Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Long Way” as Want to Read:
The Long Way
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Long Way

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,119 ratings  ·  114 reviews
The Long Way is Bernard Moitessier's own 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, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the fin ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Sheridan House (first published 1971)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Long Way, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,119 ratings  ·  114 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Long Way
Artnoose McMoose
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Wm Pope
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
John Humber
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Cliff Moyce
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So much more than a book about participating in a famous sailing race. This is an amazing meditation on how to live in harmony with our beautiful planet, written by someone who saw more of it than most. Don’t expect rip-roaring excitement (being so calm means he makes the impossible sound easy) but do expect to be haunted by his words. Haunted in a good way and haunted in a bad way. The environmental message of this book has never been more important.
Don’t worry if you are not a sailor as there
Toby Litt
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First published in 1973, if The Long Way is dated, it's in a melancholy way. The book ends - after Moitessier's circumnavigation and more - with the wise sailor encountering environmental destruction on Tahiti. He becomes engaged, politicized, after months of selfish (in a good way) voyaging. Just him, the Joshua his boat, the porpoises, the sea robins, the sky, sea, sun and moon. But you can't help but feel, if we could dial the planet back to the state it was in in 1973, we would be a long way ...more
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Premal Vora
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
In 1968, the Sunday Times of the UK held the first (and only) Golden Globe race: sailors had to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat race with the sailboat staying within certain specifications. The race began and ended in Plymouth, UK. No fancy navigational aids were allowed(there was no GPS then in any case), no radio, nothing. To mark the 50th anniversary of that race, another will be held beginning in the summer of 2018. This is an appropriate time to read or revisit Bernar ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nature
This is an interesting story (though other stories about the Golden Globe Race should be read first). Moitessier writes well, and with detail. When reading, I felt that he did not sufficiently explain his decision to keep going—but this is addressed in the last chapters.

> Caught unawares, a flying fish shoots straight up in a twenty foot leap into the air. A huge barracuda takes off after it and snatches the flying fish at the top of the arc. The really amazing thing was seeing the barracuda co
James Fields
Lost at sea.

This is a log book of a mind too long left alone. It's part madness, part sailing, and part rant. I wish I had read it when I was younger so the angst and despair could've been closer to me. It's a good bookthough, so I don't regret reading it.

The appendix reads like a different book and was a pure pleasure. The author takes us on a technical tour of the boat, the sails, the rigging, the weather in the 40s and so much more. This part is a necessary read for any would-be sailor or tho
Mel Luna
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Paul Peterson
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 1968 the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race offered prizes to the first solo sailor to make it around the world, non-stop, and also for the fastest such circumnavigation. 9 sailors set out...only one finished, but this man, Moitessier, was in position to win at least one prize before chosing to keep on around the globe another 1/2 turn. Fascinating read and very well-written.

I read the book expecting a detailed explanation as to why this guy would enter the race, sail around the 3 capes at the b
Richard Kastelein
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favourite boating book of all time. The man is a legend.
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
William Graney
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Marc Roberson
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.

Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, travel
The last few chapters made the entire book for me. The world could use a few more barefoot, hippie, vagabond French poets like Moitessier.
Morgan McBride
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to read this, having learned about Moitessier a few months earlier and developing more of an interest as I learned about him.

As a non-sailor, but a person with an interest in the cruising lifestyle as well as a respect for Moitessier's decision to continue sailing on after rounding the horn, this book did not disappoint.

A little sailing knowledge helps understand Moistessier's activities, especially in the beginning, where the book is more technically-focused. I took about an hour
Paul Smith
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: give, all-time, sailing
"Of course I will continue toward the Pacific... ...Maybe I will be able to go beyond my dream, to get inside of it, where the true thing is, the only really precious fur, the one that keeps you warm forever. Find it, or perhaps never return."

