While not actively adventuring  we have to find a way to keep ourselves engaged.  Reading is a great way to do that, and there are also many great documentaries available that are both exciting and engaging.  Here are some of the books, movies, documentaries, and occasionally products that we recommend.

Each of the cover photos below is a link to Amazon where you can find a copy of the recommended item.  “Sails In The Wind is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”  What that means is that when you follow the links, and then make a purchase, Sails In The Wind gets a very small percentage of that sale.  Following the links below when you make a purchase on Amazon is a great way to support Sails In The Wind.

It isn’t very often that you come across a novel that is sufficiently about sailing to be truly enjoyable.  Before the Wind truly is one of those.  For me it accurately portrayed the aspects of boat yards that appeal to me which makes time off the water more enjoyable.  For those that aren’t just looking for a way to spend more time in a boat yard there is also a story between the pages which certainly kept me turning the pages.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

When it was first handed to me I had my doubts about it. Rowing is a beautiful sport and sure there are boats involved but I wasn’t sure that was enough to hold my attention. Danial James Brown tells the story so well that it honestly didn’t matter what the book was about, I would have kept reading it anyway. The book follows the stories of a few specific members of the team and fills in their specific back story in more detail. My personal favorite is the racing shell builder himself, George Pocock. You will have to read the book to find out why.

At times the story of the Boys in the Boat is utterly heartbreaking, so much so that at times I had trouble continuing to read. But, I am immensely glad that I did. The reward for staying with the story is being able to feel like you are there alongside the boat during their various triumphs and defeats around the United States as well as abroad. To enjoy this book you don’t need to be a fan of rowing, it will make you appreciate the sport by the end, and will tell a good story in the process.

I couldn’t put this book down.  In spare moments I found myself opening it up just to read a few more words.  Deep Survival is an interesting and captivating bridge between psychology, biology, and brilliantly told narratives.  Each point that Laurence Gonzales makes is accompanied by one or more true stories.  What prevents the often tragic stories from being heartbreaking is the objective way which Mr. Gonzales explains what went wrong in each case and why it wasn’t always the victims fault.  Sometimes the victims own physiology works against them, even with the best intentions.  Also, anyone is prey to the pitfalls of being human, unless of course you know a few tricks and keep luck on your side.

Being a sailor and working in aviation I am very interested in how being “human” can sometimes work against us, and Deep Survival has definitely shown some light into that area.  And, it was also very enjoyable to read.  Currently more of Laurence Gonzales’ books are on my reading list.

The Race: Extreme Sailing and Its Ultimate Event: Nonstop, Round-the-World, No Holds Barred

by Tim Zimermann is both captivating and informative.  The reader is taken through the history of open ocean racing from the first circumnavigation up until The Race which started at the end of the year 2000.  Zimermann does a fantastic job of guiding the reader through the design and building process of the maxi-catamarans.  The description of the design process is both entertaining as well as informative.  But, the true joy was reading about the 7 teams sailing and racing these newly developed speed machines.  Zimermann managed to fill the 27,000 miles that were sailed with enough individual stories and information that the book turned into a real page turner.  I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in open ocean sailing as well as boat design.


by Robin Lee Graham not only revived my faith in reading but also did quite a bit to revive my desire for adventure and rekindled my desire to sail.  The book follows Robin on several sailing adventures including a solo circumnavigation of the globe.  I particularly liked the time that Robin and his wife spent in the Caribbean sailing and living aboard the boat.  That strikes me as the dream of many sailors, to be able to spend carefree time aboard your boat with good company in a beautiful location.  The Dove is also well written and easily kept my attention for hours on end, I highly recommend it.


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