 343
Bibliography 353
Acknowledgments 361
Art Sources 364
Index 366
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