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Caught by the Sea: My Life on Boats

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  280 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Another such wave could easily be the end of us. I had to do something, fix something, save the boat, save myself.

But what?

Gary Paulsen takes readers along on his maiden voyage, proving that ignorance can be bliss. Also really stupid and incredibly dangerous. He tells of boats that have owned him—good, bad, and beloved—and how they got him through terrifying storms that he
ebook, 112 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
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Jul 01, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boats
fantastic book about boating, so many wonderful books on the market telling you howto do it correctly, paulsen tells you how he did it. for some reason this is considered y.a., i'm giving it to a captain friend in her, past forty and think she'll love it. great book for anyone that loves sailing. (then they can read "dogsong", "puppies dogs and blue northers" etc. Then move on to the y.a. stuff "canyons" and "nightjohn" being the best i've read so far.)
Christopher Fry
Mar 11, 2017 Christopher Fry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, really a short story, but fun!
Emily M.
Jan 16, 2013 Emily M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caught by the Sea By Gary Paulsen
103 pages
Non-fiction/(Historical) Autobiography

Caught by the Sea By Gary Paulsen is a thrilling, adventurous story of Paulsen’s unforgettable time out at sea. He had never seen the ocean until he was seven years old and even then, he was stuck in the cabin because he had chickenpox. Many years later a friendly old man invited him to go sail on his boat with him. Paulsen said yes and this started the spark in his interest of sailboats. Gary soon purchased his ver
Alex Ayre
Aug 14, 2013 Alex Ayre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book because of the simplicity and message of the book about how he loves the sea and how nothing gets In between him and what he loves. I find him to be an interesting character and see the he has a thirst for adventure and a love for the sea as mentioned many times in the book. In the book that I haven't really enjoyed is the leaps in time, often I feel like I don't know the character too well. I think many people would enjoy this book as I did though, a good target audience is p ...more
Drew Nevitt
May 08, 2012 Drew Nevitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I banged this book out in a hardly any time. It's a few pages more than a hundred, and it was typically simple, as all Paulsen books are. It really was fantastic, and I texted my fiancee after the first chapter that we had to get a sailboat. I wanted to live and nearly die like he did; to TRULY live and experience the power of the sails and the threat of the sea! It's an infectious book, that cured my innate distaste for sea-sailing and its culture. I truly have a respect now for sailors and the ...more
Athena L.
Splash! Gary didn't know what's coming next. It was a matter of life or death. Only seven years old, having chicken pox,and smuggled on a troop ship trying to get to the Philippines. I thought he was going to die because he was swimming in shark infested waters. Yet making it alive to shore he lives there for a while. Caught by the sea by Gary Paulsen telling about his life on boats. Gary was glad he made it alive. Later he moved to Califorina.

Then he took the same journey as he did when he wa
Mar 19, 2015 Ashlyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Caught by the sea was a very boring book and I did not like it at all. Although some people may enjoy it, it did not fit my interests. It was about a man who traveled all along the ocean when he was a kid with his mother because they were being deported to a different country. When he got older he immediately wanted to live on the water because he loved it so much and was very interested with it. He always thought as the oceans or the seas as extraordinary places even if he was watching a shark ...more
Cam Peel
I think Caught by the Sea was a fairly solid book. I gave this book 3 stars because Gary Paulsen did a good job at points keeping my attention, for example when he would talk about a new boat he had gotten that could take on the worst sea conditions. He succeeded in making me interested as he explained what each boat looked like and their key features.

The reason that I did not give this book any better than 3 stars is because it took the author very long to get to the interesting points. One of
Isabella Koklys
Nov 30, 2015 Isabella Koklys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caught By the Sea by Gary Paulsen was an interesting book. It took me on his adventures with his boat on the sea. Gary told his story about his travels with his first boat. The thing that I disliked about this book was how short it was but overal, it was a very good book. Gary described his feelings, actions and what he saw very well.

