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Maiden Voyage

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,691 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
Tania Aebi was an eighteen-year-old dropout, a bicycle messenger in New York city by day, a Lower East Side barfly at night. In short, she was going nowhere--until her father offered her a challege: Tania could choose either a college education or a twenty-six-foot sloop. The only catch was that if she chose the sailboat, she'd have to sail around the world--alone.She chos ...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published September 29th 1996 by Turtleback Books (first published 1989)
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In my GR favorite quotes you'll find the following: "There's nothing ... absolutely nothing ... half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats" -these words of Kenneth Grahame's from Wind in the Willows were cemented in my mind by my boat building father from such a young age that I can't remember ever not knowing them! or doubting them. After reading Aebi's memoir, it is clear that these words of wisdom are still worth quoting today! If you ever wake up and question whether what you ...more
Dec 07, 2008 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a present for her high school graduation, Tania Aebi receives a 26 sailboat from her father with the admonition that she needs to sail around the world to increase her awareness of the world. This is the account of this voyage. I have read this book 2-3 times because I like sailing books. I've sailed around the world with 4-5 people over the years (from my easy chair.) I will read this again,.
Sep 20, 2012 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book and reading about the adventures of the author's trip around the world. That being said, I found the idea that a father would send his daughter out on a boat with the preparation that this girl had, ludicrous. That paired with the fact that he was available and able to fly to her aid, or send much needed items at her every request, made this story hard for me to identify with. The story as told seemed to come from someone far more mature than even the author was when she finis ...more
Ben Starling
Just finished Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi. It describes her solo circumnavigation starting at age 18 from New York in 1985 and finishing 2 years later in 1987.

Zipped through the whole book in less than a day. Obviously a gripping tale.

The stuff I loved:
* She did it at 18 years old - holy shiny binnacles, Batman!
* She did it on a boat that was only 26 feet long!
* At the time, she was the youngest person ever to circumnavigate (minus 80 km during which she had a friend on board)
* She seemed like
Jul 12, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, 2015-reads
My boyfriend and I have been seriously discussing getting a sailboat and taking off to see the world, so naturally I've turned to one of my favorite hobbies - reading - to educate and inform myself on what doing something like that might actually be like.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Although not instantly hooked in the beginning or even midway through, I stuck with it and ended up really enjoying Tania's story. The beginning is a bit choppy and the writing style takes some getting u
William Graney
Aug 11, 2009 William Graney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I was going to at the beginning. The way Tania matured throughout the process was interesting and her way of giving credit to everyone but herself showed a level of character unusual for one that young (or any age).
I kept projecting myself into her role and wondered how I would have handled the obstacles she faced when I was that age. I’m certain I wouldn’t have done as well as she did and I doubt I would have had integrity to handle the lon
May 01, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a memoir of the author's trip around the world, alone, in a 26' sailboat, the conclusion of which trip made her both the youngest person and the first female to circumnavigate the world alone.

Tania Aebi was 18 in 1985 when she left New York on the sailboat Varuna, and that departure marked the first time she had ever handled a boat by herself. She (alongside siblings and family friends) had served as "crew" on her father's sailboat before, but he'd handled most of the actual work of
An enjoyable and interesting memoir. If you don't sail, some of the jargon used in descriptions of what goes on at various points in the journey are hard to understand, but in the end that doesn't distract from the theme of the book. It is was particularly interesting to read about the things she learned to do as she went(navigating for example). She was both fortunate in the beginning and innovative in solving problems that came up. Coming of age/learning to do hard things stories come in many ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book might be more interesting for people that are more into long, detailed books and are ready to commit to the story. It’s about an eighteen-year-old girl that didn’t have any intention on going to college, so her dad offered to buy a boat for her to go and travel the world instead. It was harder for me to read the book because I am younger and get bored/distracted pretty easily if something exciting doesn’t happen. Most of the book was about how she was sailing for long periods of time, ...more
May 11, 2016 Sheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I enjoyed this story, for that is what it is, a story. I have to take with a grain of salt the memories of over 30 years ago for it to be autobiographical. The author is around my age, and I can tell you, I could not describe to the detail this book has of her travels of my life in the 80's. But I did enjoy the book.

