Narrated in his own voice, in this third book about his travels aboard the 28-foot sailboat Atom, James Baldwin creates an ode to the sea and to those who venture upon her in small voyaging sailboats.
The Next Distant Sea continues the memoir of his second adventurous circumnavigation as begun in his earlier book Bound for Distant Seas. Known for books and magazine articles about his earlier solo voyages, the author here describes the struggles and rewards of navigating distant seas, the joys and challenges of interacting with foreign cultures, as well as the love and loss of an intoxicating island girl.
Beginning in Hong Kong, The Next Distant Sea takes listeners to diverse destinations, through the lesser-traveled islands of the Philippines and Indonesia, to far-flung island outposts in the Indian Ocean, including a lengthy exploration of mysterious Madagascar, then on to newly postapartheid South Africa. Along the way Baldwin’s personal journey is interwoven with tales of the extraordinary and often outlandish characters he befriended, from a man who crossed the Pacific alone in a dugout canoe, to a vagabond trader who traveled to the poorest ports of east Africa in an engineless steel junk, to a young sailor who tragically lost his life. By melding their stories and his own, Baldwin provides valuable insight into the individualist, minimalist, and libertarian mind-set of the voyaging vagabond. The Next Distant Sea is essential listening for all who would go to sea in small boats.