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Imperfect Passage: A Sailing Story of Vision, Terror, and Redemption Hardcover – June 5, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Cosgrove wears several hats. He has been an author, a print model, and an actor for the past twenty-five years, and is the owner of an insurance agency in Tustin, California. He graduated from Michigan State and holds an MA degree from Western Michigan in Psychology. During the summers, he spends his time with his wife, Sally, and their nine grandchildren on a lake in northern Michigan. He currently lives in Irvine, California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616087285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616087289
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...no wind is favorable." That is a quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca and seems fitting given how I felt after completing Imperfect Passage. I remain an amateur sailor (which is a dangerous thing) but truly appreciate sailing's call and literature's romance with it. Author Cosgrove's later life crisis can be summarized as a clumsy and inept stab at adventure. I found it uncomfortable with an ongoing array of head-scratching decisions...exactly the opposite of a well planned sailing voyage. There are doses of humour based on the characters that show up as crew but even that was thin entertainment and it concludes abruptly and on a surprise downer. The book started and ended "in irons" and I feel sorry for his family who must have thought their patriarch's brain was 'luffing'.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have sailed similar boats most of my life. This book is reality. The author's vivid descriptions are the real thing. It is like going on his adventure and not getting wet!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure how I would rate Imperfect Passage if it was a work of fiction - probably not 5 stars. But, as a man's non-fiction story about himself, his family, his life, and his adventure, it gets 5 stars plus. On a literary level, it is an engaging and highly enjoyable read.

I find honest personal stories and histories to be particularly intriguing because reality is often more provacative, and typically more important, than fiction. Imperfect Passage is a great example. Michael Cosgrove seems justifiably proud of his quest and accomplishiments. As readers/observers we particularly admire those because most of us would not and do not undertake anything like a mission to sail around the world (but then most of us don't feel such a driving need either). But, as the name of the book announces, Michael Cosgrove builds much of his story around the imperfections of his decisions and his preparations and the consequences of those imperfections. The accomplishments and successes out weigh the imperfections and mistakes (hence he is still with us to tell his story), but the imperfections and his very good humored addressing of them account for much of the book's appeal.

Yes, this is a story of sailing and the sea. But, at their core, the adventure, and the book, are Michael Cosgrove's self examinations and his story of working throgh his imperfections to find his answers and a focus for the next stage of his life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have you ever wondered what makes a person leave behind a seemingly cushy life and set sail for an extended period? I have. That's why I was intrigued by the premise of this book. If you love reading about action and adventure on the open ocean, you'll likely enjoy this book. There's plenty of excitement and local color as the author does a compelling job of capturing the conflicts on the seas, from storms to boredom (along with a homicidal crew member), the troubles and pleasures to be found on shore, and the turmoil in his own mind.

If you're a woman, a lawyer, a person born in France, and/or someone who likes the books they buy to be thoroughly proofed (I'm three out of four), this book may not float your boat. Although someone "hoisting a cocktail party" did make me laugh!
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By 1st Sgt on February 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been my #1 bucket list dream, to sail the ocean far away from land. this book took me there. It was an exciting and terror filled passage...with only a few pages matching what I envisioned in my dream. An ocean passage is off my list after reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has inspired me to take on my own life trip, I live in California where we have mountains and deserts all within arms length of each other, so to speak. My vessel is not sea worthy, rather an old 72 International Scout II that had been sitting in the drive way for quite a long time. I am now inspired to finish what I started and go out to the Mojave Desert Preserve and take the trip of a life time for me. I feel at home in the sea of sand, lava rocks, dry salt lake, and mountains.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a young man, my goal in life was to retire at age 50 and sail my own boat around the world. Michael Cosgrove belatedly developed the same goal at age 60 and accomplished it -- half way! This is a book that all sailors must read, especially if you want to sail offshore, especially especially especially if you want to sail very long distances! Michael Cosgrove is your sailing "everyman." An everyman with money, mind you, but money nonetheless. At aged 60 he decided that despite his financial success he had nothing to really show for his life on earth, so he invested $100,000 in an ocean-going boat and put another $100,000 to get it chandliered sufficiently. The only things he did NOT do were to read up on the mental challenges necessary to sail for days at a time by yourself and to adequately research and vett potential crewmen. Mind you, other than coastal sailing off California, Cosgrove was not a super-experienced sailor.

This is a good read, not only with respect to the practical challenges incumbent with sailing offshore (remember, Murphy's Law, was invented for boats!), and Cosgrove does an admirable job in describing complicated situations like safely finding the one passage through a dangerous reef into a South Sea island. Additionally, Cosgrove encountered a series of real-life circumstances in his sail and in out-manuevering a crook at the end of his voyage in Australia.

Do yourself a favor: read "Imperfect Passage" and learn from the extra-ordinary experiences encountered by a ral guy -- not some young fictional guy floating with a tiger on his boat!
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