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Publisher's Summary

When first published in 1995, Herb Payson's brilliant Blown Away was hailed by critics and readers alike as a modern classic in the genre of cruising literature.

So what's it about? At middle age, Herb and Nancy Payson decided they needed a change. Why not give up life on shore, quit their jobs in the smoky nightclubs of Los Angeles, and take up the cruising life? In Sea Foam, their 36-foot ketch, the Paysons and their large brood of teenage children cruised the Pacific for six and a half years. They experienced a certain amount of stark terror, but their delights far outbalanced the drawbacks.

Anyone seriously dreaming of setting off to sea should listen to Blown Away. Families who are already out there should make it bedtime listening, as Herb shows the way families interact in the close quarters of a sailing boat at sea. But even those who find their ordered onshore existences good and fulfilling can hardly escape a twinge of envy while experiencing this amusing, instructive, and wholly delightful adventure.

This special 35th anniversary edition is enhanced with a foreword by Lin Pardey, plus Herb's reflections on how cruising affected his children and his relationship with his determined, lifelong partner/wife Nancy.

©2015 Herb Payson (P)2014 New Street Communications, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Perhaps the most delightful result of Herb Payson's decision to give up his credit card-cluttered life for one of bluewater cruising is that now he provides sailors (be they armchair or active) with uproariously funny tales of magic and woe. He has been charming magazine audiences with his adventures for several years; here he tells the entire hilarious but often humbling story of his family's move from California to a Pacific-bound ketch in Blown Away." (Cruising World)
"Herb's self-deprecation is a wonderful counterpoint to his serious seamanship. Blown Away lets the reader laugh as he learns. A classic comedy of riches." (Sail Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good book

liked the story, very entertaining and inspired me to do my winter boat maintenance. the narrator drove me a little crazy, suuuper slow reader and pronounced EVERYTHING wrong.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Blown away

The narration was a little flat and dull in spots, but the book was well written. I enjoyed the adventure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TC
  • Seattle, WV, USA
  • 09-26-15

Engaging, initially bad narration that improves!

If you could sum up Blown Away in three words, what would they be?

Witty, informative, exciting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Blown Away?

Finding the author's sailboat, after a very long search.

Have you listened to any of Nick Hahn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. I was initially disappointed and perplexed about Nick's narration....choppy, very very slow, unmodulated. As the book progresses Nick appears to get in the flow and spirit and the reading is quite good. If I was the producer, I would have told Nick to re-narrate the first half.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I enjoy going to sleep listening to 60 minute segments.

Any additional comments?

Recommended!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book!

Although our boat, Moving On, isn't made of wood or has been to the South Pacific - I can feel for the author I. Their times of peril and WOW!!!!! What excitement!! This is a great book with witty humor. Even if you armed into sailing I think you'll like this book as it is about life and true adventures.... Actually - it sounded like an extreme sport before extreme sports were created! Great job_steve