Islands, Oceans, and Dreams

The True Story of a Sailor's Seven Year Solo Voyage Around the World
Narrated by: Andrew Parker
Length: 19 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (339 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

Great tale let down by production

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!

13 people found this helpful

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

If you're into maritime adventure

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!

11 people found this helpful

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

Story is Great, But the Reading Was Flawed

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Islands, Oceans, and Dreams?

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.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

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.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Around the World in a Decade

Any additional comments?

Get a better audio version, title, and cover and a ton of people would want to read this. It's actually an awesome read.

3 people found this helpful

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

Great story telling, you get lost in the trips

If you could sum up Islands, Oceans, and Dreams in three words, what would they be?

Great light autobiography of the author's adventures as a sole sailer around the world.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Michael - he is the main character.

Which scene was your favorite?

The trip up the red sea - its tense and slightly humorous as Michael fights the wind and his own imagination of pirates.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

somewhere in the middle when michael comes to terms with his solitude and appreciation for his life.

Any additional comments?

its a great story read by a great narrator.. its worth the credit to download and get lost at sea with him.

3 people found this helpful

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

A personal favorite

What made the experience of listening to Islands, Oceans, and Dreams the most enjoyable?

The way his experiences were described. Felt like I was there. And, he's a San Diegan. Like I am.

What about Andrew Parker’s performance did you like?

Great story teller. Like it was his own experience.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Loved the book. I'll listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

Wish it was twice as long.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Edit the Narration!

What would have made Islands, Oceans, and Dreams better?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

The information about the voyage

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Andrew Parker?

Scott Brick

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Interest, funny, sad at times.

4 people found this helpful

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

Excellent sailing read

My husband and I listened to this while on a few long drives. This book held our attention and we hated shutting off the car each time. The story is filled with day to day information and experiences of a RTW cruiser as well as some exciting adventures. Salvaneschi is not afraid to share some of his more humbling moments, making him a trustworthy and respected storyteller in my opinion. It's long, but very well worth the read. I also plan to buy the book version and send one along to my fathers in law.

1 person found this helpful

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

Modern day adventure

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.

2 people found this helpful

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

Setting in need of a point

The performance of the story isn't great, there are many mispronunciations that show that the performer wasn't prepared for the content. It doesn't seem to have been very thoroughly edited since there are numerous points where the performer repeats himself and starts over that were not cut out.

The writing style is high school journal entry, full of description and attempts at similes and metaphors that seem forced. Often a scene is set, but it's just that, a setting without action or interest. The author continuously goes on about this friend or that, most of whom add little to book. The story drones on and on and the book would have benefited greatly to being shorted down to a couple of magazine articles.

The worst part of the book is the glaring entitlement of the author, who get upset when the world doesn't meet his desires. He gets angry at others who disturb his calm, fail to take his pens and cheap sunglasses in exchange for their labors, or fail to smile at him on command. His weird glomming on to married woman he meets along the way comes off as creepy.

If the author had humor, or if the story involved growth or self discovery, it might have been worth the time.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Overcoming one self, at the MAX

The author is, for his life at least, at the right time / place for this to occur. Most of us simply cannot, and would not make the same decisions given the same life occurrences.
Yet, to those who imagine, and secretly long to endeavor such a journey, the story is captivating.
Long, yet not boring. This book takes you through 7 years of solo navigation on a modest sailing yacht. There once may have been a time for me, but such time has lapsed. I am only left with the wonder of what could have been...

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 10-22-13

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-19

Excellent story, very well told

A good story, brings a human tale to sailing vast oceans. Will certainly listen to it again.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-19

Not pleasant

Since when is 'quay' pronounced 'kway'.
Dull, monotonous story about Pacific islands NOT sailing.
Sorry.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 05-26-19

Unaccountably tedious

I wanted to like this. I really did. I listened to the whole thing, but it was an effort. There is no reason why a tale of sailing around the world should be tedious, but it was. The story is explained (not told) in a way that borders on patronising and it fails to grip the attention. Deeper meaning is clumsily thrust upon every incident. It is clear that there has been some artistic licence - every Brit in the story speaks in toe-curlingly awkward cliches that Dickens would dismiss as outdated and unbelievable.

The narrator unfailingly manages to mispronounce every single place name, which is forgivable, and good number of sailing terms, which (in sailing book) is not.

There is no doubt that this was a fascinating journey, but the narrative would benefit from being less than half the length.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 02-19-19

Fantastic Adventure don’t miss this one

Thank you for a great book I just couldn’t stop listening. Be careful though I am so so tempted to do just the same.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve K
  • 09-30-18

Transports You to a Different Place

Always looked forward to getting back to listening to this book. Nice guy, great story of a life I think we all fantasise about from time to time but know we never will.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daddyrich
  • 04-22-18

HARDCORE.

inspiring story of adventure ,and bravery. INSPIRING,that he actually did this journey ,especially after a divorce.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • william r
  • 11-20-16

epic solo voyage

An incredible solo journey. Good story, but a little longwinded and narated by a slightly camp chap

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aled hopkins
  • 10-29-16

definitely for dreamers

second time I have listened. I would love an adventure like this. maybe someday I will take the plunge. great listen.thanks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deedee
  • 09-27-16

I'm a dreamer too.

I dream of making the same journey around the world that Michael has made.
At times I swear I could see the same views as he was describing and felt the same emotions he was feeling which are the hallmarks of a great book.
It is a very well read audio book, very clear with very few mistakes and even though it is a long book I felt like I could restart It from the beginning straight after finishing it.
If like me you are a dreamer you'll enjoy it, if you are into sailing, ditto.
It's up there with the best sailing books.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PhilippaB
  • 06-29-18

needs to be edited

Loved the story, what a voyage. Well read BUT needs repetitions edited out - annoying.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-19-19

Great story with irritating mispronunciations

I enjoyed this story from the viewpoint of being new to sailing myself. Being on this journey with him was quite enriching The visual descriptions of nature were quite wonderful and it was great to know where and what can go wrong. The mispronunciations of Australian towns and fauna were extremely irritating as they weren’t exactly challenging and I put it down to literary ignorance. However worth the effort but you may have to brace yourself for the above mentioned issue.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-18

Fantastic

Fantastic story of adventure and courage. World travel pirates and friendship exotic places beaches and blue water