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Cape Horn to Starboard

A classic returns

The 1986 chronicle of a voyage from New York to San Francisco aboard a 32-foot boat by American sailor and author John Kretschmer was reissued with a new foreword and afterword by the author.

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In “Cape Horn to Starboard” (2010, Burford Books, $16.95 paperback, 143 pages) the author tells of retracing the route of the great clipper ships, rounding Cape Horn to windward with a rotating crew aboard Gigi, a Contessa 32. It reads more like a movie than a typical sailing book, with details of the dressing down he received from his new girlfriend’s parents, who didn’t want her sailing.
Kretschmer writes with humor about points high and low. After a storm chases the adventurers back to port, he writes: “We were not heroes or even a novelty this time around; we were cold, frustrated and thoroughly humbled sailors.”

This article originally appeared in the September 2011 issue.