Book Review: Cruising Club of America, Great Lakes Station

Author:
Publish date:
BOOK-REVIEW-Ocean-Sailing-Cover---Bloomsbury

Reviewed by Amanda Balasubramanian

As we were preparing for our first significant offshore passage in 2013, I read every book on ocean sailing I could find. However, while there were a number of helpful books full of technical information, I also longed for the personal stories of those who had gone before us. I spoke to as many people as I could, but living in Toronto, Canada, offshore sailors were few and far between. Only when I opened up Ocean Sailing by Paul Heiney a few weeks ago, did I realize I’d finally found the book I had been looking for.

In Ocean Sailing, Heiney sets out to provide practical advice about the realities of ocean sailing. With many anecdotes and stories from cruisers with extensive bluewater experience (including members of the Royal Ocean Cruising Club, the Ocean Club and the Cruising Club of America), he covers all the topics most sailors wonder or worry about before a significant voyage. The book opens with a review of the world’s great ocean passages, with details and personal stories from cruisers who have sailed them. Next, he discusses the pros and cons of various different boat designs, at the same time sharing a number of sailors’ stories about what they chose and why it was (or wasn’t) right for them in the end.

Other sections include an analysis of the costs of full-time cruising; the positive effects of voyaging with children; the question of old age and passagemaking (“providing you feel like it, and you’re fit enough for it, there is no reason why age is any barrier to successful ocean sailing”); and practical tips on everything from communications to general physical wellbeing.

The author concludes with a topic that isn’t often discussed—what it’s like when the adventure is over, and you are back at the dock. The poignant accounts of returning to life on land will be familiar to those who have experienced the end of a similar adventure. Our own return was heavy with emotion and a sense of loss of freedom. But as Heiney says, this same sadness is tempered by an appreciation for the life-changing adventure you’ve just had, which is the “tricky bit because, without the slightest shadow of doubt, you will want to do it all over again.”

Ultimately, Ocean Sailing recognizes there is no one way to cross oceans—it is as individual as it gets. As you read through the book’s many firsthand accounts, you also feel as though you are sitting in a cockpit sharing a sundowner with friends, exchanging ideas and experiences. If you take a little from each story, you will find yourself well-armed with ideas and that much closer to your dream of crossing oceans.

Published by the RCC Pilotage Foundation and Adlard Coles Nautical, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing: $35, bloomsbury.com

Related

01-LEAD-Vento-Solare-action-(1mb)_Stephen-Cloutier

Ida Lewis Distance Race 2021

This year’s annual Ida Lewis Distance Race on Narragansett Bay will offer something for everyone. In addition to ORC and PHRF, there will be sections for doublehanded, youth and collegiate racing. Racers will also have a choice between the event’s traditional offshore distance ...read more

01-LEAD-Lag01-oon-620---Raiatea---French-Polynesia-(12)

Internships: Run Away to Sea

Not the office type? College isn’t an option, or your degree in philosophy isn’t panning out? If a job in the marine trades sounds like your dream career but you don’t know where to start, here are three places to both get some good training and a foot in the door. Dream Yacht ...read more

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 9.58.55 AM

Summer Sailstice Turns 21

Summer Sailstice’s will celebrate its 21st birthday this year. This annual worldwide celebration of sailing occurs on the weekend closest to the solstice, landing on June 19th this year. Over the past two decades, the event has grown to include nearly 5,000 boats and 19,000 ...read more

e60aa842-1c3c-41da-b0ba-dfd7678479e4

The New York Yacht Club Submits a Protocol Alteration with its America’s Cup Challenge

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) has submitted a challenge for the 37th America’s Cup to the current Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland, New Zealand. The challenge was accompanied by a draft protocol for the regatta, which would see the Cup take ...read more

01-LEAD-CCA-Antarctica2-01

Cruising: Honoring Remarkable Ocean Voyages and Seamanship

The Cruising Club of America, an organization of about 1,300 offshore sailors, has been honoring remarkable ocean voyages and seamanship with an array of prestigious awards for nearly 100 years. The club’s highest honor, the Blue Water Medal, has recognized renowned and ...read more

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more