5.00 out of 5 based on 57 customer ratings
(57 reader reviews)


Tranquility is the true tale of an impulsive young man who sets sail on a three week voyage in an old wooden boat. When Billy Sparrow shoves off, he believes he’s bound on a fair winds and following seas summer cruise that will take him to an island paradise, but he quickly discovers fate has it otherwise. His three week summer voyage turns into an unbelievable never-ending saga. Tranquility is a universal tale of youth told with affection, wisdom, romance and life learning, for landlubber and sailor alike.

Here’s an excerpt



Published in its entirety for the first time in June of 2016, this is a beautifully rendered First Edition paperback full of pen and ink maps, drawings and black and white photos. Tranquility is a work of art inside and out. It’s a memorable keepsake that will hold its own on any bookshelf. Tranquility makes the perfect gift for a graduate, a friend, or an old salt looking to do a little armchair sailing. Bound Proof copies of Tranquility are circulating online and in used bookstores. Readers can tell at a glance which is which: Bound Proofs do not have an anchor on the spine; the just published first edition does.
ISBN 978-0-692-41604-4
ISBN 9780692416044

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57 reviews for Tranquility

  1. David G

    This book is (up to now) the richest true story I have ever read. Billy Sparrow paints pictures with every crafted sentence that brought me dozens of laugh-out-loud moments and several poignant tear filled pauses. I know little of sailing other than what I have gleaned from this book, but in the short 36 hours it has been in my possession I feel that I have lived a lifetime on a boat. I have never had the desire to own a boat and still do not, but now I have insight into the mind of the type of man who does, and for that I have a better understanding of myself. I will be grateful for this book, perhaps beyond this lifetime. It has been said too many times, but this a page turner. It is more than that however, it is a conversation with a poet and your only lines are “What happened next?” or “Holy Shit!”

  2. Rivka Sweedler

    My name is Rivka Sweedler and I want to tell you about this wonderful book. Tranquility by Billy Sparrow, is the tale of a young man’s self-initiated Rite of Passage. The story is compellingly told and lived. The descriptive narrative is as pristine and varied as the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest that are being described in the pages. There is something to be gained in Billy’s persistence in spite of sometimes overwhelming failure. The detailed descriptions of the problems he encounters on his voyage and the stages he goes through to solve each of them can teach a valuable lesson to us all. This process and Billy’s necessary stubborness, expanded thinking and humor remind me of App Applegate, my partner for 17 years and the man who built the “fomidable creation” that Billy and his friends hiked up to on the mountainside written about in Tranquility. This formidable creation was none other than Approximada, a 3-masted 70-foot barkentine whose “timbers had been hewn and her ribs bent and fastened to her keelson in a clearing several hundred feet above and many miles away from the nearest finger of the sea”. Imagine that for a moment…
    Our range of options for how one can direct their life are expanded by what we read as well as by what we experience. Tranquility is a wonderful book for a new generation of adventurers. They can learn basic human skills from this story and gain reliable personal resources. With Tranquility, and Approximada Captain Sparrow and App Applegate prove that anyone can embark on a journey of their own making if they have intention and willingness to fail for as long as it takes them to succeed. For its part, Tranquility is a valuable guide book for living a self-directed life.
    Thank you for your time,
    Rivka Sweedler
    App Applegate and the Amazing Approximada

    Approximada: a short film by Kyle Carver & Dan Larson

  3. Philippe Nouvel

    The title of the book is somewhat of a misnomer – whoever sailed in difficult conditions cannot but admire the resourcefulness of a young man surviving harrowing situations at sea, and his luck. Some other parts of the book -survival on land – are reminiscent of Orwell’s Down and Out in London and Paris, while moments of romantic solace, culminating in tranquillity in the San Juan Islands, show the complex character and personality of the writer. Fascinating.