I do have to say I feel no love for her father in anyway. I feel her dad's way of dealing with how Tania rebelled in her teen years, which was a normal reaction to her parent's i
Apr 21, 2016 Sofaloaf rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maiden Voyage is about a girl named Tania Aebi who at age 18, sails around the world all by herself for two and a half years. I would recommend this book to avid sailors and people who love to travel. I will admit, though, I thought I would love this book, sharing a love for sailing and traveling with Tania, but I did not love the book. It was very repetitive, always too much wind, or too little, with a different guy somehow tied in. She didn’t go too deep in telling us about each adventure in t ...more
Nancy Kilgore
May 11, 2011 Nancy Kilgore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maiden Voyage is a true story of a young woman's adventure sailing solo around the world at the age of eighteen. Not the kind of book I would normally pick up, I couldn't put it down. More than a tale of adventure and courage on the high seas, Maiden Voyage delves into the dynamics of Tania's fascinating family, the struggles in her heart, and the drama of falling in love, all portrayed with poetic sensibility and literary integrity.
Lucy Landry
The hype: Tania was the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the world alone in a sailboat. What could be more interesting? Well, a lot. To start with, she spent 2 1/2 years doing this, which means that she spent more time hanging around on land than sailing. And then there's the "alone" part. Sure, on the boat it was just her and her cat(s), but whenever anything significant went wrong she'd just call Daddy and he'd meet her at the next port of call to help fix things. For me, some of the mos ...more
Lindsey Scully
Jul 02, 2010 Lindsey Scully rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a good book. I'm amazed at what Tania had went thru at the age of 18-21, I can't even begin to imagine how I would have coped with any of the situations that arose during her voyage! (Although she is quite lucky to have had a wealthy father)

Great book and it has helped me in deciding where I should go when I circumnavigate the world in a sailboat with friends in a few years!
Oct 30, 2014 Macy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maiden Voyage is an inspiring book about a young girl that sets of to accomplish what seems to be a unattainable task. I found the book very interesting. At times the plot wasn't always as captivating as I had wished, and I considered putting the book down. However I am grateful that I didn't. The author does an amazing job of describing the hardships of being at sea alone, some scenes are so well described you feel as though you truly are there with the main character, patching up the sails, re ...more
Andrew Pham
May 28, 2012 Andrew Pham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book got me onto a 32ft Roughwater sailboat with dreams of circumnavigation. Lived and sailed my sailboat for 2 yrs, but I had to sell her when life changed suddenly on me. The sailing itch is still under my skin.
Sep 26, 2008 Neeka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves boats or thinks of escaping
Recommended to Neeka by: Bob
Loved it! I want to sail the world now! Well, maybe not but it's a truly inspiring book that makes you want to experience more out of life.
Apr 12, 2008 Hailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book, as some of you know, because Cale is working on making his dream (of sailing as a family someday) my dream. This is the second sailng book I've read. I was very interested in the book the first couple of chapters. Then, I set it aside and almost didn't finish it, but I'm really glad I did. It's an inspiring story. This girl was 18 and knew pretty little about sailing when she left to sail around the world. She nearly died several times but it was all worth it because she became ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Jaclyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jaclyn by: April
18 year old Tania has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: the opportunity to sail around the world. The catch: she has to do it alone, and she has to do it in under 2.5 years, fast enough to set the world record. Tania is a troubled child and her dad is concerned she's going no where fast. So in an attempt to rescue her from this fate, he makes a risky proposal: he'll buy her a boat, but she has to sail it around the world and support herself while she's sailing. Tania jumps at this scary ...more
I received this book as a gift my senior year of high school from the teacher who supervised our literary magazine. I read it back then and loved it. From that reading, I mostly remember descriptions of the author sailing into foreign ports, hanging out with fellow sailors, and eating fruit. It made me want to follow in her footsteps.

