Islands, Oceans, and Dreams is a true story of a man who, at the age of 33, began dreaming of voyaging with his wife to the South Pacific. He wasn't an adventurer or daring by nature, but he bought a boat and began learning the ways of the sea. Twenty years later, racked with the pain of divorce and still aching to live out his dream, he set off alone for Tahiti. After reaching French Polynesia, he continued cruising for seven years and wound up solo sailing around the world. Islands, Oceans, and Dreams takes the listener on that voyage.
From turquoise lagoons to pirates, with plenty of adventure in between, this is a must-read for any sailor or armchair traveler who loves stories of the sea.
Michael Salvaneschi has more than 30 years of experience sailing California’s offshore Islands. His two voyages to Mexico, his two-year stint as a commercial swordfisherman and his seven-year solo voyage around the world have taught him much about seamanship. As a guest speaker at yacht clubs, sailing societies, and service groups, Michael tells his stories and shares his experiences as a solo sailor.
©2005 Michael Salvaneschi (P)2012 Michael Salvaneschi
this is the book for YOU! I bought it as a general interest travel narrative, and it does work as that, although at some points better than others.
Part 1 struck me as the least "general interest" section, as the author spends much of that time alone on the high seas in the middle of nowhere, although there are (eventually) stops in the Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, etc.
Part 2 is largely concerned with Australia, both sightseeing on land, and sailing its vast coast, finishing up with the trip to Arabia, with a lengthy stopover in Sri Lanka.
Part 3 covers the most in terms of miles - Arabia to California, via the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Panama Canal. Starts out with adventures in avoiding pirates (he never really is threatened, though friends have a lot less luck) from Arabia to Israel, through the Suez Canal. Stops, including sightseeing trips, in Israel, Italy, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, and Trinidad, until the not-so-simple Canal crossing, and home to San Diego.
Michael's a really nice fellow, without being particularly sappy about it, making lots of friends along the way; he uses the convention of referring to them by their boats' names ("Beatrice" etc.) and as he meets up with some after a long absence from the story, that did get a tad confusing at times. He's also quite a foodie, so it wasn't exactly hardtack and sardines for him; at one point he has so much surplus fish he makes a quantity of "fish jerky" out of it all! He did a terrific job in picking out the highlights of the trip, so things never really dragged for me, as I'd feared they might.
Parker's narration works quite well in terms of maintaining enthusiasm, although I wish he'd done (more) prep work in getting place names correct, as at times it was almost painful to hear him get some wrong.
Final verdict: definitely recommended!
Great light autobiography of the author's adventures as a sole sailer around the world.
Michael - he is the main character.
The trip up the red sea - its tense and slightly humorous as Michael fights the wind and his own imagination of pirates.
somewhere in the middle when michael comes to terms with his solitude and appreciation for his life.
its a great story read by a great narrator.. its worth the credit to download and get lost at sea with him.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
The author seemed a bit depressed at first.Having been divorced,but he goes on a seven year adventure by himself,which was perhaps fool hardy.The recounting of navigating the Cape York peninsula and the whole coast of Australia was enthralling as he nearly runs his boat aground.The stories about Sri Lanka,the Maldives and navigating the Red Sea in gale force winds made me think he was courageous.When he glossed over Europe I could understand that this part of the world is overpriced.Going through the Panama Canal lochs was also cool.He picks up a couple of backpackers to help with the navigation.I was left feeling like the sea is perhaps the last place on earth a man can be alone with his thoughts and truly free.In the deep ocean there is less concern for hitting rocks and when provisioned right a blissful place that often ends in island hospitality.When he met the tug boat captain in Sri Lanka he began to understand that we have all the capacity for happiness within us.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
For anyone interested in ocean sailing this is a great tale, if not interested in sailing it will be very repetitive. But what is not acceptable is the production. There are more than 10 entries of duplicated reads where the wrong passages have not been edited out. This is just production laziness and should not be accepted by Audible! Then there in pronunciation of place names. This is not the reader's fault it is the responsibility of the director; before any book is read a little bit of research into how places are pronounced should be a undertaken but in this book I cringed at the Australian mispronunciation. I also hear it with American reads about places in England. Come on people, readers are 'actors' and Directors should know how a place is pronounced, it makes the reader look hick which is not fair. Matt Armstrong, the Director and Producer needs to go back to audio book production school!
This is a great story and a great book. It was detailed enough that I was interested in sailing but not so detailed that I was bothered with things I didn't understand. It's a longer book but very much worth the read. I really enjoyed the storyline.
I loved his stories about people he met and fears he had but I didn't like how much time was spent on Australia and that almost none was spent on the transatlantic passage and Central America.
The book was clearly audiotaped poorly. There are repeats in multiple places when the reader obviously stopped for a day and started up the next and rereads at least one whole sentence. It is pretty annoying and takes away from the book. It seems a little amateurish that they couldn't edit that out. I think at one point the reader clears his throat or coughs too.
Around the World in a Decade
Get a better audio version, title, and cover and a ton of people would want to read this. It's actually an awesome read.
The way his experiences were described. Felt like I was there. And, he's a San Diegan. Like I am.
Great story teller. Like it was his own experience.
Loved the book. I'll listen to it again.
Wish it was twice as long.
The first 2 parts of the narration were not edited. The sounds of the narrators slapping his tongue, swallowing, sighing, re-reading sentences is ridiculous (and quite disgusting at times). The 3rd part had the problems edited out.
The information about the voyage
Interest, funny, sad at times.
Islands, Oceans, and Dreams by Michael Salvaneschi is an interesting, often charming book filled with vivid descriptions of the author's experiences during a seven year voyage around the world. Yet it's one of the few books I've encountered during a lifetime of reading that I seriously considered abandoning before I had finished it.
