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22 July 2013

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat by Chris Stewart is the story on one man taking the job as a ship's captain and then trying to learn to sail.

When asked by a friend's elderly aunt to captain a boat in the Aegean sea for the summer, Stewart jumped at the chance. Then he realized he knew nothing about boats. Step one: get a book on sailing and learn the language. Step two: find someone with a boat to go to sea... when that goes poorly, step three: sing up for a sailing class.


Buy the time he arrived in Greece, he had the basics of sailing under his belt. Then he had to deal with the fact that the boat he was sent to pick up, a Cornish Crabber, had not been repaired as promised, but was sitting with other decrepit crafts in a pile on the shore.

After a rough start, a beautiful summer sailing the Aegean, led Stewart to a love of sailing. So when his sailing teacher called and said he was putting together a crew to sail from UK to Rhode Island via Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland, he jumped at the chance. Of course his summer sail did not quite prepare him for dodging icebergs and the storms around Greenland.

Stewart's humorous (and at times harrowing) tale of his early years in sailing illustrates both the joy and power of our waterways. He has been compared to Bill Bryson as an author of travel adventure and folly. This book will either make you want to sail, or never go near the water!

Stewart, Chris. (2009). Three Ways to Capsize a Boat. New York: Broadway Books.

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