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Alone Together Audiobook

Alone Together: Sailing Solo to Hawaii and Beyond

Regular Price:$24.95
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Publisher's Summary

What happens when a man of today's overconnected world sets off alone across the Pacific at the age of 71? Christian Williams, a veteran sailor and writer, planned a 6,000-mile voyage as a test of his own seamanship and endurance, and to fulfill a lifelong goal. But he found his focus quickly turning from the surrounding sea to all of us. Is anyone the same person when no one else is there? Do we dare to find out? In a new world of soaring seabirds, violent storms, and majestic emptiness, Williams discovered answers to questions he had never asked about who we are, why we sail, and the universal fear of being alone.

Alone Together is a complete technical course in offshore sailing technique and yacht preparation, and a philosophical inquiry into what it takes to be truly alive in the 21st century.

©2016 Christian Williams (P)2016 Christian Williams

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (166 )
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4.7 (158 )
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Story
4.6 (155 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark 09-07-16
    Mark 09-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Best for the arm chair adventurer, or a sailor or philosopher"

    This is a great book, especially this audio version. I had tried to read the paper back version and had a hard time following the author. Unlike any book I have ever read or listen to before the author navigates his story, his stories through confusing seas. The book is really three stories in one. One part, a story of being seduced by the sails, boats, wind and like minded sailors. Another part about what it takes to sail across a ocean. The daily chores, navigation, sail changes and mid ocean repairs. And the third part of searching the soul for answers to questions that only come to people who spend weeks....truly alone.

    What I found hard to read was memorizing to listen to. I want to follow is wake, I want to sail to distance shores myself. I crave the challenge that started in me as a boy from the national geographic story following the DOVE around the world. I too want to let time alone tease out questions for deep inside me.

    Listening to the author read his own book was delightful, insightful and made smile at the world. The book was so memorizing that I pulled over in a highway road side to listen to the last half hour.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 10-10-16
    Tim 10-10-16
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    "Gutsy Adventure"

    The author displays a courage and spirit that must be admired. He is a talented writer and - after a somewhat monotonous beginning - the adventure will grab you and not let you go. It is a masterful teaching tool, that schools you effortlessly in the art of sailing, and the author does so like your favorite professor from college. Well worth the outlay and time commitment. As an aside, I had hoped he would have decided to continue his solo journey, taking us with him through the South Pacific.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda C. 01-29-17
    Amanda C. 01-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "fantastic true life adventure story"

    beautifully written and narrated by the author. plenty of sailing talk, intermingled with philosophy. easy audiobook to get lost in. thanks

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 10-24-16
    Timothy 10-24-16
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    "An excellent listen"

    It felt like I was right there with him. Even the most trivial task on the boat was an enjoyable listen. He has a way with words that make his experience seem wholesome and relatable. I highly recommend this audiobook for anyone who enjoys sailing and finding oneself in solitude.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    StephenML 06-09-17
    StephenML 06-09-17
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    "Zen and the Art of Long Distance Sailing"
    Any additional comments?

    If you've read Robert Pirsig's 1974 classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you'll know that the book has, by the author's own admission, little to do with zen or art or even motorcycle maintenance. In similar fashion, to take Alone Together at face value, as a how-to guide for sailing to Hawaii, is to miss the point entirely. This is just as much a book of personal philosophy, history, and psychology as it is about sailboat maintenance, navigation, and sail trim, though there's plenty of all that too.
    It is deeply introspective and while Mr. Williams never lets facts get in the way of a good story, the author is also willing to expose his innermost thoughts, vulnerabilities, and self-doubts to the listener, not always because they contribute to the story arc, but sometimes simply because they are genuine.

    I found the author's speech to be incredibly natural and relaxed; how people actually talk. There is a moment when we reflexively reject what we don't expect, apart from any qualitative analysis. Upon finding a nice Cabernet in our Kool-Aid cup, we're likely to spit it out no matter how objectively good it is. Likewise, the first few minutes of listening had me thinking, "this isn't what audiobooks are supposed to sound like," as the narrator plodded along, bumping over sentences unevenly, lurching about more wagon train than cruising sailboat. After a while though it became oddly soothing and I realized it wasn't that Mr. Williams was speaking too slowly, it's that I was listening too fast. You get the feeling while listening that the author isn't in any particular hurry to get anywhere, and that's exactly the point. Modern sailors don't cross the ocean to get to the other side, but rather to experience all the little moments of the crossing, to be here now, and here now, and here now.

    After listening to a chapter or three, I feel like I've spent a little time alone together with the author. That seems to have been his intention and I believe he has succeeded.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Martin 06-06-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Captivating and instructive!!"

    amazing. simply amazing. well written, well narrated, highly instructive and perhaps one of the most captivating audio books I have ever enjoyed.

    This book is new, and features a few people I have personally met, and several people that are friends of friends. I was living aboard my 1967 30 ft sloop in Hawaii in Keehi lagoon (practically the only haul out spot in Hawaii) while all of the travels recorded in this book took place, and I well remember preparing for the double hurricanes that year; I felt a strange kinship with the author when I listened to him recall tying triple dock lines and the strange atmosphere of worry and relaxation on the docks.

