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  • Bound for Distant Seas

  • A Voyage Alone to Asia Aboard the 28-Foot Sailboat Atom
  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Nick O'Kelly
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Summary

Bound for Distant Seas begins sailing author James Baldwin's epic tale of his second circumnavigation. His story is seasoned by his adventures during his first circumnavigation in 1984-86 as told in Across Islands and Oceans. Alone with little money aboard Atom, his now-engineless 28-foot sailboat, James embarks on his odyssey without the comforts and equipment most sailors consider essential. Challenging himself to live as closely with the sea as possible, the author sets sail in 1987 from Florida, bound for new adventures on the distant shores of Asia. He does not return home again for 15 years.

In this paean to the sea and foreign lands, the author recounts the best and worst of life on the ocean, visits to far-flung islands, and adventures amid throngs of humanity in some of the world's most densely populated cities. This unvarnished physical and philosophical saga includes encounters with dead-eyed bureaucrats, native angels of mercy, newly discovered WWII wreckage, fellow expat adventurers, rogues and misfits.

The journey takes many unplanned turns as the author faces near misses with lurking dangers, hikes across islands, finds temporary employment ashore, and immerses himself in foreign cultures. Along the way he is tested by sea and society, and he ultimately discovers the priceless treasures of heart and mind that he seeks. James invites you to come aboard Atom for the journey of a lifetime.

©2015 James Baldwin (P)2015 David N. Olberding

What listeners say about Bound for Distant Seas

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Easy, fun, humorous, no nonsense

Well written and well read. The author doesn't pull punches in pointing out specific persons and companies. He gives a great sense of cruising without an engine.

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Profile Image for Dean Owens
  • Dean Owens
  • 27-04-16

Sailing and social commentary

Having listened to this book and it's entirety, I find that the adventure that the author has penned is definitely worthy of a listen. I think that the author is a very deep and intelligent man who wants to open the world that he has sailed to others on the same level. I am certain that his experiences in each of these places touched him greatly. Having spent quite a bit of time in the Philippines, I understood so much of what he spoke about. I am fascinated by the people there and the resilience. Descriptions in Thailand and the Philippines of the subjugation by predatory sex tourists was quite enlightening.

I think that the only negative that I found in the actual reading of the book were some of the pronunciations were not very close to the actual local pronunciations.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Likes UAG
  • 25-05-16

Cool sailing story

I like the start to middle very much. As it got closer to the end it got more preachy.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Bill Moree
  • Bill Moree
  • 27-03-16

More than just a sailing story

James Baldwin is a great sailor, but he is also a great writer. Cruising is 5% sailing and 95% being there, and James' book is just that. His book makes me more confident as I prepare to live my own circumnavigation, and inspired to live my own life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • G. Goober
  • 15-07-17

great!!!!

very cool story. very well done...
cant wait to read about the remainder of the voyage

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for MS
  • MS
  • 13-04-16

Great for the armchair sailor

Great narrative and description of the challenges of voyaging under sail. A few mispronounced words by the narrator. This was a good sequel to the author's other book, Across Islands and Oceans.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-02-16

Very pleasant voice

Very pleasant voice. The narrator and text made the story alive and made the difference in such story. They made us dream.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 10-02-16

Well narrated, aside from one fact...

The story was excellent. The narrator read the story well, aside from not being familiar with the Philippines or the Filipino language. Many, many words were pronounced incorrectly and I found that part annoying.

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  • derek domino
  • 27-09-22

Travelogue at most

I’ve been devouring books like this because I plan to depart on my own blue water adventure soon and want to absorb as much learnings as possible. To that end I enjoyed it okay. But if you’re looking for a well crafted plot with moral dilemmas, character dev, unexpected turns and twists keep looking. This is a rather pious telling of this young guy’s day to day with his boat and the people he meets on his trek around the world. Yes he does it alone, yes even without motor or electronics. But Joshua Slocum did it more than a hundred years ago and his writing is world class. I suggest you start there if you haven’t already.

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  • Don
  • 26-09-22

Baldwin Political opinions with a little sailing

dont buy this for a book of sailing or adventure. its a book about Baldwin on his way ... nowhere

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  • Chris
  • 18-05-22

Not just a sailing story

Nick does a good job reading the story. But the story itself meanders and is filled with philosophical ramblings of a white man telling you how other cultures think and feel based on his experiences, and not so much filled with anecdotes that back his prejudice. The voyages challenges and successes are skimmed over in favor of a tone deaf ethnographic survey. It’s like reading Christopher Columbus detail the savages of the new world, but wasn’t written nearly long enough ago to be interesting or forgivable