  4. Ted Seeley

    I wish to thank Inland Waters Press for arranging several copies of Tranquility to be made available for my English class. The students who have read this book, and have been participating in our class book talk have already shown more of an interest in local geography and now want to explore several different beaches and ports locally. The students have generally told me this story is uplifting for them, and the descriptive language used in Tranquility has helped guide our close reading assignments many times already. Thank You Inland Waters Press for your generous help for our English class! – Mr. Ted Seeley and the English Department at Futurus High School; Centralia, Washington

  5. Andrew Ryquart

    We will not play scrabble with you Billy Sparrow! My girlfriend and I took turns reading your exquisite book aloud to one another over the holidays!
    We both felt we would have liked more details about Reggie’s character ie the supreme swindler but your boat was still there.
    I liked how you explained how treacherous the bars along the Washington, Oregon coast are – Holy-surf batman!
    I have definitely related to the solo sailor, trials and tribulation. Being alone, sinking winch handles, 2 wrenches gone within minutes of each other,stolen outboards and gales et al.
    WE learned a lot about caulking a wooden boat.- prink prink prink.
    Ohh to be young in the San Juans with fair maidens…
    I thought MY mysterious leaks were frustrating….
    the pictures, simple drawings and maps add a lot.
    We look forward to more.

  6. Hilary Fonda Webb

    From the first pages I was hooked in. Its honesty and humor with which this memoir reads immediately drew me in..I found myself dropping old ideas of what I thought made a successful life and re-imagining what makes life worth living..asking myself what calls to adventure are in my own heart..this was the reward in reading Tranquility.. this is one of its greatest gifts.. the spark that can be ignited in the reader to ask themselves the same…

  7. Scott

    I picked this book up at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival and really enjoyed the read. To be honest, so many things happen in this story I didn’t realize it was true until I saw the photos. Quite an adventure and a very entertaining read, especially for the northwest sailor.

  8. Armelle

    This is a true story, it will take you on a voyage that you may not have imagined. The author will speak to you, yet in a very pleasant literary style with oh-so precise vocabulary. He bought an old wooden boat on an impulse, sailed away with more goodwill and stubbornness than experience, prepared for an adventure though.

    This is a story of modern day resilience and courage. The author tells his story from the heart, bearing his soul to his readers, as he admits mistakes and falling on hard times. A young man who’s not afraid of hard work to get what he wants. A man who grows wiser admitting that.

    This is a story of a young man who lives with his eyes and heart wide open. He peppers his memoir with explanations of currents in the Puget Sound, the history of small Pacific Northwest towns and the secrets of caulking a ship successfully simply sharing what he learnt, just in case we’d like to know, because it’s so interesting, fascinating even.

    To say that I loved this book is an understatement, I sincerely hope there will be a second one!

  9. Lucky

    A really fun read full of numerous full-on belly laughs. Even as a native of the Pacific Northwest, the book opened my eyes to a lot about the area I hadn’t really considered.

  10. Jennifer

    To say this is a page turner is an understatement! The pace matches Sparrow’s determination and openhearted gumption. Overall, it is an inspiration in following one’s dream and taking the leap with fortitude. Just when you think nothing worse can happen, it does! To the depths of hitting bottom, trudging through, facing the psychological landscape of what could fracture a man, only to rebuild. As a landlubber, I was drawn to this book because of the region where it is set and the determined adventure of a young man. However, the characters of the sea and Tranquility develop into a most formidable environment. After reading this book, I have a new understanding and respect for stepping off the comfort of land. To go into such a mysterious landscape emphasized the intensity of the journey, how much risk we actually need to take, and how much we are faced with ourselves through the process. Well done, it already feels like a classic.

  11. Benjamin England

    I picked this book up off of my colleague’s desk (she is a high school English teacher and I’m a middle school and high school AVID teacher… WOW! what can I say about this wonderful, riveting book?! I will definitely use it with my classes (Thank you Inland Waters Press for the free copies for) as this book details “life” and how you can respond to challenging situations that happen “to” you; Also, GREAT for a goal setting unit. At every spare moment, I had this book in my hand trying to read the author out of his predicaments… It allowed me to reflect upon my own life and the challenges that I have overcome. Reflection: this book shows why it is important to have mentors and why life should never be done alone… I will definitely pass this book on to my sailing friends…

  12. Patty

    This book will keep you engaged from beginning to end. I bought it for my husband and brother who recently took an old sailboat from Cape Cod down the Inland Waterway to the Tampa area. I knew for sure that they would appreciate and understand Billy Sparrow’s story.
    My husband and I have been the owner of 2 classic antique wooden boats so we
    fully get what Billy Sparrow experienced. One doesn’t have to be a sailor to appreciate this book. You only need a desire to be inspired in life’s ever challenging journey. This book is on my “reread” list. Enjoy.