Caught by the Sea by Gary Paulsen was about Gary's travels on the sea. He talked about his first encounter with the sea. Gary was only seven at the time. He was on
Lucas M
If you want to Know about this book keep reading because I will tell you. There is no protagonist so I'm going to tell you about my favorite part of this book . My favorite part was when Gary told us about when he was sailing for his first time and he went sailing when it was to windy and he went flying across the bay. What really helped know that was the book was in third Pearson. The book starts out kinda boring because there was no climax. The whole main idea is never give up try your hardest ...more
Cassa M.
Sep 21, 2012 Cassa M. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Caught by the Sea
By: Gary Paulsen
103 pages

Caught by the sea is a book by Gary Paulsen. It is about his life on boats. I talks about the first time he went on a boat when he was young. It also talks about all the different boats he has had and the time he spent on boats. He was always on one of his boats. During one of the times he was on his boats there was a storm and in the book it talks about what he did to survive through the storm.

I personally did not enjoy this book very much.
Oh z little luke walk z dead
Gary Paulson’s book caught by the sea is a great adventure novel. It starts when Gary was 9 years old living in England. His mother was a captain leading a group of people across the Atlantic ocean.
When he arrived in America he went on with his life. He attended a public school in north Carolina. He soon became a marine when he was 21. After his years serving he quit at age 34 and, went on to being a part of movie writing in Hollywood. He soon desired a passion for sailing and went on to by a b
Nov 12, 2013 Tegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Caught By the Sea" written by Gary Paulsen is a good memoir. This book takes place in the after years of college and his life. In this book I enjoyed it a lot because I made a self to text connection we both love to sail. Within this book Gary faces tons of obstacles and challenges that come to him face on. This book focuses on his voyages mainly. But also Gary loves to try new things like boats. Also in this book it shows his quest to learn and become a master sailor. But while he is sailing o ...more
Hayley Direda
Dec 08, 2014 Hayley Direda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420

I enjoyed this story; laughed all the way through it! It encompassed a lot of truth about the beauties and horrors of one of the greatest powers on earth. It walks the reader through the story of Gary's first voyage off the coast of California, as he is caught unprepared in the rolling waves and fierce winds of late fall.

It was an intense read. I actually enjoyed reading a memoir. It spoke to me on a personal level, not because I've been sailing or the like, but becau
I thought it was a good book. It had good details and a good story. The theme is about Gary Paulsen and his life on boats. The book is non-fiction, in the beginning he talks about not knowing how to sail, but he buys a boat anyways. He eventually teaches him self how to sail and goes through about 5 boats in the book. It kind of changes the way he looks at the ocean he comes face to face to a shark goes to new places and meets new people. A symbol is the boat. The price of the boat and what it ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This is the non-fiction account of the first boat he ever owned and his early adventures on it. He comes to see just how much he underestimated his lack of knowledge concerning how a boat runs and the unpredictability of the sea, recalling several near-death experiences while on the boat. Personally, Gary Paulsen is not my cup of tea when it comes to books. I'd just as soon go out and experience the wild rather than read about it, but there are a lot of thi
Jessica V
Nonfiction / Ocean / Self-Discovery

Caught by the Sea is the memoir of Gary Paulsen's early experiences sailing solo on the Pacific. Both funny and beautiful, this book should appeal to readers of Paulsen's novels.
The storytelling is somewhat uneven--we jump from a detailed experience to a glossing-over without any real differentiation--but the language is beautiful and all the stories are engaging. Most importantly, Paulsen's experiences made me want to go to sea myself, even though that's not
Sydney White
Dec 09, 2010 Sydney White rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
This is a non-fiction account by Paulsen about his first encounters with sailing. Having little to no knowledge about the sport, he buys a boat and teaches himself to sail-well, sort of. When a small storm rolls in, his boat is almost lost to sea and he battles for several days to figure out where he is and how to get home.

