- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Sheridan House; Reissue edition (January 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780924486845
- ISBN-13: 978-0924486845
- ASIN: 0924486848
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Long Way Paperback – January 1, 1995
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Moitessier is better known as one of the greatest ocean voyagers and was a legend in his time. Last month we reviewed the last book he wrote Tamata and the Alliance. This book is about his Round the World Race for singlehanded yachts. For Moitessier, the race finished in mid-Pacific after he had passed the three Capes and crossed his outward track, leading, and with the hardest sections behind him, he decided to forfeit the race and continue into the Pacific again, to anchor finally among friends in Tahiti. His actions were never explained by the news media; they could not have been, for the voyage had always been seen by Moitessier as something other than a sponsored, publicized, competitive event. It was on the ocean, alone with his boat, that Moitessier began to regard this as a voyage that could not end for him with the reward of those whose values were not his. (Sailing Inland & Offshore)
One of the world's most famous ocean sailors, Moitessier had sailed for more than a year from Plymouth, England to the Indian Ocean when he inexplicably abandoned the lead in the 1968-1969 Round-the-World single-handed race. He sailed to Tahiti, dropped anchor and dropped out. Until the publication of this book, only Moitessier and a few friends knew why. Most of the book is a diary of that voyage with philosophical side trips into modern civilization. There is also a 60-page appendix that can stand alone as a small reference volume of details such as route planning, sail repair, the problems of sail and line chafe, rigging and hull construction, self-steering, freak waves and weather, plus much more. Altogether a strange, fascinating, and informative book. (Boat U.S.)
About the Author
Bernard Moitessier was born in 1925 in Indochina and much of his sailing knowledge was gained during time spent at sea with the fishermen of the Gulf of Siam. One of the greatest ocean voyagers, he became a legend in his time. He was also a gifted writer and wrote four books describing his seagoing adventures. He moved to France where he spent the last years of his life working on his memoirs, Tamata and the Alliance (Sheridan House, 1995), the story of an unusual man and an exciting life. Bernard Moitessier died in the summer of 1994.
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For anyone interested in sailing, there is a long section at the back of the book of advice and explanations of sailing lower, about equipment and every other important aspect that a knowledgeable sailor should understand.
Moitessier entered the Round The World Race presumably to win, but he spends far more time communing with the seabirds and listening to the wave patterns on his boat, JOSHUA's hull than in dedicated yacht racing. In the end, Moitessier decided not to sail back to his starting point, but went on to Tahiti on the next step of his inner voyage.
THE LONG WAY is particularly interesting to read in juxtaposition with THE STRANGE LAST VOYAGE OF DONALD CROWHURST (Crowhurst went mad and simply stepped off his boat into the sea), and Robin Knox-Johnston's A WORLD OF MY OWN. Johnston prosaically suffered the miseries of a diet of canned bully beef, and a constant nervous but impeccably British Imperial xenophobic dread of how "The Frog" was doing. He wanted to be the winner, and was.
It's clear that Moitessier could have cared less what Knox-Johnston or the others were doing. JOSHUA is his private garden, and he invites us in to sample its mysteries. His Zen-like approach is more understandable when one realizes that he was French in parentage but raised in Indochina. A calm, accepting Buddhist tone glows throughout this book. If indeed Moitessier went mad (as some say he did) his madness was a doorway to spiritual peace, and not, like Crowhurst's, to sorrow and death.
Moitessier takes us THE LONG WAY toward beauty, value, and the validation of ourselves in what is, after all, a vast and playful universe.