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Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist…
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Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat

by Chris Stewart

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A light and enjoyable memoir of the author's sailing experiences - starting as a novice professional skipper (that's as peculiar as it sounds!) in the Greek Islands and concluding with his experience as crew on a high latitudes voyage in a Bristol Channel pilot cutter. The author is funny and self deprecating and his experiences at sea ring very true - the bit about the difficulties of going to the loo on a boat during a storm is painfully realistic and hilarious. Well worth reading by sailors but I imagine landlubbers would enjoy it too. ( )
  Figgles | Jul 16, 2013 |
My husband loved this book.

My husband has been boat-mad for about three years now, so when I spotted this book in our local book shop just before Christmas, it seemed to be the perfect stocking filler. Thankfully it lived up to expectations, and although I haven't read it myself, it feels as though I have - given the numerous quotes and captions he has read out loud.

Chris starts his boating career by skippering a boat around the Greek Islands, never having sailed before. This was followed by the opportunity to join a crew crossing the Atlantic, which, of course, he accepted.
And to cap it all - this guy gets sea sick!!

Possibly the greatest acolade for the book is the fact that he finished it (all 173 pages!), which is very rare! He then went on to read Drink, Dear Boy by Alwynne Chappelle, which I downloaded on to my Kindle, which then became 'His Kindle' !! ( )
1 vote DubaiReader | Feb 8, 2012 |
Written by the original drummer of Genesis (Chris Stewart), "Three Ways to Capsize a Boat" covers his time between being kicked out of the band and the farming experiences as outlined in his bestselling memoir, "Driving Over Lemons". Part Bill Bryson/Part Peter Mayle, Stewart’s narrative outlines a hilarious (although at times harrowing) life on the open sea – beginning with a job offer to skipper the sailboat of a wealthy American couple – an offer he received and accepted at a time when he had never yet even stepped foot on a boat. Clearly he learned a thing or two before this first position, and what he experiences in his life at sea, while not particularly profound, provides enough humor and insight to keep the book moving at a fast and steady pace.

The book continues to chronicle a second sea voyage as part of a group sailing the north Atlantic from the UK to Greenland, and at times, the detail of experience and the monotony of the open seas (and of the writing describing it) begins to drag. But even at times of pending peril, Stewart finds moments of hilarity to keep the reader’s interest.

Based on the fact his later books do not describe a life at sea, it remains a question what the “point” of this book is. It did not prove an epiphany to his personal growth and the reader views the experiences from a distance without really becoming a part of the journey. But as a diversionary read, a view of life at sea and/or an insight into life abroad, [Three Ways to Capsize a Boat] is worth a look. ( )
1 vote pbadeer | Aug 24, 2010 |
The book tells of a time long before Chris Stewart's farm in Spain and even Ana is still in a girlfriend stage. In the first part of the book Chris gets a job offer of a lifetime, when his friend asks him to skipper a boat on the Mediterranean for a summer. Why, is anybody's guess, since Chris hasn't set a foot on a sailing boat in his life. But naturally he accepts.

In the second part Chris is invited on a sailing trip across the Northern Atlantic via Norway and Iceland all the way to Newfoundland in the footsteps of the viking Leif Eiriksson. The trip is considerably more dangerous and demanding than his previous summer on the Med, but luckily he lives to tell the tale.

One can only marvel at Chris Stewart's relaxed attitude to life. I think his writing style is just as relaxed and he is often very funny. However, the book is rather short and not quite as good as his previous ones. Somehow it left me wanting for more. I kept wondering, whether the stories had worked better as part of another book, like he did with his stories about sheep shearing in A Parrot in the Pepper Tree. As it is, I did enjoy reading about his exploits with sailing and spent a couple of happy hours on a rainy July day with this book, most of the time glad to be far far away from the sea myself... ( )
  riikkat | Jul 13, 2009 |
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For my mother, Jill, without whom none of this would have happened
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It was Julie Miller who sent me to sea, one wet autumn afternoon in London's Wandsworth Road. Now of course, you haven't a clue who Julie Miller is, and indeed why should you?...but her relevance to this episode and subsequent adventures is that she had a great aunt called Jane Joyce.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307592375, Paperback)

Chris Stewart had a long and eclectic list of jobs.  From some of the most glamorous careers – he was original drummer in Genesis - to the more offbeat - a sheep shearer and circus performer - he had done it all…or almost all.  So when he is offered the chance to captain a sailboat in the Greek islands one summer, something he had never done before, he jumps at the chance.  Ever the optimist, Stewart is undaunted by the fact that he’d never actually sailed before!
 
So begins the hilarious and wild adventures of Three Ways to Capsize a Boat.  From setting the boat on fire not once, but several times in the Aegean Sea to his not-so-grand arrival in Spetses to meet the owners of the boat (who says it isn’t graceful to plow into the docks as a means of coming to a stop?), Stewart quickly catches the sailing bug.  By the end of the summer, as he is facing the dreary prospect of going back to sheep shearing, he jumps at the chance to be part of a crew to follow Viking Leif Eiriksson’s historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  Five months on a small sailboat with seven other people in the freezing waters of the Atlantic would sound like punishment to most people, but not Stewart!  He takes it all in stride and always with his unfailing optimism and good spirits.  From coming to terms with the long, cold nights at sea and unchanging cuisine to battling intense seasickness and managing to go to the bathroom during a massive storm (a lot harder than you’d think!), Stewart keeps his good humor…but learns, in the end, that perhaps the best things in life are worth coming ashore for.
 
Three Ways to Capsize a Boat is travel writing at its best, crackling with Chris Stewart’s zest for life, irresistible humor, and unerring lack of foresight.  Dry land never looked more welcoming!
 
Three Ways to Capsize a Boat” is a charming and lyrical read, awash with the joy of discovery, and Stewart is an immensely likeable narrator…The key to his popularity is his honest and self-effacing determination - as discussed during a mid-Atlantic storm - to live a rewarding life.” – Guardian, UK

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Chris Stewart had a long and eclectic list of jobs. From some of the most glamorous careers - he was original drummer in Genesis - to the more offbeat - a sheep shearer and circus performer - he had done it all...or almost all. So when he is offered the chance to captain a sailboat in the Greek islands one summer, something he had never done before, he jumps at the chance. Ever the optimist, Stewart is undaunted by the fact that he'd never actually sailed before! So begins the hilarious and wild adventures of Three Ways to Capsize a Boat. From setting the boat on fire not once, but several times in the Aegean Sea to his not-so-grand arrival in Spetses to meet the owners of the boat (who says it isn't graceful to plow into the docks as a means of coming to a stop?), Stewart quickly catches the sailing bug. By the end of the summer, as he is facing the dreary prospect of going back to sheep shearing, he jumps at the chance to be part of a crew to follow Viking Leif Eiriksson's historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Five months on a small sailboat with seven other people in the freezing waters of the Atlantic would sound like punishment to most people, but not Stewart! He takes it all in stride and always with his unfailing optimism and good spirits. From coming to terms with the long, cold nights at sea and unchanging cuisine to battling intense seasickness and managing to go to the bathroom during a massive storm (a lot harder than you'd think!), Stewart keeps his good humor...but learns, in the end, that perhaps the best things in life are worth coming ashore for. Three Ways to Capsize a Boat is travel writing at its best, crackling with Chris Stewart's zest for life, irresistible humor, and unerring lack of foresight. Dry land never looked more welcoming!… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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