  13. Jen

    This is a debut book by a writer to watch; Billy Sparrow has written a tour de force. The author channels voices of long-ago adventure writers in tone and language, yet has created a thoroughly modern story of a young man finding himself in a thoroughly unconventional, un-modern way. This book is the epitome of the adage “it’s not the destination, but the journey.” And, what a journey Billy takes us on. It’s a page-turner, can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next kind of journey and in many places one that is nearly unbelievable and utterly uncomfortable. However, there is profound beauty and humor in his tale no matter whether he is at a high point or a low point in his journey. The story is told with unabashed honesty, deep reflection, and self-awareness. While it is a story centered around a wooden sailboat and what it means to captain it, this story is accessible to anyone who has ever been full of confidence and youthful naivete. A total joy to read. I sincerely hope Billy Sparrow’s adventures have just begun for us and that we will hear more from him soon.

  14. Colin Riley

    Despite all the cringing this book incites from the constant missteps and uncalculated risk born of a sometimes unbelievable naiveté, it is a book that is powerful in its genuine and pure honesty. Billy Sparrow has written a retrospective that few can, completely objective, no excuses, unapologetic. Sailors will be drawn in immediately by the adventure and will take comfort in knowing that any mistakes he/she has made onboard are all minor in comparison. Readers will be drawn to the vast unwavering human spirit that is so expertly and convincingly weaved throughout. This book is a small triumph, refreshing and truly satisfying.

  15. Kristian Beadle

    Tranquility was my favorite book this year. It surprised me by evolving from a simple adventure tale into a story of impressive self reflection. The descriptions gave me new appreciation for the Pacific Northwest, which in its raw exuberance, paralleled the author’s own coming of age. I felt as if I had experienced what Billy did, and I too became a better person for it – without having to actually live through such a flabbergasting set of hardships!

  16. Dave McNew

    Thank you Megan Kathleen Stocklin. I believe you are the one who I met at the Wooden Boat Festival and hence made it possible to read this magnificent book. I’m in the beginning as a sailor, and feel very fortunate to have learned while I was also entertained. When I am reading a good book, I drag it out, so I can enjoy it as long as possible. Thanks Billy, I really enjoyed.

  17. Kim Skarda

    Tranquility exposes the experienced style of a youthful mind… told from a voice as a dear friend….welcoming witness to the intimate navigations of a truely genuine character with fearless persistence… No words wasted describing how reality has its way with a dream and the inevitable lessons of the sea.

  18. Tim Forbes

    This is the best book I’ve read in a long time.
    Having bicycled down from Alaska, I bought a schooner in Seattle and spent the next 3 years experiencing a similar journey to Billy Sparrow’s. Mine ended 40 years ago on Orcas Island with a blown engine, thus prompting me to go to boat building school.
    I helped design and build Approximata this is the boat up on the mountainside in the book.
    I would love to meet Billy.

  19. Tim S.

    In his classic; “Once and Future King” T.H White tells us, “Experience is education and education is the key to self reliance”. If anyone proves the case it’s our hero, Billy Sparrow. You’d better add arrogance, stubbornness, tenacity, incredible drive, and a lust for adventure.
    This is the story of a young guy with limited sea experience who decides to sail a small 25 foot wooden boat from Washington State to California. How hard can that be? Sparrow should have ended up run down, set adrift, drowned and sunk a hundred times as he learns sea craft in some of the hairiest waters of the west coast. Along the way he learns to repair, improve and sail his tiny craft.
    The charm of this tale is that a cocky, young buck like Billy is so willing to show us all his mistakes, bad decisions and numerous “educational experiences”. The inspiration here is that by inventing, driving, thinking on his feet and sticking to his vision he pulls off his daring dream and flies in the face of less brave souls. In a world where so many young guys sit in front of computer games and the attitude seems to be, “Don’t just do something, sit there.”, Billy is a blast of cold sea air.
    I loved this book for the story of a young guy who with courage, stamina and his eyes on the prize finds self reliance, great skill, a little love, and the title CAP-I-TAN.

