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Publisher's Summary

Across Islands and Oceans is the memoir of 25 year-old James Baldwin and his epic two-year, solo circumnavigation in Atom, his trusty but aging 28-foot sailboat.

Early on and "as broke as [he] dared to be", James determined not only to sail around the world, but also to hike across every island that he visits. His inland forays are unique in the literature of circumnavigators as he finds danger, humor, friendship, and romance in places most sailors will never visit. James' story unfolds in his earnest exploration of distant lands and seas, his meditations on the people whose lives he touched, and his greater voyage to explore his own private ocean of solitude.

His adventure is not merely an attempt to seek thrills, nor even to tempt death, but rather a voyage of discovery as he set out in the direction of his youthful dreams to meet the life he imagined.

"Go seek what you will, where you will, but be a seeker all of your life." (James Baldwin)

©2012 James Baldwin (P)2017 James Baldwin

What listeners say about Across Islands and Oceans

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  • Jon
  • 03-05-2019

Amazing Adventures

First, I must say that one of the reviewers had given a misleading review - he claimed that James Baldwin was a black man and complained that the narrator was a white man. This is not true - I think the reviewer had mixed up the author with another James Baldwin who was also a writer, playwright and activist. This caused a little confusion to me as I listened to the story picturing young James as a black person exploring various islands inhabited by colored people. I did not realize until half way through the story that James is white! This is actually important as I had to reimagine what it would be like for a white person to befriend the locals on his many exciting and challenging adventures.

Second, I am awestruck at this story and the courage and bravery of a 25 year old to go on this journey of spirit and discovery of nature and humanity. I didn't want the journey to end and now I am looking forward to listening to Jame's other books. The writing is a great mix of humor, education, and poetry. It is also an excellent resource for anyone contemplating long passages at sea.

7 people found this helpful

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  • ThunderInTheSun
  • 08-10-2018

A true sailor' s quest

As a young man, this is something I always dreamed of doing. Now, I have sailed vicariously freely around the world. Thank you James Baldwin for this wonderful adventure as your first officer!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • javi
  • 22-06-2020

Exceptional story!

This was a phenomenal book! I would highly recommend this book to anybody that is interested in sailing. He shares his adventures on the high seas and in remote parts of the world in ways that leave the reader captivated. A must read!

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  • M. Bishop
  • 10-03-2019

A good read for young people

I think young people who would like to escape the virtual morass of the internet should read this book and think about escaping and living a more authentic life. James did it on a shoe string and balls.
The story is well told and James seems to be a genuenly decent person.

3 people found this helpful

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  • T. Shirley
  • 28-12-2018

fantastic!!

I loved every single minute of this audio book!! extremely interesting and well written! thx!

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  • Eric Zander
  • 28-09-2020

Fantastic tale of Life!

By the end, you wish you could experience life as he had. But you can't because times have changed. However, you can start your journey now so a life worth living can be lived. Loved this story immensely.

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  • Marke Turner
  • 05-04-2021

Fantastic listen!

It's one of those books that you didn't want to end!
Sounded like an amazing 2 years.
The only thing that I was taken aback by was how he respects animals and so became a vegetarian yet threw pages of a book and then the book jacket itself into the ocean which could have affected the wildlife.

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  • Bob
  • 06-06-2020

I’ve fallen in love with Baldwin’s style.

The spiritual aspects can become incessant but his descriptions of people and places are second to none. I feel like I’ve been to some of these islands in the South Pacific. I read his second book first and now I’m just waiting for my next credit to pick up the third.

The narrator struggles with a few terms, but he gets you there.

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  • ben
  • 03-10-2019

drudgery

an exercise in patience. no pay off. it's not sailing or mountaineering. cuck across continents

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  • william r
  • 27-02-2019

one of the best

A very well written truly positive adventure tale. Interesting and informative and inspiring author, well narrated.

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  • John Stuart
  • 31-03-2020

A complete & enriching adventure.

This is the best sailing , travel or otherwise book I have read ( listened to) . It’s like Chichester’s novels but enriched with honest descriptive feeling. This coupled with the land travel adventures & invaluable detail ( simply tells you vital stats) given of the numerous passages completed make it a must read for all travellers wether you are a sailing circumnavigator or not.
What an incredible descriptive life experience in all aspects of life.
Well done James Baldwin.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.