This time around I noticed things I didn't pay attention to the first time. The way her father manipulated her into this "adventure." The way, after she begins her
Asher Jacobs
Apr 21, 2016 Asher Jacobs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. My favorite part was how the writer/main character had a great way of making you feel like you were on the boat with her, sailing around the world, by yourself. I loved how I would be scared, or sad, or regretting going on this trip, as if I was in the book. At times I would find myself thinking, “Why did I go on this trip?” Or, “I am never gonna make it home in one alive.” I really enjoyed reading “Maiden Voyage”, and I think it is worth anyone’s time to read it.
Ryan Kelly
I have mixed feelings about Tania's trip around the world. Many parts of the book are very interesting but this happens very rarely. Most of the time it's boring stuff about either a cat, a boat, or a crush that she has on someone else who is sailing around the world. If you are very very intereste in boats and circumnavigation I recommend this book but be ready to be bored in many part of the book. If you are looking for a casual read I would not recommend this book.
Michelle Gaines
I very much enjoyed this book. I was not that excited at first, because its nonfiction, but I was pleasantly surprised. Tania did manage to sail all around the world by herselft in only 2 years, which was her goal. At one point, though, she gave her friend a short ride, so she was not completely alone the whole time, meaning she did not technically break the record. Tania didnt care too much about this, the trip was not about getting in the World Record book, but it was still a little disappoint ...more
Linda Gaines
I read this for my library book group and didn't know if I'd like it. I ended up enjoying the account of sailing around the world by a teenager. She was a very unusual young woman and much of the action took place on the many stops she made. She was lucky to make the voyage with the many mishaps with the sailboat.
May 21, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read. If you ever contemplated taking a sailboat on a long journey, you will find this book an extremely interesting and educational read. Sail along with an 18 year old on her two year trip around the world. Scary at times. Learn what not to do and how you should prepare yourself.
Jun 08, 2014 Meridiani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
18 years old, very very little sailing experience -- okay, I'll head out on a SOLO global circumnavigation!! Crazy, amazing, touching, inspiring sailing adventure cum coming-of-age story.
Jul 02, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars for the accomplishment. I was blown away by how unprepared she was, and that her dad let her go (pushed her?) without making sure she could at least navigate. Inspirational story.
Mar 12, 2013 Maryli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because I read a lot of travel and memoir, and this looked like a unique spin on both. The author, Tania Aebi, is an 18-year-old who sails around the world by herself as she comes of age, and her story is exciting and inspiring. The writing itself, though, is reflective of the author - young, too earnest and unrefined. At times I enjoyed the tone as it reminded me of how I saw the world as a young traveller, but I usually found it irritating. Surprisingly, this did not dete ...more
Jan 10, 2015 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the journal of a young woman (too young) and inexperienced to sail the world alone...but she did.

She grew up alone the way.
Good story.
I wanted to love this book so hard, and instead, I hated it a lot.
When I was younger, I spent a few years obsessed with boats, in much the same way many young women are obsessed with horses. BOATS. YAY. And here was a young woman who was given a boat (GIVEN a boat, just like that, OH the JEALOUSY.) and told (allowed) to sail around the whole world, all by herself. Like, Dove! But with a girl.

But then she was super unprepared and kind of a jerk, and she left without knowing how to navigate, and
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2015 Reading Chal...: Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi 1 5 Dec 29, 2015 07:32PM  
  • Dove
  • The Long Way
  • The Incredible Voyage
  • The Proving Ground: The Inside Story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race
  • A World of My Own: The first ever non-stop solo round the world voyage
  • Gipsy Moth Circles the World
  • True Spirit: The Aussie Girl Who Took On The World
  • The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
  • Godforsaken Sea: The True Story of a Race Through the World's Most Dangerous Waters
  • A Voyage for Madmen
  • Shackleton's Boat Journey
  • Close to the Wind
  • Sailing Alone around the World
  • Overboard!: A True Blue-Water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival
  • Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing
  • Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic's Edge
  • North To The Night: A Spiritual Odyssey In The Arctic
  • Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
At the age of 18 she set off from New York on a solo circumnavigation of the globe in a 26 foot sailboat, Varuna. She returned at the age of 21 and Maiden Voyage is a memoir of her solo trip around the world.

Upon her return she married Olivier, a fellow sailor she met on her trip. Although they would later divorce, she went on to raise two sons with him, earned her BA and MFA, as well as her capt
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