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Breaking Seas: An overweight, middle-aged computer nerd buys his first boat, quits his job, and sails off to adventure

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  27 reviews
FROM THE KIRKUS REVIEW: "As a writer, Damato makes his rehabilitation of the craft surprisingly interesting. . . his pithy prose keeps the story speeding along."

Do you have a dream to pursue but everyone says it’s unrealistic? Or that you’re not qualified? Too old, too out of shape? Or you don’t have the “right experience?”

Glenn Damato was a forty-one year old software i
Paperback, 362 pages
Published November 30th 2012 by Ninth Circle Press (first published November 11th 2012)
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Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book for the most part because the story of his adventure is fascinating. At times, it was suspenseful and I wanted to find out how it all worked out. But there were three things that I found difficult to overcome: 1) how unlikeable Glenn and Joyce comes across 2) his insistence on constantly calling himself an overweight loser and 3) his objectification and dislike of women.

I hope that the names of the two women crew members that accompanied him, "Joyce" and "Megan" are
Lisa Crawford
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Being a sailor myself with the same dream, I am finding it to be a page turner. His descriptions of the people he meets and sails with are spot on and really flesh them out. His mistrials are not only funny but frightening. I will say that not checking weather (and he wasn't alone in this) before leaving for Baja was an oversight that is mindboggingly just plain dumb. Of course, I was a weather specialist in the Air Force so I check weather even if the most I'm going to be doing that day is couc ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fast paced, easy read about a self-proclaimed nerd who decided "to become" by abandoning his comfortable life, buying a boat and sailing around the world. I find dangling modifiers annoying in general but especially when I read a book by someone who claims to be a nerd; but that's a minor gripe. Glenn didn't go around the world, after all, but he did invest a lot of time and money in fixing the boat and actually sailing it. As opposed to another reviewer here, I didn't find Glenn total ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars actually. This was a quick read but held my interest throughout. For me, its strength lies in the author's honesty in relating his personal feelings, motivations and behavior (and maintaining a sense of humor). Also, I have to admire the guy for going so far out of his comfort zone and undertaking such an ambitious project.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was really compelling. The parts about sailing were detailed and great. I initially wondered why he was including the bits about his romantic life, but I also found myself wondering why he omitted detail for certain romantic encounters.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book had me from the first chapter and I honestly couldn't put it down. It was the first, non-technical book I've read and finished - cover to cover - in years. I even loaded it on an old Kindle DX (the super large one) and turned the font size way up and read a couple chapters while running on the treadmill. I have never wanted to read while running on a treadmill. Ever. But I really couldn't put this book down.

