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  • Dove
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Dove
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2000
Years ago, when I was growing up, I read the account of Robin Lee Graham as the young man who sailed around the world alone, and also got married along the way, in three installments of the National Geographic, circa 1965-1970. These articles so affected me that I also wanted to sail around the world. However, as I read this book it soon became apparent to me that this book is also an account of a true life love story, between Robin and Patti, both with simple values and needs, in sharp contrast to most people who are primarily concerned with money and social status. They were deep in love and would, and did, do anything for each other.
Robin alone, and later with Patti, sailed to some of the most beautiful places on Earth, I think they must have enough memories for 20 lifetimes. The writing style makes you feel that you are right there with them.
The pictures included in this book are poor black and white, but as I remember, the National Geographic articles included excellent color photographs, it would do you well to find those issues.
As for me, I never did get to sail around the world, a little thing called life intervened, the grind and all that! I did take a sailing class through a local university in the summer of '77, even got an "A" in the class, but this pales in comparison to the daring sailing of Robin Graham. Sometimes, during trips to Florida I gaze at ocean-going yachts at wharfs, and yes, the dream is still alive, thanks to Dove
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I read DOVE in 1973, shortly after it was published, and I will eternally thank Robin Lee Graham for introducing me to the sailing life! As a boy not much younger than Graham himself I was captivated by his story, by his daring in taking a 24-foot sloop across trackless oceans, by his exotic ports of call, and by the romance which fueled his ambition.
Robin Lee Graham was like a lot of baby boomers, but when he dropped out at age 16, he dropped into exotic places like Fanning Island, Papeetee, and the Indian Ocean. More travelogue than sailing guide, DOVE gave it's readers glimpses of places rarely visited and virtually unknown at the time. Thirty years later in the Internet and Cellular World it's hard to picture just how far-flung Graham's travels really were. Graham sailed three-quarters of the way around the world without a 2-way radio, and without SatNav, GPS, Loran, EPIRB, or even a real life raft, in a boat barely bigger than a bedroom. He finished the trip in a slightly larger, better equipped boat.
Graham was a reluctant sailor who was happiest ashore with his wife, Patti (who he met along the way in Fiji). Revisiting DOVE, I found that Graham felt overly pressured (by his father and by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, both of which were financing the trip) to complete the circumnavigation. His strongest motivation to sail on was his wife, who played global hopscotch to stay always one port of call in the future. His best reminiscences always include her.
Graham closed the circle, but I had to wonder if he would not have been happier, like Moitessier, just to sail off into the sunset and find his own way.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2006
I first read Robin Lee Graham's account as it was printed in installments in National Geographic at the time of his voyage more than three decades ago. I was a few years younger than he, and fascinated by the narrative and photos of his exploits.

It was very good to find this book recently and revisit his story. This book is of course an expanded account, a lengthier chronicle of his voyage. Also a more frank account; in those days, journalism observed proprieties, and Robin's relationship with Patti was portrayed by National Geographic as more G-rated than it was. (Not that the book is explicit -- Robin simply makes it clear that he and Patti lived together for periods during his journey, and considered themselves to be married before they had an official wedding ceremony).

The book ends with Robin's account of the newlyweds, with young daughter in tow, moving to the woods of Montana to live a "simpler life". I must confess that the cynic in me was certain that they must have run into reality at some point and separated. But I was pleasantly surprised to find some articles on the web that indicated they are still married, with their two children grown and gone, and still living in Montana. In fact, I sugggest you go to Google Images and search for "robin patti graham". You will find a photo, taken just a few years ago, of a grey-bearded but smiling Robin Lee Graham, and beside him Patti -- who, despite being middle-aged, retains the blonde good looks that attracted Robin to her when they met in Tahiti about 40 years ago. There is a passage in this book where Patti asks Robin if he will still love her when she's 64. This photo provides a wonderful postscript to that passage.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
I read this book for a class. Weve read a few books on sailing alone around the world, and I have to say, I enjoyed this one the most. It goes in depth on the loneliness of the voyage. It's not only about sailing but about the love of two people that defies time and distance, and a father who would do anything for his son. All in all, I think it is definatly a book worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 8, 2006
Robin L. Graham lived the dream that over half of us have wanted to do. He sailed around the world. I first started following this story back when reading National Geographic a few decades past. I ran across this book and it was better than the thin National Geographic articles.

Along with being a roaringly great story, a person just does not really comprehend how hard it is to sail around the world. This reviewer knows something about reading a map. Robin makes navigation, a fairly hard and critical skill, seem easy. Example, his sailing from California to Hawaii is a shake down cruise. Then after the first leg of the trip he sails from Hawaii to American Samoa, a voyage of over 2000 miles. A navagation error of only a half a degree would have left Dove miles from her destination. Robin does the navigation and does not think twice of it. This kid has talent. Robin does it all with a sextant, charts, and a chronograph. Who needs GPS? He even invents a simple auto pilot for the boat. If Robin had made the trip today he would have job offers from a half dozen firms.

