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Without a Paddle: Racing Twelve Hundred Miles Around Florida by Sea Kayak Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 8, 2010


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Without a Paddle: Racing Twelve Hundred Miles Around Florida by Sea Kayak + Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent + One Inch Above the Water: Running Away on America's Rivers
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031263076X
  • ASIN: B004NSVF40
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At its core, the idea of traveling 1,200 miles around the coast of Florida in a kayak sounds grueling--the organizers of the Ultimate Florida Challenge warn wouldbe entrants that "even if you are a wellprepared expert, you may die." But Richey, who writes for the Christian Science Monitor, shows in this fast-paced memoir that a persevering spirit can overcome all physical and mental exhaustion. Still feeling the effects of a divorce that threw his world into upheaval, Richey finds solace in his sea kayak and enters the competition, despite the objections of family and friends. Nearly every day and night, he encounters all possible obstacles: physical ailments (blisters, sore muscles, sleep deprivation), the threat of predators like alligators and pythons, and solitude while paddling through the night. On a diet consisting largely of bagels and Snickers bars, Richey travels on, battling himself and the biggest enemy of all: the clock, as the rules mandate the race be completed within 30 days. Much of the tale centers on his nautical journey, but Richey seamlessly weaves that with his heartbreak from divorce, the bond of a father and son, and moving on with a newfound love. By the end of this wonderfully uplifting book, Richey's trip has taken him well beyond the perimeter of the Sunshine State.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Advance Praise for Without a Paddle

“As in the best of adventure literature, the physical journey in Without a Paddle is merely a portal through which Richey guides the reader on a voyage across the ocean of the heart. Read it. Go with him. It's a trip you'll never forget.”
—Mark Jenkins, author of A Man’s Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places

“In his great paddle around Florida, Warren Richey braced for battle against sharks, pythons, and crazed drunken motorboaters, but his most formidable foe turned out to be middle-aged self-doubt. This book is for anyone who believes in the redemptive value of hard physical challenge, and who believes that age is just a number.”
—Mark Obmascik, author of Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled—and Knuckleheaded—Quest for the Rocky Mountain High, winner of the 2009 National Outdoor Book Award

“Warren Richey—engaged in a grueling long-distance kayak race—has laid a coastal map of Florida over his inner struggle for a new life after the disappointment of a divorce. In the course of these pages, Richey measures himself against his competitors and the sea, and he considers what it means to love and be loved.”
—Lou Ureneck, author of Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska

“This is the best kind of book; the kind that makes every day magical. I loved it for its humor and humility, its wonderful parables and pitch-perfect storytelling, its journey of discovery within and without, and its elegant ending. Bravo, Warren Richey. Florida is lucky to have you.”
—Kim Heacox, author of The Only Kayak: A Journey in the Heart of Alaska

“Warren Richey wields a pen like he maneuvers his kayak—rapidly paced, lively, dipping between Florida lore, the wake of a failed marriage, the promise of love ahead, and the innumerable challenges of a race that can only be described as insane. A fun and invigorating ride."
—Franz Wisner, author of How the World Makes Love


