Book Review – The Long Way – Bernard Moitessier

The Long Way in my amazon bookstore

3 stars out of 5 – I liked it
The Long Way

Finally a book about sailing.  Or is it?

We do get a lot of descriptions of sailing. He sails from England, to the cape at the Southern tip of Africa, then under Austrailia, then under South America – all without stopping at land.  He does hail a few ships to report his progress, but after colliding with a vessel on his first attempt he is doubtful about doing it further along in his trip.

In 6 months at sea, he becomes comfortable with being alone.  Montesseir likes the solitude of the ocean.  He thinks about the rat-race that the rest of the world is in and shuns it.  He starts thinking he doesn’t want to go back after rounding three horns.  Doubtfully turns north towards England.  After a short time though, instead of heading back to England , turns around and he keeps sailing around the horns!  On past Africa, on past Austrailia, finally turning north and heading for Tahiti.

He speaks about almost being caught by the Monster (of civilization).  I think it’s easy to understand where he is coming from after he shares his thoughts for so long.   He writes well, and describes the beauty of the sea and his thoughts in a way that makes you think you might have been there.

I liked his perspective.  I have always cared about the environment – don’t understand how people can litter, and this is a book that helps you get in touch with why it’s important.  Not with preaching or speaches or a “message”, but with simple sharing of what it was like and what it meant to him.

It’s worth reading.

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