  20. Phyllis

    As a relatively new boater, I learned a great deal about boating and the wonders of the Pacific NW waters. The emotions that accompanied Billy’s adventures felt authentic and the recklessness of some of his decisions reminded me of my own late adolescent and early adulthood – as well as that of my children. Tranquility gave me a greater appreciation of both the beauty and the dangers of the seas. I found myself compelled to keep reading through one catastrophe to another. Billy’s love of the Pacific Northwest shone through. I highly recommend this book to boaters and non-boaters alike.

  21. nate Schons

    A really good read, the story keeps you moving through all the trials and tribulations. you feel like your at the helm of this small ship, and her fate is in your hand! An instant northwest classic.

  22. Frances

    A wonderful and well written book. A less than tranquil on the edge of your seat sailing adventure that I couldn’t put down. Humorous and at times painfully honest, Billy ultimately learned some valuable lessons about the sea, sailing and old boats, but most of all he learned about himself. A great book for young and old, sailor and non-sailor. I look forward to reading more from Billy Sparrow.

  23. Koots

    I’ve read dozens of books about heroes and crooks …
    Tis a bit unfair, I suppose, to borrow from one writer while writing a review of another, but this book pulled me out of a reading slump much like Mr Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” did many years ago.
    Tranquility is a crafty blend of mishap and adventure with deeply personal insights into the mind of a young sailor earning the title of ‘Captain.’
    Any trip to sea is fraught with potential peril. Mr Sparrow fills in a few of the blanks following the question “What could possibly go wrong?”
    And yet, the part that really grabbed me, was the author’s unabashed foray into the inner chambers of his own phsyche as his dream faded into an education-by-sufferance sort of affair. I seldom encounter a truly interesting person who has not had some such experience in their past.
    Yes, I loved the book. But, more than just a great read, this book has allowed me the opportunity to relive adventures at sea, without the burden of financial duty.
    Tip-o-the-hat to ya, Captian Sparrow!

  24. Paul Farley

    At first, I thought that way to many unfortunate things were happening to this Young sailor.

    Then as I reflected on the journey, and read on, I realized it was started with an old and suffering boat, not enough resources, an inexperienced navigator, an inexperienced captain and quite frankly, an inexperienced young man.
    Only then did I see myself, and laugh and cry along with my own journeys firm in hand. This is where the skillful and experienced sailors come from. And this is where the things in life worth living come from.

    Wonderful reading, wonderful book.

  25. sabrina.littee

    I am completely hooked by this book. Billy Sparrow does an incredible job of sharing his gripping yet captivating adventure packed full of emotion and candor. If you are looking for that next amazing read that you just can’t put down, this is it! Thank you Billy Sparrow!!

  26. Tania W

    What are we willing to risk in pursuit of our dreams? What do we truly need to find happiness? Vivid descriptions of experiences and raw emotions, along with much self-deprecating humor, are packed into this adventure story….a wonderfully written story that compels you to re-visit memories of your own adventures in life, how they have shaped who you’ve become and where you are headed. I couldn’t put this book down, and lost much sleep staying up too late reading it. Well done, Captain! It’s amazing you survived, and I’m so appreciative you shared your tale with us.

  27. Lesa H.

    This book truly is a gift, and a pleasure to read. It’s an educational adventurous love story. Looking forward to more from Billy Sparrow!

  28. Matt S.

    Excellent story of a headstrong boy’s adventurous rite of passage to adulthood. You will laugh out loud. You will stay up too late reading in bed. You will want to track down the author and slap him for not learning from his mistakes sooner. White knuckle reading at its finest!

  29. Paul

    I also got my copy at the Wooden Boat Festival. The worst part of this book was finishing it. I was enthralled. Excellent writing. Richly descriptive and insightful. I can’t imagine anyone not finding this story utterly fascinating. Thank you so much for putting this book in my hands.

  30. Alexis

    If we’re lucky in this world, we live to tell some amazing stories. Sparrow’s book was a guilty pleasure as I followed his voyage through life, love and mishaps at sea. The author’s meticulous and spot-on writing allowed me to be there with him, laughing with him as he laughed at himself through some amazing times. Sparrow is a hero for living his dream and for giving us such a wonderful book to read as he recounts his tale.

