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Summary

Bound for Distant Seas begins sailing author James Baldwin's epic tale of his second circumnavigation. His story is seasoned by his adventures during his first circumnavigation in 1984-86 as told in Across Islands and Oceans. Alone with little money aboard Atom, his now-engineless 28-foot sailboat, James embarks on his odyssey without the comforts and equipment most sailors consider essential. Challenging himself to live as closely with the sea as possible, the author sets sail in 1987 from Florida, bound for new adventures on the distant shores of Asia. He does not return home again for 15 years.

In this paean to the sea and foreign lands, the author recounts the best and worst of life on the ocean, visits to far-flung islands, and adventures amid throngs of humanity in some of the world's most densely populated cities. This unvarnished physical and philosophical saga includes encounters with dead-eyed bureaucrats, native angels of mercy, newly discovered WWII wreckage, fellow expat adventurers, rogues and misfits.

The journey takes many unplanned turns as the author faces near misses with lurking dangers, hikes across islands, finds temporary employment ashore, and immerses himself in foreign cultures. Along the way he is tested by sea and society, and he ultimately discovers the priceless treasures of heart and mind that he seeks. James invites you to come aboard Atom for the journey of a lifetime.

©2015 James Baldwin (P)2015 David N. Olberding

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger M Robins
  • 25-05-16

Cool sailing story

I like the start to middle very much. As it got closer to the end it got more preachy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Moree
  • 27-03-16

More than just a sailing story

James Baldwin is a great sailor, but he is also a great writer. Cruising is 5% sailing and 95% being there, and James' book is just that. His book makes me more confident as I prepare to live my own circumnavigation, and inspired to live my own life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean Owens
  • 27-04-16

Sailing and social commentary

Having listened to this book and it's entirety, I find that the adventure that the author has penned is definitely worthy of a listen. I think that the author is a very deep and intelligent man who wants to open the world that he has sailed to others on the same level. I am certain that his experiences in each of these places touched him greatly. Having spent quite a bit of time in the Philippines, I understood so much of what he spoke about. I am fascinated by the people there and the resilience. Descriptions in Thailand and the Philippines of the subjugation by predatory sex tourists was quite enlightening.

I think that the only negative that I found in the actual reading of the book were some of the pronunciations were not very close to the actual local pronunciations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MS
  • 13-04-16

Great for the armchair sailor

Great narrative and description of the challenges of voyaging under sail. A few mispronounced words by the narrator. This was a good sequel to the author's other book, Across Islands and Oceans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • las3tortugas
  • 21-02-16

Very pleasant voice

Very pleasant voice. The narrator and text made the story alive and made the difference in such story. They made us dream.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 10-02-16

Well narrated, aside from one fact...

The story was excellent. The narrator read the story well, aside from not being familiar with the Philippines or the Filipino language. Many, many words were pronounced incorrectly and I found that part annoying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DavidF
  • 11-02-18

Individual Perspective Well Delivered

Starts out as a writer in need of training. Matures in ability as he does in subsequent progressions of his life I saw as a desire to progress as he desires to learn new cultures new abilities and himself. I was very impressed with this back story of the author maturing into a selfless human contributing to his relationships his relationships with the indigenous peoples he worked and traveled with as though they were family and his maturing as a skilled poetic author. Well thought out and well delivered. To stay with this story rewards you with tantalizing tales and introspective philosophy we all can appreciate. Well Done!

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  • G. Goober
  • 15-07-17

great!!!!

very cool story. very well done...
cant wait to read about the remainder of the voyage

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  • Thom
  • 18-04-17

Didn't Finish it

I've read or listened to many sailing stories. Usually, the topic itself is enough to keep me thoroughly engaged. However, I really didn't enjoy this one. In part, my problem was with the narrator. The same narrator read Bumfuzzle - another sailing book - to me. The similarities in narrator, subject matter and first-person perspectives made it difficult to read a second book read by the same narrator. I couldn't lose myself in it because I had to keep reminding myself that this is a different storyteller.

Beyond that, the book itself was just not that compelling. The story itself is amazing, but the telling is not.

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  • D
  • 10-04-17

great sailor, great story

i enjoyed the narration and Im glad I bought the audiobook instead of the print book