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La Longue Route: Seul Entre Mers Et Ciels

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  1,035 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier's incredible story of his participation in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear failures, and knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the fin ...more
315 pages
Published December 14th 1986 by Arthaud (first published 1971)
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Dec 31, 2007 Kitson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In 1968 the London Sunday Times sponsored a circumnavigating the globe single handed sailing race. At that time, no one had sailed around the world alone without stopping. With the media attention there was even more of the romanticism always intwined in The Sea.

The race, however, would come to expose all the real and terrible tragedy of "nature". Alone in that empty, mystical plain of ungovernable, unfathomable wild, one man would step off his boat's deck sinking forever into the oblivion. Moi
Artnoose Noose
Oct 27, 2014 Artnoose Noose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sailors and non-sailors alike
Recommended to Artnoose by: Moxie Marlinspike
If you haven't yet read the book A Voyage For Madmen about the Sunday Time Golden Globe circumnavigational race, you should read that first and then read this, an account by one of the participants. Bernard Moitessier was not just a participant in this incredible event, he was the lone participant who once he completed one single-handed loop around the three capes, decided to give Western Civilization the finger and keep on sailing, giving up all prizes and monies associated with officially winn ...more
The author sails around the world one and half times without ever touching land or talking to another person other then when he transferred film and writings to another boat, two times. It took him 10 months to sail. No compass, no radio, no motor for emergencies. Took place in 1968-69. A good book about sailing as there are various diagrams and an appendix to help you become acquainted. The writing probably isn’t quite as clear as other sailing books I’ve read but I did enjoy it. I don’t think ...more
Jan 30, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sailing
I loved this book because it was the first, of a handful, that I've read that focused more on what sailing gives rather than how to do it. If you don't want to go sailing but you want to learn what people love about it then read this book. Moitessier's views are a little off with the modern world's view, but that's part of why I loved his book.
Richard Kastelein
My favourite boating book of all time. The man is a legend.
Feb 16, 2010 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mind-enhancing
Or the adventures of a totally free spirit, told in a simple and charming way. Moitessier was first in the race around the globe and chose not to land and reap the glory but rather keep on sailing.
Feb 18, 2011 Jww rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sailing
Moitessier is the consumate sailer. The Golden Globe--and being first to circumnavigate solo and nonstop-- was his race to win. But he chose a different, less glorious, but ultimately better path. On the final leg, he turned his boat east to start around again. He was at home with the sea and he detested what had become of the challenge (notoriety, money, fanfare, corporate sponsorship, etc.). His story is well told; he was a talented writer. Every page demonstrates his love of the sea and his f ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Monica marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sailing-boats
I just saw a movie about Donald Crowhurst, one of the other racers on the 1968 Golden Globe Race, a race to be the first and fastest to sail around the world non-stop and single-handed. I have to admit I was unimpressed with Moitessier for abandoning his family to continue sailing on (he dropped out of the race instead of finishing, and decided to go around the globe again). Still, I may check this book out, but I admit I'm a bit biased.
Wm Pope
Jun 12, 2012 Wm Pope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sailing, life, favorites
Funny that I had not read this book previously. My brother asked me to read something at his wedding that was nautical and talked about life, this was his first thought for inspiration.

Moitessier conveys his love for the sea and sailing. Central to the book is what it means to be a creature living on this planet. This is the story of a solitary voyage, racing around the planet in a small boat. The other competitors are nearly absent. What is present is the sea, the boat, Moitessier, and his thou
William Graney
Jul 15, 2012 William Graney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a an amazing saga and the writer delivers the story in a captivating style that is not the least bit egotistical. This is one I'll never forget.
Feb 20, 2014 Lehho rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this far more than three stars might suggest. My rating reflects no perceived flaws, but merely the random relationship we sometimes perceive among our aesthetics, our emotions, and a work of art, which this is. A meditative and deeply personal narrative about a man's almost casual expertise with a frightening and dauntingly technical pursuit, one that has profoundly rewarded and callously annihilated athlete-philosophers for millennia.
Melissa Luna
Dec 18, 2012 Melissa Luna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Moitessier, you are such a romantic! A french hippie poet vagabond. This book is pure nectar, poetry, adventure, love of life in script. But I had to knock half a star off for going overboard with the tangents about the "Machine." Not that I don't agree in spirit, it just rubbed me the wrong way, felt badly written, trite. It actually hurts me to say that about this incredible book. Read it, do! I'll read it again just to hang out with this precious man.
Jan 30, 2013 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant sailor and profoundly spiritual man with the same soul dilemma many of us have nowadays: how to experience true life in the presence of The Monster, aka modern civilization???