  31. Dick Malsbary

    So this is what happens to sailors when they become old, they write a story about adventures when they were young. The book was hard to put down and I’m sure that I will read it again and I feel the message was to follow your dreams while you are able. Well written sea story.

  32. Jerry

    My wife received this book at the Port Townsend boat event. I read it first. I have been into airplanes since I was 10 and they became my work and recreation. Always dreamed the sailboat dream, much like the author. The book allowed me to taste the experience I never had and I must say I am greatful to have read about it rather than experienced it; that is except for the swimming ventures in the San Juan Islands. I will still dream of that, okay? Good job. But I did discover power boating in a 1969 Sabrecraft 19ft hardtop. I am loaning the book to two friends. One currenly owns a 39ft Kadey Krogen and the other sold his 30 footer and regrets it. Very good read. I would have liked to know what the author finally did as a vocation and where he planted his roots, if ever. Jerry

  33. Mark

    Bridging a Twain-like self deprecating first person tale and a cautionary,young person naive self reliance, Billy Sparrow walks the walk. Or better, sails the boat. Fast paced, honest, almost too honest for comfort for any sailors, the story is a quick read. Actually a really good read for young people choosing a direction for their lives. Do they live in the fantasy adventure world of gaming or take real life by the throat. Spending some time with Billy channeling his real world Jack Sparrow may help at least a few of them choose reality over fantasy. Billy’s misadventures, humor, and gritty persistence interspersed with his own freely shared developing philosophy makes a fan of the reader rooting for Tranquility and Billy both.

  34. dick

    Just got “Tranquility” as I walked into the Woodenboat Festival. Serious marketing coup there kids. I wondered what this was all about because there was minimal information on the jacket. I would like to know who the crew consisted of at the show. They were very professional. I didn’t get as much time with them as I would have liked, but want to say job well done. I would also like more background on Billy Sparrow. His craftsmanship is outstanding. Maybe it is coincidence, but I have been within a stone’s throw of every location in the book. His descriptions gave me shivers every time. Congratulations on a very well done project.

  35. Stan

    I received a copy of “Tranquility” from a young woman who was passing out free copies at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. As a book author myself, I couldn’t understand the strategy of giving them away free. You get what you pay for, right? Not this time. “Tranquility” was an excellent read for anyone who has fancied himself independent, adventurous and able to take care of himself. Isn’t that all of us? I’ve been “on the road” a time or two, but Billy Sparrow’s adventures are way above anything I’ve tried. Still, at 70 years of age, I’m still thinking of that last great adventure. It never goes away. This book is going to my brother, who also harbors thoughts of uncharted waters. Thanks for a most enjoyable read. -Stan

  36. Michelle

    “Tranquility”…the title belies this fantastical, yet true, tale of exploration of both the sea and life. Wrapped in lyrical narratives and punctuated with laugh-out-loud humor, Sparrow takes the reader along as a voyeur on his hair-raising adventure. I found myself wanting to the turn the pages to see what could possibly befall him next, at the same time wanting to soak in Sparrow’s poetic descriptions of the northwest, of sailing and of the sea, of the dialogue one crafts with oneself while all alone is such a vast place, and, of course, of romance. There’s more to this saga, and I’m eager to see what comes next from this gifted author!

  37. Heather moss

    I laughed so hard on the plane while reading this, I was disturbing my neighbors. Literally crying my eyes out. What a wonderful read. Thanks!

  38. Rob M.

    Let me preface this by saying I’m not a big book reader, and I was given a copy of this book at a party. A few days later I picked the book up to see what it was all about. Next thing I knew I was a third of the way through the book and then I was done. It was a fantastic read, incredibly well written with multiple laugh out loud moments. What do I do now? When’s part 2 coming out?

    The only downside of the book was that it made me regret not going on any insane adventures during my 20s, especially since I was living in the same city, at the same time and even had a small sailboat, except mine was an “unsinkable” Boston Whaler Harpoon sailboat.

    Buy two copies–one to share and one to re-read!

