Home from Distant Seas
by James Baldwin (independent published, 2020; $13.99 paperback, $6.19 e-book)
Baldwin’s voyaging-lifestyle philosophy—travel frugally, and take the time to reflect on and learn from every experience along the way—continues in this third book in his retrospective Distant Seas trilogy. This volume continues the saga begun in Bound for Distant Seas (2015) and The Next Distant Sea (2018). Readers rejoin James andAtom, his 28-foot
Pearson Triton, in South Africa, and are swept along as he voyages across the South Atlantic to Brazil and the Caribbean, then homeward (with mixed feelings) to the United States. Baldwin is a calm, keen observer of places, people and events.
His mini profiles of the sailing characters he meets along the way make the reader feel the cruising life, as do his descriptions of places explored and situations encountered. His acquired profession—boat repair and restoration—plus his own vast experience, allows him to pay forward his wisdom on what works and what doesn’t for extended voyaging in small boats, and to share his philosophy on the interconnected artistry of sailing and seamanship. This final leg of his multiyear voyage is a double love story, weaving together Baldwin’s love of the sea with his affection for the woman he marries along the way; together they point Atom’s bow toward US shores to complete his second circumnavigation.
New readers might benefit from reading his previous books first; followers of Baldwin will not be disappointed with this latest adventure. Like a relaxing passage, and like Baldwin’s own voyages, this inspirational book should be savored slowly, with plenty of pauses for reflection.