    I am now convinced that at least some of the best pieces of sailing advice and tips I have ever received may have originated with this author. Some of the sayings were word for word to that which I learned on the docks of Oahu. Perhaps it is merely common wisdom, but either way - this book is as useful and instructive as it is captivating.

    Expect this title to make your heart intone like a bell for the sea. It contains lots of useful instruction but feels like a story. I can't wait to be offshore again.
    Godspeed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emiliano Pasqualetti 04-08-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I sailed across the Pacific Ocean...with Christian"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Alone Together to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but I have enjoyed a lot the audio edition.


    What about Christian Williams’s performance did you like?

    The soothing tone of voice.


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

    Absolutely!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Austin 01-27-17
    Austin 01-27-17 Member Since 2015
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    "excellent"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book as read by the author. It will probably get a 2nd listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thom Toronto, ON, Canada 01-11-17
    Thom Toronto, ON, Canada 01-11-17 Listener Since 2008
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    "Super! Wonderful! Enriching! Delightful!"

    I've read and listened to dozens of books about sailing and sailing journeys, and, by far, this is the best ever! I don't know that I learned much new about sailing or maintenance techniques because I've read/experienced much of that before. But what this book taught me was an attitude that I hope to emulate and work to maintain. The calm, deliberate and quiet confidence mixed with humility and humour may be the most important lesson ever.

    However, I didn't really read it to learn, I read it to enjoy, and enjoy it I did. I found myself laughing aloud at times and experiencing the quiet, reverence and awe that must come to all singlehanders at times. I feel like I was actually there, through the good and the not so good. I feel enriched and deeply satisfied by this book. I just finished it and I know that I won't want to start another for a few days - preferring to let this one linger and echoes in my thoughts a while longer. Thanks for a fantastic trip, Christian. I'd sail with you again any time!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave 12-25-16
    Dave 12-25-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent expansion of the YouTube video."

    Ever watch a movie and think, "I want more!", then track down the book and find it full of rich details that bring additional depth and texture to the story?

    Well, that is exactly what happens in "Alone Together". I watched Christian Williams' video twice, I loved it so. I may just listen to the book again as well. Wonder what type of auto-helm equipment he used? He not only tells you, he tells the surprising story of the actual purchase. The book is full of wonderful stories and the details never become tedious.

    I did rate the performance down a bit. But only because I have heard the author narrate his videos so masterfully. For whatever reason, I found his narration a bit slow and stilted at times. As much as I enjoy the tones of Mr. Williams' voice, as happy as I was to find he narrated his own book, I was slightly disappointed by those two small deficiencies. Perhaps I'm over-sensitive, having suffered through too many Scott Brick narrations to tolerate a performance even slightly resembling the almost unlistenable experience I endured with the "Coyote" sci-fi series.

    If you enjoy sailing, have ever considered cruising or single-handing or solo sailing to Hawaii, this book is for you. Mr Williams is a great story teller!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • rhys walters
    3/1/17
    Overall
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    "Thank you Christian"

    Thanks for sharing your story Christian. i love you youtube videos. keep them coming.

    the book itself is a nice listen. i really enjoyed it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • AJK
    11/17/17
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    "must read for solo sailing and great laughs!"

    Is it the story itself? The narrator (who is also the author)? the hilarius retelling of many moments on board?

    I would say all of them... They all contribute for this to be ine of the best listens on audible about sailing, life and of course: spaghetti!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nibbler
    9/11/17
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    "If you like the sea, sailing or adventures..."

    This book is about Christian's solo sail to Hawaii, it's planning and execution. If you like the sea, sailing books or adventures you'll probably enjoy this.

    There's no plot, there's not really any tension but in the end I found it quite compelling.

    I expected more descriptions of the sea, instead we are given expansive and detailed descriptions of the mechanics of the yacht and it's preparation. I quite enjoyed these, although occasionally his voice (and I mean narrative voice) seemed a bit whiney - many of us would give our eye-teeth to have the chance to do a trip like this, so when he's moaning about an inconsequential leak he can't find or some other small problematic detail with the boat it does get a bit tiresome. There are few passages where Christian seems to be really content, perhaps this is a reflection on the inner 'us' we take with us wherever we travel and whoever we are with.

    I expected more philosophy. 'Alone together' is the paradox at the heart of the Northumbria Community and I was expecting some deep reflections on the state of aloneness which he experienced. There is a bit of this, but actually the 'alone together' is a device in which the author keeps talking to you as though you were on the boat with him. Truly I found this immensely annoying and distracting and his assumptions about what I may or may not want to do patronising. This is the principle reason for dropping two stars. However, having paid my money I pressed on and like the leaks it seemed to disappear as the book went on and although the philosophy was not explicit, there is a wonderful connection with the sea and his life on it which does have impact.

    Do I recommend it? Yes, of course: four stars is a hearty recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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