  39. Elizabeth

    Leaves you wanting more! I was dreading getting to the end! It needed to have more chapters! Tranquility II? Just an idea! I agree with all the other reviews. I really enjoyed reading it. Picked it up at the Wooden Boat Show in Port Townsend and was impressed from start to finish, not wanting there to be an end. I like that the author writes as one human to another and given being a fellow sailor, he’s easy to identify with and I enjoyed the amazing stories and his reflective thoughts. I just wish the stories and reflection didn’t end. Way to go earning your anchors Captain Sparrow!

  40. TBD

    Buy it, read it, share it.

    Tranquility is an engrossing book full of brutal honesty about sailing—but more importantly, about life. I’ve learned a lot about the author over these pages; his indomitable individualistic will in the face of adversity, and his unmitigated passion for adventure in life. The narrator is a madding character: self-contradictory, macho, reckless and antagonistic—but he is also honest. Who among us has not been all those things—save honest?

    Tranquility captured my imagination from the first, and held it through the last. I don’t know another novel like it, and I’m incredibly impressed by the craftsmanship and sustained quality. This cannot have been an easy work. And what work it is.

    Every person I know has been through ups and downs in life—though not like the author’s herculean efforts. It is a hard thing to look back and know what misery you were in—and to see how impotent you were the struggles to escape from poverty, desperation, and depression. It is sobering.

    I’m reminded of a scene about re-caulking Tranquility. “You know how many times I’ve seen a boat like yours come into this place? You know how many of them made it out of here in one piece? The yardman held up a battered workman’s index finger.” At this point the author becomes the boat, and he engenders his own tack to his objectives through focus, effort and undaunted will. One must feel the joy of the author’s rebirth that summer. He is the odds-defying case that made it out of Portland, and the dire straits in Seattle, in one piece. He is prickly, no, abrasive, but endearing and relentless. What a testimony to sheer stubborn will, a desire to survive, and a battle to thrive.

    This is a story that must be told, and it must be read widely. Well done, Captain, well done.

  41. Jonathan White

    Sadly, I have just finished this remarkable book and will have to wait a while before I read it again! There is no doubt this thoroughly enjoyable adventure is an ‘instant classic’. Capt. Sparrow’s descriptive technique, his ability to paint a vivid picture with words, his construction of each sentence, paragraph and chapter provide a memorable and lasting impression.
    The self-deprecating, realistic and sometimes funny recounting of a young man’s adventure with boats somewhat parallels mine. Many times I found myself transported back to similar situations as I avidly read each chapter.
    Please, make it available to a wider audience. There is much to learn for sailors and landlubbers alike from his insights…
    Cap’n Jon

  42. Liam

    An amazing story about boats, love, misadventure, and growing up. I couldn’t put it down. Just reading it made me a little more salty.

  43. Jeff M-B

    I picked up this book while in the middle of another. Suffice it to say, the other was put on hold as I joined the adventure with Mr. Sparrow.

    In this age of reality show adventure-lite, where YouTube videos supplant the need to actually experience life first hand, I thoroughly enjoyed this ride! I’ve always loved the classic explorer, survival and adventure stories. But, I’ve found few that come from our time and this place.

    Mr. Sparrow paints a wonderful and vivid picture of the Northwest and his perseverance, suffering, humility and success is an emotion-filled roller coaster ride that will leave the reader satisfied and a bit exhausted!

    Tranquility is poised to become a classic. I will tell everyone I know. Thanks Captain Sparrow!

  44. Jerry

    What a perfect finish to the Wooden Boat Festival. I learned to sail in P.T. in the late 50’s early 60’s. A passion and love of my life “boats”. Tranquility was a wonderful read. I couldn’t put it down. Oh how we learn our lessons in life in different ways and on distant shores. Well done Capt. Sparrow!

  45. charles t reeder

    I don’t know much about sailing or boats, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well written on a sentence level, it is also a captivating narrative. Places I love from the Pacific Northwest come to life. I must admit, I skimmed some of the philosophical and poetic meanderings, though I only did this because the main adventure thread of the memoir was so engaging.

  46. Peter

    Picked the book up at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. I couldn’t put it down. I too traveled like Billy mentally and physically in my 20’s. This self-discovery was additionally meaningful as I was currently traveling the same places or had last year and I related to the descriptions and perils.
    Thank you for the experience!

