Since I write naval fiction, I read A LOT of sea stories since that is the only way to get a good sense of what it is like to be in a terrible storm or just being at sea which, judging from diaries and letters, is often boring, even in wartime.
This book is about a handful of people whose sanity one must call into question: the men and women who sail, by themselves, through the most dangerous waters in the world in the Vendee Globe race which lasts at least four months. For much of the time, they are in waters so stormy they can’t see anything but the giant waves which surround them and reach the heights of large buildings. I would be scared enough to pee in my pants. Almost every one of these boats not only gets knocked down on a regular basis, that is the force of the wind on the sail simply knocks the boat over one hundred eighty degrees and if one is lucky, the weight of the keel brings the boat back up.
Suffice it to say that this book is beautifully written, the descriptions of the sea in all of its most violent states are breathtaking. The author, Derek Lundy, is a sailor and author although he doesn’t participate in these kind of races. Like any good story, this one is told through the eyes of those who were there and we feel their fear, triumph, and courage. I’ve read this book four times. I wish I knew Mr. Lundy.