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A specialized market this, the fraternity of sailors, owners of small boats, those to whom the stories that make up the history of lonely adventure on the high seas are top billing. For most landlubbers, the opening section which deals with limitations of selection (size of vessels, number of voyagers, terminology) can be skipped, for even to armchair sailors, there is much of the lore beloved by blue water seamen they cannot absorb. But the vignettes and pen portraits of the men who braved the seas alone- whatever their reason- afford more variety of experience than one might expect. Merrien has chosen to divide his material into Ocean Crossings, Atlantic and Pacific; Around the World voyages. In the main he has taken one or two men achievements: Johnson in his Centennial, the first one man crossing of the Atlantic in a small boat; Harbo and Samuelson, who rowed a small whaleboat across, Gerbault, who denied nautical assumptions to sail the East-West passage; Dr. Bombard with his scientific experiments in a rubber dinghy, minus stores of food and water; Slocum, pioneer round the world lone voyager, and Voss, who sailed a dugout round the world, and the dedicated J-Y Le Toumelin, and many other stories of success and of disaster.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1954
Publisher: Putnam