When first published in 1995, Herb Payson's brilliant Blown Away was hailed by critics and readers alike as a modern classic in the genre of cruising literature.
So what's it about? At middle age, Herb and Nancy Payson decided they needed a change. Why not give up life on shore, quit their jobs in the smoky nightclubs of Los Angeles, and take up the cruising life? In Sea Foam, their 36-foot ketch, the Paysons and their large brood of teenage children cruised the Pacific for six and a half years. They experienced a certain amount of stark terror, but their delights far outbalanced the drawbacks.
Anyone seriously dreaming of setting off to sea should listen to Blown Away. Families who are already out there should make it bedtime listening, as Herb shows the way families interact in the close quarters of a sailing boat at sea. But even those who find their ordered onshore existences good and fulfilling can hardly escape a twinge of envy while experiencing this amusing, instructive, and wholly delightful adventure.
This special 35th anniversary edition is enhanced with a foreword by Lin Pardey, plus Herb's reflections on how cruising affected his children and his relationship with his determined, lifelong partner/wife Nancy.
"Perhaps the most delightful result of Herb Payson's decision to give up his credit card-cluttered life for one of bluewater cruising is that now he provides sailors (be they armchair or active) with uproariously funny tales of magic and woe. He has been charming magazine audiences with his adventures for several years; here he tells the entire hilarious but often humbling story of his family's move from California to a Pacific-bound ketch in Blown Away." (Cruising World)
"Herb's self-deprecation is a wonderful counterpoint to his serious seamanship. Blown Away lets the reader laugh as he learns. A classic comedy of riches." (Sail Magazine)
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