The book follows several similar stories of the wonders and frights of his sea adventures. Paulsen writes in a way that it is hard to not feel right there with him. His excit
Rebekah Jones
I have always wanted to go sailing, but when I read this book it made that dream come more alive. Paulsen does a wonderful job describing the water, wind and entire atmosphere of the sea that all you want to do is be in the ocean. When I read the book, I could imagine myself on the boat with him fighting the storms and enjoying the softer winds. I like how the book had humer. One thing that made the story confusing and less enjoyable was the fact that he jumped around so much. He told stories wi ...more
Eddie Halstad
Dec 17, 2012 Eddie Halstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book with its ups an downs. One of the themes is Man vs. Wild. Through out the entire book he is on the sea battaling the forces of natur on his boat. A another good example is after he bot his first boat and got it out to sea and got caught in a storm. I believe that the auther is trying to say that if you keep trying you can survive the wild. Another theme is beuty of nature. A good example is when he first sees the sea when he is 7 and is stuned of its beuty. I think the ...more
If you've read Hatchet or Brian's Song, you may be interested in the author's (Gary Paulsen) real life adventure in Caught by the Sea. In this short book, Paulsen recounts his adventures with the boats in his life. It's interesting to read how these real-life adventures may have inspired his fictional adventure stories. At just over 100 pages, this book is extremely short and only took one sit through to finish. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Gary Paulsen's books or is interested in ...more
Stacey Mulholland
I read this book for a few reasons:
1. I like Gary Paulsen
2. I'm looking for some personal essays to share with my class
3. My grandfather built boats in his backyard. I didn't get his sea legs exactly but I do enjoy sailing small crafts.

My sailing adventures don't come close to his but that's ok. I liked reading how he feel in love with the sea. It was a bit confusing how it was chunks of his life's timeline but he did that to stay on a theme.

I would share this with particular students that like
Mar 13, 2015 Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Derek Postlewaite
Like the Paulsen I remember from my adolescence, I felt like I was right next to him while we experienced the sea. Paulsen puts you in all his books. It's easy to connect. I finished the book wanting to sail myself.

One suggestion: a boat/sailing glossary. There were a lot of terms that left me scratching my head. I know next to nothing about boats and their nomenclature.

The few maps of Paulsen's expeditions and his future sailing plans were cool.

Paulsen fan? Read it.
Caught by the Sea is classified as juvenile non-fiction. However, I feel that its appeal is more to adults. I think that only a child who is familiar with nautical language and sailing would enjoy it. Gary's learning experiences as he taught himself to sail were very exciting. I could hardly believe that he started with a 22-foot sailboat - - -definitely a challenge, but one that he managed to survive (barely).
Caught by the Sea by Gary Paulsen is his story about going out on his sailboat. The description was amazing and I felt like I was there with him, through every wave and dangerous encounter.

Saying this, I also found the book boring. It wasn't my style so I didn't find much interesting in the book. That doesn't mean it wasn't well written and a good book, it was.

Twitter: @bkc412

Read My Other Reviews
I know students love Gary Paulsen's books. They love the detail and sense of adventure. I, however, have never been able to get into his books. I picked up this one with trepidation. I felt that I had to read it since I had asked my students to read it. I forced myself to get through it. I enjoyed the adventure aspects and mistakes he made at sea, but the story itself was not interesting to me. I know how one of my students felt about it, but I'm curious if the rest felt the same.
Jul 05, 2010 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: living-a-life
a great introductry book from Gary Paulsen. He is clearly a great story teller and has written many books. The theme is generally around sailing, ocean, nautical, etc. I can't wait to get to some of his more complex stories. This was an autobiography about his first personal encounters with sailing.
I received this book from a friend as a "Pass Along Book". I liked it better than I thought I would. In this nonfiction book, Gary Paulsen tells of his adventures on the sea and his life harrowing experiences. It's not as good as his other books, but it did keep my interest, and I enjoyed it. It is only 100 pages and can be read in one afternoon.

Jake Sistek
Jan 08, 2014 Jake Sistek rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-8
this was an ok book the theme was growing up. even though he was already a man as he ages in the book he gets smarter almost every time. also because he ages in the book over the years. what the author was "saying" was that don't give up even if you suck just keep trying. i recommend this book to everyone because its a good book.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...

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“I spent uncounted hours sitting at the bow looking at the water and the sky, studying each wave, different from the last, seeing how it caught the light, the air, the wind; watching patterns, the sweep of it all, and letting it take me.
The sea.”
“...this beginning motion, this first time when a sail truly filled and the boat took life and knifed across the lake under perfect control, this was so beautiful it stopped my breath...” 40 likes
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