ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN by William Snaith

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The passions and problems of trans-Atlantic yachting are literately and excitingly revealed in this log of two such crossings Snaith made on his 47-foot yawl Figaro III. Snaith pooh-poohs cruisers and tankers and says that you canno longer get closer to the sea than with sail. Sailing ""...is rather a costly "" indulgence. A fellow I know says ocean racing is like standing in an icy shower while tearing up $1000 bills."" Snaith's story of love tells first of a cruise to England, then of a race to the same country. While being a racer, Figaro was a bit of a pleasure dome below deck and carried a crew of six on the first cruise. Snaith's tricks of seamanship are vastly engaging, as are his observations of the crew and the moods of the sea. He easefully communicates his love for his ""magnificent creature"" and the weathers of elation and depression. They meet much heavy weather on the first cruise and arrive at England in a gale...The racing passage is far more tense and heightened an experience. Racing decisions are often pure torture, far different from the more contemplative choices of a mere cruise. To win ""is the opposite of existential nothingness."" The race is described with gusto and breezy masculinity, and Figaro eventually wins in its class...A top-flight, sporting book.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World