sail-world.com -- Book review: A Thousand Miles from Anywhere, Sandra Clayton
Book review: A Thousand Miles from Anywhere, Sandra Clayton
Sun, 12 May 2013
A Thousand Miles from Anywhere is a narration by Sandra Clayton of the third part of their sailing adventures, covering their journey across the Atlantic on a forty foot catamaran. Inspiringly for anyone else contemplating blue water cruising in middle age, she and her husband David sail two handed from Madeira to Florida, stopping at the Canaries, Cape Verde Island, then through the Caribbean.
The two previous books, Dolphins Under My Bed and Turtles in Our Wake, covered their journey from the UK down the Atlantic coast and then around the Mediterranean.
Most cruising stories can end up being no more than a diary of the writer’s travels, and the start of the book seems to follow this trend: 'we went here and anchored there and met so and so', but gradually you start getting into Clayton’s sarcastic British style, especially when she describes the antics of the French sailors and behaviour of some Americans that they meet in the Canary Islands.
The 2,225 nautical mile three-week trip across the Atlantic offers a more introspective view as the monotony of the watch routine takes over and she has time to think. As they head south west they encounter tropical squalls that bring short periods of strong winds followed by long calms, making for frustrating and exhausting sailing. The trip takes longer than expected and they spend an unscheduled Christmas and New Year on the high seas.
Their arrival to Antigua in the Caribbean heralds a new section of the book as they visit the islands, deal with the locals and enjoy what is one of the best cruising destinations in the world.
By now you are onboard with them, finding anchorages, sharing mealtimes, fixing broken gear and dealing with difficult officials. They are enchanted with the old world charm of Antigua, Nevis & St Kitts, but less enthusiastic about the crowds in St Martin and the Virgin Islands, both ashore and at the anchorage.
If you are planning to sail east-west across the Atlantic or the Caribbean, then you should read this book as it would provide useful information about the places they visit, and whether you should go there or avoid them.
Certainly if other people find places enchanting and memorable then it’s probably worthwhile your going there too. Likewise if they describe the horrors of finding a suitable anchorage or berth, the difficulties of clearing customs and the lack of things to see, then you might bypass this location for a better one.
A Thousand Miles from Anywhere is a paperback with 175 pages is available wherever Adlard Coles Nautica books are sold, or buy it online by clicking here.
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 400 yachts and 4300 competitors annually taking part in the event. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom. [More info]
Hood Sailmakers (Aust) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated. The first sail loft outside of the USA to be granted a franchise in 1968 by the founder Ted Hood. [More info]
Mauri Pro Sailing
Your direct access to sailing solutions. 8,000+ products for cruising and racing sailors and sailboats. We search for appropriate sailboat hardware or sailing gear and offer them at competitive prices [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Quantum Australasia Pty Ltd
Quantum Sail Design Group designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racers and cruisers who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. [More info]
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) is an annual four-day event which attracts buyers and marine industry representatives from across Australia and around the globe. [More info]
Sydney Rigging Specialists
Sydney Rigging Specialists is a leading company in the supply of yacht rigging, cordage, marine fittings and accessories. We are based in Sydney and work from our specially fitted out rigging shop. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]