Mr. Salvaneschi is a talented, even stylish writer. He has a good sense of words and a colorful and imaginative way of expressing himself. Unfortunately his grammar is deplorable. I don't use the term lightly. There are many kinds of grammatical error and few modern writers manage to avoid all of them. As a result I've learned to forgive grammatical transgressions that in my youth I would have found intolerable. A split infinitive here, an inappropriate use of the subjunctive there - why deny myself the enjoyment of otherwise talented writers whose command of English isn't flawless. Salvaneschi is different. Instead of ignoring a few of the rules of grammar, he seems oblivious to nearly all of them. The book is a veritable sampler of grammatical errors. In its printed form there must have been two or three on every page. As I listened to the audio version of Salveneschi's book, his cavalier disregard for proper usage became impossible to ignore.
This wouldn't have been so bad, if it hadn't been for the dangling participles. Salvaneschi clearly has no clue about the inherent logic of participle phrases, but he's just as clearly convinced that they're the only grammatical device worth using. Whenever an alternative construction, like a subordinate clause, would work, he invariable substitutes a participle phrase ... and then screws it up, so that the object it modifies is not the appropriate one. The result is a continual barrage of unlikely images ranging from risible to grotesquely hilarious. After a while you can almost feel them coming, like big waves looming invisibly out of a stormy sea.
None of this was helped by Andrew Parker's reading of the text. Mr. Parker has a pleasant voice and he speaks with a nice cadence that makes listening easy. However, he has a distressing tendency to mispronounce words, particularly those that have specialized usages. At one point, for example, he pronounced "gybe", referring to a sailing maneuver, as if were "jib", which is a type of sail. The term "windlass", referring to a mechanical device for hauling on line, should sound like "windless" with a strong accent on the first syllable. Mr. Parker invariably read it as two words: "wind lass" with the second word sounding like the British term for a girl. After a number of these gaffes the intellectual bump, as one searches for the correct sound, makes for uneven listening. Then there was Mr. Parker's habit, especially later in the book, of stopping and then repeating a phrase or sentence he had just read. This usually indicated an error, but sometimes it seemed as though he just hadn't liked the rhythm or inflection he had used and wanted to start over. There was never any warning or indication that this was going to happen. After a while I began to find it irritating. I wonder why these pauses and repetitions weren't edited out of the final recording.
By now you're probably ready for me to wrap this up by explaining how I stopped listening to the book and moved on to something else; but that's not what happened. Over and over again, as I set out for a walk or a bike ride, I made up my mind to listen to another book, but I always wound up returning to Islands, Oceans, and Dreams. Why? Basically it was because, for all his grammatical shortcomings, Michael Salvaneschi is a talented story teller who enhances his writing with evocative and colorful descriptions of the places he visited, the people he met, and the things he did. On top of that, he's obviously a nice guy. As the book unfolded I came to understand why so many people seemed to like him and went out of their way to help him. I liked him too. Although an expert seaman, single handedly sailing for tens of thousands of miles through all types of conditions, he never referred to himself in any but the most modest terms. I found eventually that I could tolerate his dreadful grammar and even his unending stream of dangling participles, many of which made me groan inwardly. I was evidently bound to stick with him to the end of his adventure in spite of the impediments.
And so it turned out. Against my initial expectations, I finished listening to Islands, Oceans, and Dreams and was glad that I did. Even if, like me, you're a stickler for good grammar and seamless, professional narration, Michael Salvaneschi's book is a darned good read - or listen. I recommend it highly.
Great insight into risk, adventure, cultures, dreams, technical info on sailing, and what the world has to offer if you have the guts to go out and take it on in a fashion that would seem insane to most.
It's amazing amount of information. At first listen, I thought I would return it as many of the seamanship terms were out of my reach and I thought it may be only for those that have been on a sailboat / yacht. I have not been. I gave it some time and discovered that it was far less technical and filled with amazing adventures and experiences one man endured over SEVEN years on his own solo adventure around the world. The people he met, the things he saw, the experiences he had (both great and horribly challenging) were all given in great and entertaining detail. It has me thinking of learning to sail one day and possible give up land life and live truly free as this man did once I hit the wall in my 50's.
Solid narration. Simply solid. Nothing spectacular but absolutely solid.
It made me consider what I am doing with my life. I've been an avid world traveler by air for many years but nothing to this extreme. This kind of life is fascinating and had me questioning what I might do with the remainder of my life. Should I take such a risk / take on something so out of my norm in order to experience things 99.9% of the world's population have not done? It does lead to dreams of what you might do with your life / what you might be willing to take on in order to add that final exclamation point to your life's story.
Do not be afraid to listen to this is you know nothing about sailing. I don't and didn't. The adventure herein is fascinating and makes you question what you may be capable of as far as risk taking and the human endeavor of the one life we are all given. I did find myself looking up some sailing terms and following along a bit on google maps during this great 19+ hour journey. It was just an absolutely wonderful journey to take via audio.
"Needed some editing."
I thoroughly enjoyed the account of the voyage. However, this audio version needs some editing. There were several times when the reader stumbled over a word, went back to the start of the sentence or paragraph and restarted, but this was left in. The narrator's performance itself was very good, it was the editing that let it down.
"TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE USEFULL"
This is an interesting read but there's too much technical information which if you don't actually sail doesn't mean a lot and detracts from the story.
I enjoyed the narrator tone of voice but it seemed to repeat in parts, not sure if it was a technical error or the narrator lost his place, reread and it wasn't caught on proofreading.
Overall a good story.
"Journey Around the World"
I really liked this journey around the world. The narrator was good to listen to and although it was a long book it kept my attention - especially the section whilst travelling through the Red Sea. Worth a listen.
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