A Journey Around the World
Email this review


The amazing account of one couple’s global sailing adventure.

In the early 1990s, first-time author and former financial officer Olton and her husband, Steve Salmon, quite literally decided to throw caution to the wind and attempt one of the most challenging feats known to sailors: circumnavigating the globe. Prior to their voyage, the couple’s joint passion for seafaring had been intense but avocational, with their most extended trek taking them across the Pacific for seven months. But in 1993, the two quit their jobs, sold their Berkeley home and car, packed a daughter off to college and glided beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in their new 40-foot ocean-ready sailboat to embark on a journey that would take them across 45,000 miles to 61 countries and occupy nearly eight years of their middle-aged lives. Olton’s no-nonsense first-person narrative richly details the vagaries of travel, from terrifying moments strapped to the mast while freeing a sail in a storm-tossed sea to blissful island encounters with cultures and creatures completely foreign to her. “This was more than a trip, or even a voyage, and God knows it was not an extended vacation, as so many well-meaning souls have said to me,” she writes. “It was our way of life for eight years.” She also acknowledges (and occasionally questions) the sacrifices inherent in trading the easy domesticity they’d known for decades for the solitary life of the explorer: “We knew that the voyage would either change our lives or bring us to our knees. In the nearly eight years we were constantly challenged as to which it would be.” The only element missing here is a detailed map; the one provided on the travelogue’s promotional website ( doesn’t quite do justice to this extraordinary journey.

Informed, informative and inspiring.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-583-48473-9
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: