Skip to main content

Book Review: The Figure 8 Voyage

Five Oceans, Three Continents, One Year, Solo

“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.


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



The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for more


USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter more


Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year more


EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. more


Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond more


Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has more


Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained more


At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter more