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Book Review: The Figure 8 Voyage

Five Oceans, Three Continents, One Year, Solo
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“What is the color of the ocean that rolls beneath Pacific trades? How does a wave curl and crash at 47 degrees south? Can an albatross remain awing in the worst of weathers?” Randall Reeves has always found images to be the most compelling part of the stories we tell about the sea. Therefore, when he completed his own notable voyage, he decided to share his journey through photos in a gorgeous anthology of his daily reports during the trip.

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His Figure 8 Voyage comprised a nonstop, solo circumnavigation of both the North and South American and Antarctic continents: a feat never before been attempted until Reeves set out in 2017, ultimately abandoning and restarting for a successful trip in 2019.

Richly populated with wildlife, locales and breathtaking cloud and seascapes, the book allows readers to sign on as passengers of a sort and see the world through Reeve’s eyes as he covers 40,000 miles of ocean. The 100-page coffee table book is illustrated with 250 color photos. Maps, logs and guiding text provide context from the 384-day, solo odyssey, resulting in an immersive reading experience. Reeves also hopes to publish a second text-based account of his journey, but considers the photos to be paramount when it comes to understanding the spirit of the voyage, saying, “What’s important is that the reader see the ocean as the camera sees it, over many days, many miles and many latitudes.”

Ed note: Be sure to check the March 2021 issue of SAIL magazine, when we’ll be featuring another feature article by Randall Reeves on his voyage

Randall Reeves

$29.95, available through figure8voyage.com

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