Two, (of the many things) that I really loved about this book was the reminder
Jim Trefethen
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book in any ways. It is written by an antihero whose obsessive wallowing in self loathing and extreme lack of self esteem would become tedious if it weren't for his honesty and trust in the reader's understanding. It is the story of a midlife crisis in overdrive that compels our author to dump his underachiever job, abandon his pathetic attempts to find a fashion-model girlfriend (He is a self-admitted fat slob, but nothing less than a centerfold partner will do), and chan ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first thing I did when I finished this book? Look to see if anyone needed inexperienced crew for the Baja Ha Ha, which I'd never heard of before reading this and I live 2000 miles away. Unfortunately, no one did, which is probably just as well--I've only sailed once in my life and have a tendency to get airsick. But the book is so good that, even with all Damato's problems at sea, his love of being on the water (and of being in control) shines through and is an inspiration. It's a thoroughly ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
The account of a person in the computer industry who tries to ditch it all, and sail around the of the themes in his book is the fact that he is short, fat, and can't find a life partner. No wonder, he is also obnoxious and very easy to dislike. He has no respect for anyone, and it is no wonder that his crew ditched him near Mexico and he could not find anyone to help him sail his boat back to the States, with the inevitable conclusion of what happens to one when they have unr ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, didn't love it but really liked it. I found Glenn honest, open and brave. Not afraid to expose himself warts and all and the warts of others which may offend some because of his choice of words but honest none the less. I too am a "older" fellow just learning to sail with a lot of the same doubts and fears Glenn wrote about. Glenn, let me say this, I never had the problems that you described you had in my social life. Quite the opposite. That said though I did have othe ...more
Craig Bowman
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I wasn't bored while reading it but I was shocked to find that after all of his talking about sailing around the world to become something more than just a "fat single lonely nerd" (his words), that he really just joins one sailing rally to Mexico with 150 other boat, then calls it quits and sells his boat. Not a very satisfying end to the book. Especially after all the time in the book explaining how much work he did to get the boat ready to circumnavigate. His writing style is good but the sto ...more
Kathy Mccarthy
Bravo to Glenn to follow his desire to leave corporate life behind and undertake a sailing adventure. You definitely feel his trials and tribulations as a novice boat owner. You will wince in pain as Murphy's law abounds as Glenn tries to get his boat ready and searches for a crew to help him. The female crew members certainly are a cruel pair and I kept hoping they may become lost at sea! Only criticism I had was Glenn's tendency to dwell on his physical appearance and difficulty meeting women. ...more
Nate Hall
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Glenn Damato falls into a rare category :insane with a brain. Imagine a computer nerd with a life long obsession to sail around the world and no experience with sailing. Add to that a gifted writer with a sense of humor (humor that comes out stronger the worse things get) and this book is is the natural outcome. I recommend this read to anybody with some crazy dream so as to knock some sense into them about how things ACTUALLY happen in the world!
Paul Watson
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable narrative that rocked along at a nice pace. With similar adventures in mind, I was totally caught up in the story and sympathised with Glenn with every roll of the deck! It certainly warns of the pitfalls (especially crew - I'd have keel-hauled them long before!).

With luck, he will have more tales to tell on his return to the sea, shortly! I look forward to it.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
At one level this is a cautionary tale about what can go wrong buying a used boat and preparing to sail around the world. On another level, however, this is about finding yourself, what it means to share a confined space with others, and what it means to be "free." Quite apart from that, I will never buy a composting toilet for a sailboat.
m jones
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

being a sailor and having read many traditional cruising stories, Glen Damato gives a refreshing, honest, hilarious account of the realities of boat ownership and cruising, including how people react in difficult and trying times.
must read for anyone who sails or dreams of the cruising life
Judson Crump
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the CURE for anyone who thinks they want to buy a cruiser and sail the world. Good book, solid storytelling, not what you expect from a sailing memoir. It's really not a sailing memoir as much as a boat-problems memoir, but it is very realistic.
Linus Wilson
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the honest story of a man who dreams of circumnavigating the world and his dreams don't match the reality. You can learn more from failures than successes in this well written story. A must read for any armchair sailor.
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would rate this one 3.5 if possible. I loved the adventure and danger, but I hated the ending. After all that to just give up and go home? What? Still, it was a fun book that provided an insider's look at the world of sailing.
Brian Newell
I enjoyed this book because I could relate somewhat to the author. He did coming across as having a bit of a chip on his shoulder but I think he was self-aware and his self-deprecating humor made it tolerable. It's a good story for folks who dream of pursuing a great sailing adventure.
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! This is one mans account of his quest to become…. Doing so by buying a sailing boat, fitting her out, making her seaworthy, finding crew and sailing of into the wild blue water. It is REAL, honest, funny, heartwarming,heart wrenching, informative and captivating. An excellent read :-)
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bit of an abrupt ending, but overall quite entertaining for me as a sailor.
Gregg Barton
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Escape!

An excellent read for middle aged watermen,
who grew up reading The Dove.
Thank you Glenn,
your book brought back a lot of memories and ideas for new adventure!
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A great read to learn how not to do it.
Mark Stolz
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a fast moving and great book.
rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2016
Laura Hevron
rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2018
Bryan Chrysler
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Aug 03, 2015
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Jul 30, 2014
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Glenn Damato studied physics and astronomy at the University of Iowa. He served in the US Navy as a nuclear propulsion plant operator aboard an attack submarine. A lifelong space and aviation geek, he holds a pilot's license and once survived a parachute malfunction (fortunately, someone else had been flying the plane). A resident of southern California, Glenn loves to sail at every opportunity an ...more

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