I enjoyed this book a lot. Learned about weather patterns and what food and sleep deprivation does for one's sense of euphoria/connectedness. Also porpoises are awesome.

His move to Tahiti and the book's subsequent pinhole focus on the "little garden" seemed totally inconsequential and anticlimactic to the rest o
Craig Downing
I respect the man but this book just didn't live up to the hype for me. It was like The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance but for boats. It had some moments but there really wasn't the human drama I was hoping for. It felt flat... at times like a basic sailing log... at times too cosmic. It just didn't have a clear voice or story. I had to really force myself to finish it. I enjoyed A Voyage for Madmen and would recommend it over this book.
John Humber
I came to this book after reading A Voyage for Madmen. I was just fascinated to learn more about someone who sails alone around the world, without touching land and when almost home decides "Nah. Let's just keep sailing".

The book doesn't disappoint but here is a man so obsessed he must have been impossible to live with. I have seen film of an interview with his wife and she says (I'm paraphrasing here) "That's Bernard. It's just the way he is and you have to accept that". Strikes me that she is
Jack Van Boost
Feb 10, 2016 Jack Van Boost rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes a lof of love for the ocean to go sailing around the world alone and then instead of collecting the prize deciding to go around the world for the second time. Yes, there are some parts at the end that could be ommited but all in all i miss this book - i have rented this book to a friend and it went with him all the way to the other side of the world. Now i waited for few years and it still didnt get back so i guess it was put to good use. So i have just ordered new copy yesterday and i ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this, but ultimately it wasn't for me.

The first half was a pretty standard sea tale consisting of weather updates, sea conditions, etc—your basic log entry stuff—peppered in over a lot of talk about the freedom of the sea and the sort of vague spirituality that engenders. Not bad. There were a few choice quotes and moments of rumination. But the second half really went off the hippy-dippy deep end. There was a lot of talk about the "Monster," which, as best as I can figure, is
May 10, 2015 Jojoma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in german whilst crossing the Atlantic on a 39ft steel-hulled pig called Beule. I became instantly fascinated with all stories (including Donald Crowhurst's) surrounding this race. I also loved reading the zen-like state Moitessier reaches before deciding (SPOILER ALERT) that the race does not matter. Eventhough he is in a great position to win, he changes course and heads not for home, but for his mistress and the promise of tranquility in Tahiti. Beautiful descriptions o ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good sailing adventure; and this recounting of a solo trip around three capes is captivating and rich. Moitessier writes a classic tale and is quite revered in sailing circles. He also was an environmental activist, and, when he stops his travels in Tahiti, he spends quite a bit of the end of the story writing about environmental degradation and what we should do to reverse the trends. I liked his sailing experience better than his recounting his frustrations and efforts with environmen ...more
è un diario, un manuale, un racconto, un trattato. la storia è semplice e stupefacente: nel 1968 un gruppetto di navigatori (compagni di barca, come dice b.m.) partecipò al primo giro del mondo in vela, in solitario e senza scalo. moitessier partecipò con un due alberi in acciaio di 12 metri. attraversò i tre grandi capi: buona speranza, leewin e horn, e invece di concludere e vincere la regata, proseguì per un altro mezzo giro del mondo, per andare a fermarsi a tahiti.
nel diario analizza se ste
Ian Hunt
Dec 17, 2014 Ian Hunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fascinating page turner from a profound and romantic Frenchman. The Long Way tells a truly amazing tale of a man fulfilling his dreams and communing with the world on a level most may never understand. Moitessier is truly remarkable with a writing style that is laid back to the point of Zen. Glossing over details few men would skip in an attempt to paint themselves as the hero, Moitessier is at home in the open ocean. Joshua, his sailboat, is truly the hero here and Moitessier thanks him daily ...more
Robert Newell
Sep 25, 2015 Robert Newell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting personal account of Moitessier's round the world attempt. The detail of his voyage are fascinating and his mental wellbeing in which his reluctance to return to civilisation resulted in his second trip around the Indian Ocean & Pacific. I found that some of his ramblings at this point were not far away from Donald Crowhurst's, showing the effect long term solitude can have in these harsh environments.
Jan 27, 2015 Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book. Moitessier was a truly unique man.