  47. Jimmy

    Just wanted to say I loved the book Tranquility . I received a free copy at the Port Townsend wooden boat festival. I stuck it in my bag and didn’t think twice about it . When I boarded the plane to head back to Baltimore I cracked the cover and began reading. I was grabbed instantly by Billy Sparrows style of writing and the way it compelled me not to put the book down . I finished the book in a few reads , and I am glad I didn’t brush the free book off assuming it wud be similar to other free books !

  48. Ned Porges

    I am old and somewhat salty, but am not an old-salt. Just reading this adventure gave me so much info about sailing. Almost like a text.

  49. dick

    I was leery when you handed me the book. I had to get the trip started sometime so I shoved off as soon as possible. This book sails like a dream. First rate craftsmanship. The voyage ended too soon only because I couldn’t put it down. Now for more from this young man.

  50. Amy

    Tranquility is beautiful! A brilliant story of life on the road less travelled. Poetic, funny, smart, and original – one of the best reads of 2015.

  51. John

    This is a real gem of a book! Once I picked it up I could not put it down. It’s so funny and there are so many wonderful descriptions, you really feel like you were there. If you have ever been adventuring or just want to know what it’s like this is a book for you. It truly captures what it is to sail in the Pacific Northwest. I hope we will get more out of Billy Sparrow in the future.

  52. Annette

    This memoir is a marvel. Billy Sparrow takes us on his incredible first voyage aboard his wooden boat a 29 foot sloop built in 1938. You will fall in love with the young Billy, and want to be his kindred spirit, and cry tears of joy when the boy in him, meets the man he is becoming. This story is rich with the sea, friendships, love, and grit that will make you glad to be alive! This book contains an accomplished writing style, and it will not be a surprise if it becomes a Northwest classic. It will sit on my bookshelf alongside “The Curve of Time”, “Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty”, “Living High”, and “West with the Night”.

  53. Stephanie

    An interesting tale of a determined young sailor and his first boat — an old wooden one with plenty of personality! The stillness and turmoil of the PNW waters, and the inspiring independence of confronting them single-handedly, leave the reader dreaming about untackled adventures lurking in their heart.

  54. Megan

    Never have I fallen so in love with the sea! As a landlubber, this book surprised me with the passion it engendered in me for the Pacific Northwest and wooden sailboats. So good, I’ve already read it twice!

  55. matthew

    Loved it. I’m a sailor and I’ve never understood why there wasn’t a “go to” Puget Sound sea story. This is definitely it. Congrats Billy Sparrow!

  56. Jibs

    Wonderful, insightful. Excellent writting.

  57. From Jim Mennucci

    I am always on the hunt for that ubiquitous sea
    story book. I know there are still a few of them out there
    to be discovered and some are yet to be written. I have
    more nautical themed books than are necessary with one
    shelf reserved for my favorites. I don’t want to call myself
    a connoisseur of the sea story but I think I know a good
    one when I see it. The above mentioned book, which I just
    finished, has landed on “my favorites” shelf. It got there by
    being wholly unique and sits next to: Rhinhart’s Long Way
    Back, Doug Hanx’s Muskrat, Moitessier’s The Long Way,
    Henry Dana Junior’s Two Years Before the Mast, Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World, and a half dozen or so other cherished volumes.
    Billy Sparrow, the sailor, no doubt didn’t set out
    to have the adventure and then write about it. In fact I
    don’t know why he wrote it or why he did things the way
    he did -I’m just happy he wrote it and I came to accept the
    things he did, even though I could never do things the way
    he did. That’s what made it special-the way he did it. It’s
    not a compellingly grand sailing story, but nonetheless,
    it is a sailing story witch has all the necessary ingredients
    that make for a good yarn. Imagine the thrill of sailing
    an old wooden boat through the surf to make port along the
    Washington and Oregon coast. Imagine doing it without
    experience, alone, and seemingly lacking any cautionary
    advice. It’s about sailing in the Pacific Northwest,
    something us Chesapeake sailors can only imagine. So
    that’s the setting for the story, how Billy Sparrow does it,
    like I said, is the story.

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