Great Sailing Stories

A recent post on S/V Del Viento's blog reminded us of the tragic story of Donald Crowhurst, along with some of the other great sailing stories we've read (or watched) over the years. Here's a quick list of some of our favorites.

Donald Crowhurst

In 1968, Donald Crowhurst was one of the entrants in the Golden Globe Race - a singlehanded circumnavigation. He basically mortgaged his entire estate to enter, but neither he nor his boat was prepared. Realizing this, he decided to fake his position reports so he could basically cheat and win the race. Ultimately this put him in a pickle where there was no way he'd be able to get away with it.

The book "The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" and the more recent movie "Deep Water" approach the story from different angles and both are well worth it.

Dove - Robin Lee Graham

No story has inspired more teenage boys to sail than this one. In 1965, sixteen year old Robin Lee Graham set off to sail around the world, alone. National Geographic did a series on his travels, but Robin's book "Dove" is a great read. There are a few movie adaptations of the book, but really we don't feel any of them are very good.

Adrift - Steven Callahan

This is the incredible autobiography of a single-hander who's boat "Napoleon Solo" was holed and sunk in a storm. He spent 76 days in his liferaft before being rescued. Not many people in similar situations have survived for so long and lived to write about it.

Three Good Racing Stories

"Morning Light" is a movie about a Transpac boat sponsored by Roy Disney. He wanted to put together a crew of younger sailors for the race, and they did very well. It's a great documentary.

"Wind" is a fictional movie about a low-budget America's Cup team. It's inspired by real events, but is very much a fictional move. Still a great story, and worth watching.

"The Race" is a story about the 2000 circumnavigation race. This race had no rules aside from being a non-stop circumnavigation. Definitely worth reading.

And Finally

No list of sailing stories would be complete without mentioning "Captain Ron"!

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