It may be a little hard to decipher at times for those unfamiliar with sailing and nautical terminology, but he makes an attempt to write in such a way that that if you are not concerned about the details of sailing that you can breeze through those parts without getting confused and lost, there were only a few times I had to seek an outside source because something was totally lost on me. There is also an adequate glossary of sailing term
Marc Roberson
Sep 28, 2016 Marc Roberson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you read this book, all you can do is smell the salt air, feel the motion of the ocean and experience complete and unadulterated enthusiasm for the act of putting yourself in this position.

Feb 24, 2016 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forgot I didn't write a review for The Long Way yet. This is a great book. I don't know why I wanted to read a book about a sailor traversing the globe, or why I liked the pages and pages and pages of sailing detail and terminology I didn't understand, but I did. It was oddly relaxing and interesting.

The author left his family and went around the three capes, and then did it again and decided not to go back. The end is a little nutty with his political ranting (and I'm even in his way of thinki
Jul 17, 2015 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2016 Pete rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oooof. This was a challenging read. Now, I like a bit of flowery metaphor laced description as much as the next guy, but this one was overkill.
Perhaps at the time it was written Moitessier was the darling of the sailing community and could be allowed his indulgences - this is a bit of a classic now. I'm not entirely sure why however. I found the lack of interesting observations about the surroundings and the actual act of sailing made the book quite challenging to continue reading. The book see
Pat Bitton
Aug 01, 2016 Pat Bitton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book after seeing several iterations of Pratik Motwani's stage interpretation at Dell'Arte, and it did not disappoint. While there is much technical/mechanical boat-related language in the book that I did not understand, this really did not impact the power of the story - a record of one man's solo journey around the world and his ever-more intimate relationship with the sea. The sea is really the leading character in the book, affecting every aspect of Moitessier's life in ...more
John Pedersen
This book was a mixed bag for me. The first half and a bit more was basically like reading the log of his voyage - very little color or insight. Next was some interesting insight as he struggles with his choice to turn away from finishing the race and continuing on. After that, he struggles with how far to continue - stop in South Africa? Continue to Tahiti? Galapagos? Finally, the last few pages of the narrative turn into an anti-development rant / fever dream. And then the appendix has tons of ...more
Rick Brown
Oct 06, 2016 Rick Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely want to sail around the world. Just not so sure about non-stop. Moitessier is a must read for any sailor.
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“On ne demande pas à une mouette apprivoisée pourquoi elle éprouve le besoin de disparaître de temps en temps vers la pleine mer. Elle y va, c’est tout, et c’est aussi simple qu’un rayon de soleil, aussi normal que le bleu du ciel.” 2 likes
“One thing at a time, as in the days when I was building Joshua. If I had wanted to build all the boat at once, the enormity of the task would have crushed me. I had to put all I had into the hull alone, without thinking about the rest. It would follow . . . with the help of the gods. Sailing non-stop around the world is the same. I do not think anyone has the means of pulling it off—at the start.” 1 likes
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