Robin visits lots of local cultures. It's great. He is just some skinny American kid, not at all like the more numerous soldiers and sailors found in that area at the time. He blends in seamlessly with the local people.

Robin gives lots of sailor's lore. Dove loses her main mast. So Robin has it replaced but he neglects to put a coin at the bottom of the mast. Sure enough Dove loses her main mast in another storm. On mast mark III there is a coin. It might be superstition but to be de-masted in the middle of the ocean is not a fun experence.

I didn't mind the love story. It gives something for Robin to dream of while going from port to port. It does not overpower the story like many other romances tends to do.

I liked this story. This is the sort of light book I wish high school English teachers would use in their classes. The romance would appeal to the girls. The boys would love the action. The parents would not mind the PG rating, if the book had one on its cover.

Dove is a good tale of the sea. Non-sailors will learn a lot. You get to have a good exposure to other cultures by a non-judgemental American.

This kid had a "whale of a good time". I highly recommend this book. The only bad thing is after reading this book I ran out and bought a small 22' sloop for sailing in the Great Lakes.

I envy Robin. He had a great time. Dear Amazon.com Reader, you'll enjoy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2005
Dove is a true story of a 16-year-old boy named Robin Graham who sailed around the world in a 24-foot sailboat. Robin is a wealthy California boy who dislikes society life and would much rather go on sailing adventures to explore different cultures. He follows his dream of sailing around the world, but does not expect the intense loneliness or treacherous weather that would plague him. Neither does he expect the delight of visiting the natural world and making lifelong friendships.

Dove is a well-written and easy to read book. Graham applies imagery and description to give the reader a clear image of the events. He also adds a touch of his personal teenage humor, which makes this book great for youth or adults. Unfortunately, he does not clearly define his sailing terms so I, not having any sailing experience, was left to consult a dictionary. I also felt he could have expressed more of his emotions rather than blandly describing them. Overall, Dove is an engaging tale of humor, adventure and romance, and it will inspire you to follow your dreams and to live your life to the fullest.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2003
Lately I've been reading books about great sea adventures, some of which for the second or third time. Among them are Robin Lee Graham's Dove, the story of his journey around the world in a 24 foot sloop begun when he was only sixteen. Also, Joshua Slocum's classic adventure Sailing Alone Around the World. Just now I'm reading Apsley Cherry-Garard's The Worst Journey In the World, named by National Geographic last year as one of the greatest adventure stories ever written. I am drawn to this genre because of my work and travels in more than 80 countries and my journey around the world in 1999, most of the way as a lone passenger aboard a modern freighter. It is to Robin Lee Graham's credit that his book is now still in print for 31 years and that it is among the classics recommended in home schooling for young adults. In the last chapter of the book, still uncertain of his future, he writes that he and his young wife, Patti, begin to read the Bible together: "Our finding a belief in God - becoming Christians - was a slow thing.... We want to work out our lives in the way God intended us to. In reading the Bible together we were fascinated by the prophecies made two thousand years and more ago, prophecies which seemed to be coming true, like the Jews returning to their own country. We have no idea where these new thoughts and ideas and practices will take us.... But we are open to whatever direction God will give us. Our belief is simple. It is the belief that so many of our own generation are discovering - a belief that God isn't dead as some of the older generation have told us. In a world that seems to be going crazy we are learning that Jesus showed men the only way they should live - the way we were meant to live." Graham's voyage brought him immense intangible wealth -- a companion for life and the wisdom of discovering a Shepherd for all eternity. Highly recommended. ...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2001
A very interesting book. I enjoyed the adventure very much, especially the love story. It was somewhat difficult not to see Robin as a spoiled rich kid though. Let's face it, how many fathers could afford to spend $8000 on a boat for a 16 year old in 1967. That was a pretty good fraction of a years salery for a well paid professional at the time.
Still, there's no denying that Robin handled "the rough spots" on his own. I get the impression that Robin was (is) a person that had experienced wealth and rejected it for the freedom that doing without can bring.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
Robin and Patti's incredible story goes way beyond sailing. In fact, as a reader, you may never have stepped foot on a sail boat, but none the less, their story will take you away to incredible places. Obvious places like Fiji and South Africa. But more than that, the book will take you away to places in your own heart and soul and mind. Places like perseverance, courage, hope, and even loneliness, at times. The book helps readers of all ages understand our own days on our own seas. A whole new generation is discovering this extraordinary story told so honestly by a young mind and with a spirit of great adventure. If you elect to read just one book this year, read this one. You will treasure it among your favorites. -- Dick Stafford
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 1998
I too have read and re-read this book and agree with Robin's view of American life. For those above who wonder what happened to Robin and his family, read the sequel: HOME IS THE SAILOR. It is not widely published but with some searching you will find it--well worth the read. It continues Robin and Patti's way of life, but on land, in Montana. P.S. It's good to hear from those of like mind! Drop me a line and let me know how you liked the SEQUEL!
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