Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Around the World Single-Handed: The Cruise of the "Islander" (Dover Maritime)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars14
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on February 7, 1999
This book is special to me as it opened my eyes to the reality that anyone with a true desire to see the world can make it a reality. It sparked in me a desire to 'go cruising' which I will be doing this summer when I leave on a trip to circumnavigate the world by sailboat. I was inspired by Harry Pigeons' account of his voyage aboard the 'Islander', and I think you will be too.
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on September 24, 2012
Harry Pidgeon, a farm boy from Iowa did not even see the sea until he was eighteen but by then he had "mucked about" a bit in boats as do most lads and after a spell in Alaska, he decided to build one of the famous Rudder Magazines 'Islander' sloops. Having completed his thirty four foot wooden sailing boat, single-handed, without "too much trouble" he said, he launched and sailed it - single-handed - to Hawaii.

He accepted a crew for the return, who joined with a brand new guitar. He was, he said, going to learn how to play it, during his "spare time" on the voyage. Harry concluded that this crew-hand somewhat lacked experience of sailing a sloop across an ocean. "However, we got on well enough". Reading this book it is difficult to imagine anyone not being able to `get along; with the calm, competent harry Pigeon.

Joshua Slocomb had only completed the first single-handed some thirty years before in his famous sloop `Spray'who was just three feet longer that the "Islander", but Slocomb had more thirty years sea-going experience behind him. With boundless confidence and, perhaps wisely, single-handed again, harry decided to sail across the Pacific (and never was an Ocean more misnamed) to see `the islands' and, like Slocomb, "kinda, sorta" forgot to stop.

Written in a rather dry, straightforward and chronological manner Pidgeon's tale lacks that marvelous prose that the relatively unlettered Slocomb astoundingly produced in his account. But arm-chair sailors and old reminiscers like me will still enjoy reading these travels and the marvelous islands, peoples, trails and the ultimate success of Harry Pidgeon's circumnavigation around the world. And, unlike Josh Slocomb he did not get corrected by President Kruger who had insisted that Slocomb had misspoke - he meant, Kruger insisted, across the world - it was, after all, said the President of the South African Boer Nation, flat.

Harry would have agreed with Slocomb.
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on May 8, 2012
Harry Pidgeon is one the men, like Joshua Slocum, who carried on as men, but with dignity and good character. And, skills and confidence to build their own boats and trust their lives to it (and in Captain Slocum's case, family).

It would be good if more would request the hard-bound versions to promote the book in that traditional form. To be read as it was written, with deliberateness and respect.
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on May 5, 2014
Since this book is about a cruise that took place back in the 1920's it is a bit out of date, and so also quite a bit out of compliance with today's political correctness. That said, it is a very entertaining view of an extraordinary single handed voyage around the world. Because of age, and and the style of the author, it doesn't add to anyone planning a similar trip today, but it is an interesting glimpse of a world that few if any can remember. Harry Pidgeon seemingly was most impressed with the Pacific portion of his circumnavigation, and so most of the book deals with that. A true life adventure, I rate this a page turner, and I finished it quite quickly. And enjoyed the read.
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on December 1, 2015
Harry Pidgeon didn't think he was some explorer or adventurer. He was just a guy who built a sailboat on the beach then sailed it around the world. Alone. Lots of interesting stories and pictures of early 1900s cultures.
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on January 19, 2012
No fantastic adventure, no , no fight with aggressive natives: just a plain yet fascinating description of a great adventure. A very enterprising man decides to explore that (large) part of the globe he does not yet know: ninety years ago it was still possible.
Through his simple and rugged vessel the author can reach persons and human groups who often are minorities and sometimes disappearing.
I was touched from the attitude of this unassuming man, who likes to really get in touch with human beings so different from his neighbors; he is not an ambassador of western culture, but a curious man who want to explore clean waters and unspoiled lands as well as to communicate as far as possible with persons who have a different perspective of life.
I like this book a lot.
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on May 29, 2001
While Harry Pidgeon's feat of sailing around the world is exceptional, and his writing style clear and concise, he offers few insights into sailing or his life. The book is fashioned after Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around The World:" Or equally as likely, Pidgeon and Slocum were two men of a like mind. In any event, both men portray that 19th century reserve so characteristic of the Englishmen. Such reserve in the face of near scrapes with death maybe admirable, but it does not make for as interesting reading.
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on February 18, 2011
Call me an escapist, but I love this book. To accompany Mr. Pidgeon as he builds the Islander and sails her around the world, from one adventure to another, is a wonderful way to spend a snowy evening by the fire. He gives us a great glimpse into the flavors of the various south sea island groups in the early 20th century, where most cultures were dilluted already, but a few were intact. This book lets us see the world with wide eyed wonder through the eyes of a man with a thirst for knowledge and experience, and from the deck of a small boat.
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on October 2, 2013
I like, first for the simplicity manner in wich it' wrote. Second, because hei tells a word that doesn't exist more, thirth , because, in the past I built a V botton boat, and I sailed for 6 years, in sommer, alone or with frends, about 5000 miles, in Italy, France, and Spain
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on July 28, 2014
Excellent ! A great sailing story written by a true gentle man , with an eye for the qualities of people of all lands , and geographic and cultural differences throughout the world he visited.
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