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Sea Change

One small boat, one huge ocean

When Peter Nichols' marriage dissolved, the last item to be settled was Toad, his 27-foot sailboat. After it sat for nine months in a yacht broker's yard with a price tag, Nichols, a Brit, decided to sail it alone across the Atlantic and attempt to sell the boat in Maine.

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Originally published in 1997 and reprinted for a new generation of readers, "Sea Change" ($16.95, Sheridan House Inc., 2010) is the tale of how Nichols takes on the ocean with a sextant and no engine and how he manages to survive the journey even when his boat springs a leak halfway through the passage. Nichols also tells how the voyage allows him to come to terms with his broken marriage, his own recklessness and his personal dreams.

Nichols has also written "A Voyage for Madmen," the story of the 1968 solo race around the world and, most recently, "Final Voyage: A Story of Arctic Disaster and One Fateful Whaling Season." He has worked in the film industry as a screenwriter and taught creative writing at New York University, Georgetown University and Bowdoin College. He currently lives in Paris. For information, visit

This article originally appeared in the Home Waters section of the December 2010 issue.