Last week I wrote a little about Donald Crowhurst and his tragic attempt to sail around the world singlehandedly.
I first encountered Donald Crowhurst in another seafaring book that I’d highly recommend, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols.
In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.
From that link, here’s the description of the book:
In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.
The book is an amazing read of what man will go through to achieve new and great things. It’s a gripping read, provides no little inspiration on even achieving things in your own day to day life, and is even just provides an informative window on the time.
If you want, by the way, to read a review of the book that includes a very personal take on what it means to him and his working life, check out this from Wil Wheaton.
For me though, the standout aspect from this book was the story of Donald Crowhurst. If you haven’t read my notes on that book, check them out here.