Shouting from my shed

Get the latest news, updates and happenings via my shed-based newsletter.

 

Book Review: A Dip in the Ocean

fish

Rowing an ocean has been a dream of mine for a while. Reading Sarah Outen‘s new book, A Dip in the Ocean, confirmed that I would indeed love the experience. However her book also made me realise that I am too impatient, slapdash and stingy to raise the money, learn all the skills and deal with all the logistics involved. The book, on her record-breaking row across the Indian Ocean, was an interesting insight into what it takes to get an expedition like that out of the starting blocks and to the start line. This happens with the backdrop of Oxford University which was where I did most of the planning and preparation for my ride round the world. I also felt quite familiar with much of the rest of the book as it deals with the mental and physical challenges of propelling yourself a long way, alone, in the face of doubts and difficulties.

I found the first half of her book the most compelling, as Sarah struggles to overcome autoimmune hypothyroidism and, crushingly, the death of her Dad. This helps her put all other difficulties, pain and problems firmly in perspective as she perseveres with the rowing project. She faces her grief honestly throughout the book and it is certainly a much stronger read for that.

People who don’t know much about expedition life, its highs and lows, or about ocean rowing will enjoy the thorough account of her four months alone at sea. I focused more on imagining how wonderful it must be to be in the middle of an ocean, alone, on a night bursting with stars, or a calm, flat day with not even a ripple when “my horizon was pushed out further and it seemed like I was staring beyond the edge of the world.” Moments like that would make the terror of capsizing thousands of miles from land worthwhile (I think!).

A Dip in the Ocean is an honest book about the “happiest and saddest and most challenging and rewarding” adventure of Sarah’s life so far. I highly recommend it to young people dreaming of starting their first expedition, Mums fretting about their babies heading off on mad adventures, those planning a major row, or anyone simply interested in the story of the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean.

Sarah departs on April 1st, two years to the day since her row began, to take on a “Sarah-powered” circumnavigation of the planet.

Watch an excellent short talk by Sarah here.

And buy her book here.

Read Comments

You might also like

On Books and Adventure I have always loved books and, in particular, travel and exploration books. I am jealous of people who have not read The Worst Journey in the World, or The Kon-Tiki Expedition, or Wind, Sand and Stars, for they still have […]...
Pootling about the Bavarian Alps Plans in the outdoors do not always work out. That does not always matter. In fact, much of the time plans are important for only one thing: giving you the excuse and the impetus to get out of the door, […]...
Seize the Opportunities for Adventure If I offered you £1,000,000 to head to, say, Dartmoor – or any wild place you fancy – and spend tomorrow night wild camping high on the Tors, I’m sure you’d leap at the opportunity. Not just a fat pile […]...
 

Comments

  1. Hamish Moffatt Posted

    Thanks for sharing this Alastair, hadn’t heard of Sarah and her adventure before but have just purchased the book for kindle. I’m intrigued already.

    Reply

 
 

Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

 

Shouting from my shed

Get the latest news, updates and happenings via my shed-based newsletter.

© Copyright 2012 – 2011 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved.

Site design by JSummertonBuilt by Steve Perry Creative