Perhaps the title of this book, Bernard Moitessier's first, should have been "Sailing on the Reefs'--for that is exactly what he did, almost unbelievably, twice. After finding his beloved Marie-Thérèse, a beautiful junk in the Gulf of Siam, he set off across the Indian Ocean for Africa and eventually the Caribbean. Eighty days or so into the trip, Moitessier and Marie-Thérèse found themselves on the reef at Diego Garcia.
It took Moitessier just nine months to build Marie-Thérèse II from scratch in Mauritius with no boat plans or power tools. From her launch he sailed her down to South Africa. His observations during a stay of almost two years are as interesting as the people he met and the innovative boat improvements he came up with. Unfortunately, he and Marie-Thérèse II managed to end up on the rocks near St. Vincent in the Caribbean.
In between these two heartbreaking disasters is a tale of courage, resourcefulness, and creativity. It is told with refreshing honesty, in which Moitessier, still really an apprentice sailor, admits his blunders. And it is told with marvelous humor.
Bernard Moitessier was one of the greatest ocean voyagers. He became a legend in his own time. A gifted writer, he wrote four books describing his seagoing adventures. The Long Way became a bestseller worldwide.