Sailing Alone Around the World

I’m stunned at not knowing about this book’s existence, what with my obsession with the sea and salty tales. Slocum was the first to sail a boat alone around the world beginning in 1895, back in 1898. His book is both technical and readable, interjecting humor and poetry among the waves in a sparse writing style. He revels in his solitude but also delights in putting into port and meeting the locals. Days upon days are spent reading while the boat sails itself in good weather. His first attempt around Cape Horn fails, so he painstakingly returns through the Straits of Magellan for another crack at it. One helpful friend gives him a bucket of tacks to sprinkle on his deck at night which deters the natives from creeping on to steal from him. At one point he is pursued by natives, so he goes into the cabin and changes clothes, looking like 2 men are on board, then rigs up some sort of cardboard contraption to make it look like 3 men were on board. He spends a length of time in Australia, giving lectures about his trip, and again in South Africa. A great adventure story for the ages.