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Spindrift

Spindrift: A Wilderness Pilgrimage at Sea

Spindrift: A Wilderness Pilgrimage at Sea

Winner: Non-fiction category, Rubery Book Awards 2014

Peter Reason

"The narrative is lyrical and thoughtful"

Rubery Book Awards 2014: Winner, non-fiction category

Hardback, 192pp, April 2014

 

£16.99

 

We are delighted to announce that Spindrift has won the Rubery Book Award for the best non-fiction book published by an independent publisher. Full details here

Spindrift is the story of a sailing odyssey, but also of an inward journey into deep truths about who we are and how we belong in the universal scheme. A meditation on sailing and life, it is a hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking book for landlubbers, sailors, philosophers and naturalists alike.

It is a story of pilgrimage, of reflection through solitude and through connection with nature. Mostly sailing alone, Peter Reason invites us to share in the minute-by-minute challenges of seamanship and navigation, on his enthralling journey in his 31ft yacht from the Cornish coast, to the Scillies, across the Celtic Sea, visiting harbours and islands in County Cork and County Kerry, and finally circumnavigating Great Blasket and Skellig Michael 

Exploring far more than the seaways, the author successfully manages to tell the story of a journey with another dimension - that of investigating and reflecting on our human place in the ecology of the planet.  He reaches towards his stated aim of re-opening the ‘great conversation’ with the Earth, in contrast to our modern ways of living, which leave us speaking only to ourselves. Above all, this book shows us that Nature is not just a place to visit, but our home.

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"This is a beautifully presented book about a journey from Plymouth across the Celtic Sea and back again, partly a sailing story and partly a meditation on life and nature. The narrative is lyrical and thoughtful." Rubery Book Awards 2014 (winner: non-fiction category)

"I enjoyed reading this book. There are some good characters with curious motivations and a rich seam of emotional engagement; I delighted in Peter’s uncontrolled glee at seeing a tiny puffin amidst huge swells and even huger cliffs near Bolus Head. There is uncertainty and several moments of adventure, such as the dramatic confrontation with the towering Skellig Rocks and the hard return crossing from Kinsale to the Scillies bashing into the high seas."  Green Spirit Magazine, June 2014

Endorsements

"A profound and beautifully written meditation on our place in the world."  Neil Ansell, author of 'Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills'

"A wonderfully salty, sea-soaked voyage of discovery. Peter Reason shows us what it is to fall in love with the Earth all over again." Sharon Blackie, Editor, EarthLines Magazine

"You have integrated pilgrimage and philosophy, travel and wisdom, sea and serenity. A rare achievement!" Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine

"A truly great reading experience that drew me out of myself into the turning world of the oceans and into the depths of ecological awareness.” Stephan Harding, resident ecologist, Schumacher College

"An enthralling sea journey which is thoughtful, courageous and unforgettably human. I was absorbed from the very first page." Miriam Darlington, author of 'Otter Country'

Reader Reviews

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Review

written by Emma G on 03/03/2014

Peter Reason's mission to converse with the sea, Spindrift, reads like a genial conversation with the reader, allowing us to join in his salt flecked adventures over the safety of a cup of tea. Told with gentle humour, his story carries us on his journey from Cornwall to Ireland, but also from his nonconformist childhood, to America and his role in Action Research, deftly merging these with his compelling case for humans to re-examine their relationship with the world. As a landlubber, I was pleased to find the esoteric nautical world, of 'heads', 'shrouds' and 'genoas', fully explained; and that Reason's introduction to ecological theories and ideas are similarly comprehensible. A smooth read packed with important ideas.

Review

written by David Manzi-Fe on 01/04/2014

Although I am happy to wander about in sailing boats on inland waters I have always been in awe of people who sail on the sea and Peter Reason's book Spindrift made me realise how exciting, thought provoking, meditative and scary the sea can be. It is, however, not just a book about sailing but an amazingly well told story which I found hard to put down. Such good storytelling; I really enjoyed the way Peter was able to spin the variety of sea, people, ecology, geography and himself together. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good yarn, nature writing at its best and the ecological state of our planet.

Review

written by Susan Jordan on 09/04/2014

If, like me, you have always wanted to sail but somehow never managed it, Spindrift is a book for you. Right from the beginning we are introduced to the intimate details of the sailing life, to the quirks and joys of Peter Reason's yacht Coral - from the 'heads' (sea toilet) and the steering system to the well-appointed drinks cabinet - and to the sometimes dangerous reality of navigating a small boat in constantly changing conditions. The nautical terms (why are ropes called 'sheets'?) and calculations about wind and tide help to make us feel that we too are part of the voyage, as do Peter Reason's lovingly detailed descriptions of land- and seascape. I was delighted to revisit places I knew and see them from the sea instead of the land. I was awed too by the places I hadn't seen, particularly the 'Gothic cathedral' rock formations of the Blasket Islands and the Skellig rocks. But Spindrift is much more than simply the description of a voyage. Peter Reason sets out contemplating the phrase 'wilderness treats me as a human being', and his journey is a pilgrimage that explores our relationship as human beings with the more-than-human world, from which we have become so catastrophically alienated. The book moves lightly between moments of deep communion with sea and sky and the everyday business of life at sea, but at its heart is a passionate concern with the present and future state of our world.

Review

written by Sarah Gillespie on 15/04/2014

A truly wonderful and very readable book. Peter Reason perfectly balances a mix of weather and sailing-based writing with very personal and intelligent spiritual questioning. With humility and humour he sets the physical experience of being aboard a small yacht, alongside a refreshingly honest account of his thoughts and reflections on wilderness and the state of the planet. He writes lucidly on climate, of his encounters with the great Atlantic weather systems and of his own interior weather, as he and his boat journey round the west of Ireland. Peter brings with him - and shares with us - a lifetimes reading of many great writers on ecology and spirituality. It is a joy to be on board.

Review

written by Vanessa Vaughan on 19/04/2014

I am not a sailor but I do love the sea so I was intrigued to read this book. I have to say that I felt by the end of it as though I have sailed. The explanations were so clear, the descriptions so vivid that I knew every rise and fall of the waves. That was one thing. The other thing it did, with its acute observations and profound honesty was gave me a sort of mental sea legs. My brain has had to adjust to negotiating the world with a contemplation of what it means to engage with wilderness, to appreciate our glorious planet, to face our fears. The last thing it did was make me realise that it has been too long since I saw the ocean and so I have booked a holiday on the coast. For all of these things I thank the author Peter Reason.

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