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a great book and fun to read.
OSUchem
This is turning out to be one of the funniest books I've read recently. about half way through and I find myself laughing out loud.
Anita Hazeltine
I liked how the author combined his personal life and experiences withe thr journey around Florida.
Douglas Foss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris La Tray on August 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was a little concerned over the first third of this book, as it seemed to be more memoir-style ruminations on failed marriage and finding new love than about kayak adventure, but I stuck with it. I'm glad I did. Once the race begins and Richey spends more time telling us about his adventure, as well as personal and historical anecdotes about the areas he traverses, the book became much more exciting. I still found myself skimming the short chapters that seemed written directly for the benefit of his new love, but that's just me. Other readers might find it heartwarming, it just isn't my thing. I think if there were less of that I would give the book another star or two, but that's just my preference. The book I wanted to read wasn't necessarily the one Richey wanted to write, and there really isn't anything wrong at all with what he delivered. There was still plenty here for me to enjoy anyway, and it definitely makes me want to explore Florida.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nadine Epstein on July 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Last night, I read this book about a 1,200-mile boat race around Florida without putting it down. First of all, I love the man against nature theme. The author, Warren Richey, is one cool-headed, thoughtful and courageous guy. Through tides, wild waves, dangerous water-dwelling beings, sun, darkness, exhaustion and fear, Richey comes as close as one can to the rhythm of nature and survive. All day I've been thinking about how on one of the last nights of this crazy race, he navigates the currents at the mouth of the Sewanee River only to plunge his sea kayak--in the utter dark--into the breaking waves of a stormy Gulf of Mexico. What guts and what an adventure! I enjoyed "experiencing" the watery geography (and history) of Florida, not the one we usually visit, but the seas, rivers, creeks and streams, even the oily, concrete-walled waters of the Intercoastal. I came away knowing the swamps, the mud, the uninhabited islands and the occasional manicured estate lawn where Richey hung his hammock, or fell asleep for a few hours after chomping down some food, somehow still able to distinguish reality from his nightmares. But this journey is far more than man against nature, it is the story of a deeply romantic man finding his sea legs after a failed marriage. He's ready to try marriage again, and in fact is dating the woman of his dreams, but has never let her know. Can he make it to the finish line, let alone win the race? Can he work through the pain and disappointment of one marriage to propose another? This book is a great ride all the way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lana Stewart on July 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished Without a Paddle -- in a day -- could not put it down. My S.E. Fla kayak club has paddled many of the areas mentioned and it's fun seeing them through Warren's eyes. Have not had so many laughs reading a book in a long time. Even though I paddle frequently, there is no way I could possibly do the race. But, by Warren's laying out the different portions of the trip, my friends and I realize that we could do it in bits and pieces. This book allows an avid paddler or armchair-paddler to appreciate all the beautiful sights available from the water.

Went to a book review and reading by Warren and he talks just like he writes--very knowledgeable and likeable. Looking forward to another adventure and book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kristen L. Greenaway on July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a keen sea kayaker, member of WaterTribe (KiwiBird) and fan of Warren Richey as Sharkchow, I was drawn to the book. Not only did it fulfill my interest in learning more about the actual paddling and logistics and down-right hard knacker involved in a 1,200 mile paddling race, I learned more about the author than I knew. I want to thank Richey for sharing his heart, his soul and his love for life and for Linda, and for his son. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to join him on such a wonderful, beautiful journey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By william Herrmann on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many things that go on inside the cockpit during a 1200 mile race, some are race issues (camping, eating, etc) but many are not. The book touches on all the issues- including the myriad of emotions and sometimes truly odd thoughts that go through one's mind. But the book touches on much more than just the Ultimate Florida Challenge.

Perhaps the best compliment that I can give the book is that for those who want a good feeling of what it is like to be in a 1200 mile event, "Without a Paddle" captures that and much more.

Great read! Thanks for taking the time to write it and share part of your on and off the water experiences.

Bill "SnoreBringGator" Herrmann
2010 UFC Finisher
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OSUchem on February 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Warren Richey has produced a great read "Without a Paddle". It is fantastic!
I wish I could take on a challenge like paddling a kayak around Florida. I don't have the courage. It was great being a witness to the planning and the challenges of Warren.
I enjoyed the narrative about Florida. I learned so much about a state I have visited many times, especially places I have actually been yet knew so little.
I marveled at Warren's taking measure of his life. Rarely do I take the time to think about where I am in life and where I want to go. A 45 minute walk on the beach does wonders for me. Twenty days on the water must be a rare experience. I appreciate Warren's sharing.
The book reminded me to appreciate life more fully-a hot shower, a warm meal, a candy bar and time spent with family and friends.
I especially enjoyed Warren's model for decision making expressed with a single question-"Is the door open?"
My most important take away was the realization and reminder that we are better than we think we are. When we think we have gone as far as we think we can, we can still go further. My recommendation for a second book would be an expansion on "Is the door open?"
This is a great book and fun to read.
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