By Herb Payson
Forward by Lin Pardey
The bare outline of Payson's story is a familiar one but with a unique twist: at middle age, a couple decides to take four of their six children on a 38' boat, depart work ashore and take up the cruising life. But the fleshing out of the story - a blend of uproarious mishaps and white-knuckled action - is pure Payson. His style gained him loyal followers in Sail magazine and others around the world.
In nearly seven years of South Pacific island-hopping, the author not only has refined diverse boat-handling and boat-living skills, but has learned that adversity can be funny (to readers, anyway). He applies this outlook to such universal problems as broken-down heads, dilatory customs officials, dubious navigational fixes and coping with gale-fore headwinds when a boat (his own beloved Sea Foam) is shaped more like a bowling ball than a 12-meter.
His shaky self-esteem notwithstanding, Herb Payson is a sailor with the kind of hard-earned wisdom that only thousands of tough miles can confer, and his sage advice on the hows and how-nots of cruising is well worth heeding. His story, told with eloquence and humor, will surely rank as a classic of nautical literature.
This special 35th anniversary edition is enhanced with a foreword by Lin Pardey plus Herb's reflections on how cruising affected his children and his relationship with his determined, lifelong partner/wife Nancy.