The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier's own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear-failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he ...
The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier's own incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear-failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he touched land.
Moitessier is better known as one of the greatest ocean voyagers and was a legend in his time. Last month we reviewed the last book he wrote Tamata and the Alliance. This book is about his Round the World Race for singlehanded yachts. For Moitessier, the race finished in mid-Pacific after he had passed the three Capes and crossed his outward track, leading, and with the hardest sections behind him, he decided to forfeit the race and continue into the Pacific again, to anchor finally among friends in Tahiti. His actions were never explained by the news media; they could not have been, for the voyage had always been seen by Moitessier as something other than a sponsored, publicized, competitive event. It was on the ocean, alone with his boat, that Moitessier began to regard this as a voyage that could not end for him with the reward of those whose values were not his.
One of the world's most famous ocean sailors, Moitessier had sailed for more than a year from Plymouth, England to the Indian Ocean when he inexplicably abandoned the lead in the 1968-1969 Round-the-World single-handed race. He sailed to Tahiti, dropped anchor and dropped out. Until the publication of this book, only Moitessier and a few friends knew why. Most of the book is a diary of that voyage with philosophical side trips into modern civilization. There is also a 60-page appendix that can stand alone as a small reference volume of details such as route planning, sail repair, the problems of sail and line chafe, rigging and hull construction, self-steering, freak waves and weather, plus much more. Altogether a strange, fascinating, and informative book.
Bernard Moitessier was born in 1925 in Indochina and much of his sailing knowledge was gained during time spent at sea with the fishermen of the Gulf of Siam. One of the greatest ocean voyagers, he became a legend in his time. He was also a gifted writer and wrote four books describing his seagoing adventures. He moved to France where he spent the last years of his life working on his memoirs, Tamata and the Alliance (Sheridan House, 1995), the story of an unusual man and an exciting life. Bernard Moitessier died in the summer of 1994.
William Rodarmor is a veteran French literary translator, writer, and editor. His translation of Tamata and the Alliance, by Bernard Moitessier, won the 1996 Lewis Galantiere Award from the American Translators Association. His recent translations include The Book of Time trilogy, by Guillaume Prevost, Diasporas, by Stephane Dufoix (Univ. of Calif. Press, 2008), and Julien Parme, by Florian Zeller (Other Press, 2008). He lives in Berkeley, California.
Chapter 1: Full Sail
Chapter 2: Clear Light
Chapter 3: Sunday at Trinidad
Chapter 4: Muchos Pocos Hacen Un Muncho
Chapter 5: Played and Lost…Played and Won
Chapter 6: Good Hope
Chapter 7: A Saw-tooth Wake
Chapter 8: The Days and the Nights
Chapter 9: The Long Way
Chapter 10: The Rule of the Game
Chapter 11: Christmas and the Rat
Chapter 12: The Time of the Very Beginnings
Chapter 13: My Elder Brother
Chapter 14: Joshua against Joshua
Chapter 15: One Night…
Chapter 16: One Day…and a Night
Chapter 17: True Dreams—and False
Chapter 18: Time to Choose
Chapter 19: The Turning Point
Chapter 20: Listen, Joshua…
Chapter 21: Time to Choose—Part II
Chapter 22: The Second Turning Point