Moitessier beautifully weaves a tapestry of rootedness and truth. It's no longer a wonder how this was the book that inspired Philippe Jeantot. Through the heart of Moitessier, I see the allure of round-the-world solo sailing. A pursuit demanding oneself d
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
'The Long Way' is Bernard Moitessier's journal during his participation in the first solo, non-stop sailing competition circumnavigating the globe in 1968. What I found very interesting was the fact that after some months at sea alone, he began questioning the purpose of all that and what values that really matter for him in life. Just before reaching the finish line, he then turned his boat away, abandoning the race completely and keep sailing. He lost the race when he would've won, but he won ...more
Ozgur Senogul
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated the author not only because of his great achievement on circumnavigation as single-handed but also his well-established soul and personality. At the end, he finished the race not as a sailing activity, but a war with a man’s ordinary and cheap passions.
The book gives a lot information on sailing especialy about the seas on its route. Beside these technical sailing information (generally depending on the experience), the reckoning between the author and his inner world took m
Hilary Helkenn
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just have to rate this because...this guy is a GOD among so many sailors. They will rave about how inspiring he he just so amazing...etc etc etc. I enjoyed the book. It's well written. But the author was one seriously flawed man. He abandoned his family and rationalized his actions to ease his conscience. It was well written, I did enjoy the book. But it was completely tainted by my feeling that the author was a major douche. ...more
Bradley Pollard
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I’ve read all year. Yes, at the end he seems to be mentally slipping (his conversation with the gulls reminded me of Tom Hanks’ reliance on a volleyball in “Castaway”), but on the whole he never seems lonely as he makes his peace with the sea and the world as a whole. It reminded me of the great works of Christian Williams, which I also read this year. Certainly Both sailors have made their peace with the sea, their boats, and the universe.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed The Long Way, though would note this book is only going to interest sailors. It's hardly a book really, more of an edited ship's log. There are some beautiful moments, his notes about the relationships he develops with some of the animals, and a few of his thoughts on sailing are wonderful. It's neat to read about a completely different time, before satellite weather and internet, fancy instruments, and auto-tillers. Just him and his boat. ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. I admire the strength of the author and the other solo sailors. They are a very small and close-knit group. On the other hand, these men want to be alone most of the time. They belong on the open sea, not on shore.

The book has lots of technical weather, navigating, and sailing terms. Sometimes it reads more like a journal than a novel.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nautical
As an armchair sailor I love to read books about the sea. There is something about the challenge of the sea and sailing, the maintenance of the boat and the navigation that intrigues me.

This account of Moitessier's is absolutely fascinating. Packed with good tips about how to survive months at sea, it occasionally wanders off into poetry and mysticism, but is well worth reading.

Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read if you either have an interest in sailing or enjoy reading about the perceptions of human minds in extremis. If you like both, the you must read it. I put this in a category with "No Picnic on Mount Kenya" and "Amazon Beamng" in documenting an extreme adventure and its impact on the author's mind and perception. ...more
Tom Storebø
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and somewhat romantic description of an epic voyage

Fascinating character with a great story. His view on life and how he describes our destructive habits is a nice reminder to how fragile life is. We forget in our city lives that we are relying on our surroundings. Even the untamed seas.
cindy massey
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

The author is an excellent writer. He writes with passion and provides lots of useful information of interest to anyone who has fantasies of sailing around the world in a sail boat.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong title for "La Longue Route" 2 15 Feb 20, 2019 12:52AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sailing Alone around the World
  • A Voyage for Madmen
  • A World of My Own: The first ever non-stop solo round the world voyage
  • Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing
  • Sailing a Serious Ocean : Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea
  • Maiden Voyage
  • Gipsy Moth Circles the World
  • Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea
  • Dove
  • The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
  • Swell: Sailing the Pacific in Search of Surf and Self
  • Sailing to the Edge of Time: The Promise, the Challenges, and the Freedom of Ocean Voyaging
  • Escape from the Ordinary
  • Godforsaken Sea: The True Story of a Race Through the World's Most Dangerous Waters
  • Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever
  • Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat
  • 500 Days: Around the World on a 12 Foot Yacht
  • Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
See similar books…
Bernard Georges Moitessier was a French sailor and writer, most notable for his participation in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first non-stop, singlehanded, round the world yacht race.

Bernard Georges Moitessier est un navigateur et écrivain français, auteur de plusieurs livres relatant ses voyages. En 1968, il participe à la première course autour du monde, en solitaire et sans esca

Related Articles

Here in the United States, it's football season. It's time of great rivalry, wearing of team colors, and obsessing over the...
8 likes · 12 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“There are two terrible things for a man: not to have fulfilled his dream, and to have fulfilled it.” 7 likes
“its normal pace, even with the threat of a gale. How long will it last, this peace I have found at sea? It is all of life that I contemplate—sun, clouds, time that passes and abides. Occasionally it is also that other world, foreign now, that I left centuries ago. The modern, artificial world where man has been turned into a money-making machine to satisfy false needs, false joys.” 4 likes
More quotes…