Book review of Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi

A 36ft masthead sloop, a full ten feet longer than Aebi's boat.
A 36ft masthead sloop, a full ten feet longer than Aebi's boat. | Source

A teaser review of the book Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi.

Recently, I have been on a huge boat kick. More precisely, sailboats, and anything and everything they have to do with sailboats. I think it started a few years back when I got to mess around on little Laser sailboat on Sebago Lake in Maine. After that, I began to dream of one day buying a sailboat, selling everything I have and sailing out into the horizon.

Now, that’s not entirely realistic for me at this moment. First, my girlfriend of five years hates sailboats. She’s only been on one, and the heeling in the wind had her so terrified, that to this day she refuses to get back on a sailboat. The other bigger issue, is well, money. I just don’t have enough of it yet. I’ve been working on both issues, the scared girlfriend and lack of copious amounts of money, though.

Until then, I have to daydream and get lost in books about sailing. One of those book’s is Tania Aebi’s ‘Maiden Voyage’. This book is every sailors dream. Tania challenged by her father sets sail at the age of 18 to circumnavigate the globe, alone, in a 26 foot masthead sloop (boaters’ lingo for a single mast sailboat).

She uses her logs and dairies from the voyage to recreate her path around the world. Stopping in some of the most enviable spots in the world! Tania describes the hardship of cruising alone, back before GPS, using a sextant (and a flaky radio) for guiding her through some treacherous places. Imagine this for a moment, using calculations by hands and a chart to cruise yourself more than 30,000 miles and live to tell your tale. Incredible!

I don’t want to give too much away about the book because I’d like for you to read it yourself, but I will say the ending is truly amazing. Tania Aebi at the time of her circumnavigation (in the 1980’s) was the youngest person in history to solo circumnavigate in a sailboat. And she follows in the footsteps of Joshua Slocum, to have done it. People who have solo circumnavigated the world on a sailboat don’t number very high, and the book is truly amazing!

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