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Old 19-03-2008, 11:00   #16
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Aloha All,
Did I ever tell you about the time I towed my small boat up Moana Loa and sailed in the lake at 13,000 feet in a blizzard? Well, no John, you never did. What happened? Oh, I don't remember much 'cause I froze to death.
Tristan was a really great sailor with some great yarns. No doubt he had an ability to stretch the truth but he also knew how to sail and navigate by the stars with very little money. I have an admiration for such men of an earlier time. He and many of the old writing sailors mention navigation so matter-of-factly. Not an easy skill to grasp.

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Old 10-04-2008, 00:27   #17
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i love his book that i read , restauring my first boat at 19, a 35 fts timber boat built in 1931...a total rotten wreck
i needed to read this to encourage me to Totaly rebuilt that boat , Totaly, from changing the plank, galbords , thousants rivets ..ect..ect..on a shoes string budget, careing all tools timber on the back on my motobike..that i will have manage to scanvage from publics tips or else ..
i dream then " Gilsand" will take me for away from France in the islands of the pacifique,
i was poor , cold and an abandoned child...his book reveile to me that something different who apply more to me and to my free spirit mind did indeed existed..
"Gilsand" did not take me there , but inspiration of books from people like Tristan Jones did......
i remember a very specifique sentence he said " on a boat , the world is your garden "
And I wanted a piece of this garden of Eden,

there are no problemes , only solutions
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Old 02-12-2008, 23:04   #18
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I for one din't give a "fiddlers farago" about the veracity of his tales.

But if you work in the marine industry long enough, sail far enough, you will meet his characters.

The antithesis of this type of writing is authored by Richard Marcincko...all his Navy SEAL stuff......I have a couple of friends who are SEALS (active and retired) they just roll their eyes and worse at the mention of his name.
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Old 02-12-2008, 23:37   #19
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He is my favorite author. His books are fun, and they inspire. As for what is fact, and what is fiction, there have been books written about the accuracy of Tristan's books. That says something in itself. The boats he owned, Cresswell, Sea Dart, Outward Leg, are documented to have been owned and sailed by him. There is documentation that he was in the locations he said he was, when he said he was. As to the events that occurred in those locations, only Tristan knew for sure what was fact, and what was fiction.
There is another thing that Tristan's writing does very well. It involves the reader. Who can read about his eye being knocked out of the socket without wincing a little. As he is in Arctic waters, who didn't share his anxiety over the impending winter, and his poor planning. Aren't these the reasons we read books for entertainment?
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Old 02-12-2008, 23:49   #20
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They are the very best form of fiction book - enough fact to satisfy most people, enough fiction to get the attention of the reader and involve him/her in the story.

I enjoy the books. I dont read them for a factual list of what happened, however, there are a number of important lessons hidden within all his stories for any mariner based upon his own voyages.
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:32   #21
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Just a note:

at Kai's (Scott's) request, I went looking for Jones' "Outward Leg" trimaran -- his last boat, I believe -- when I was in Phuket in 2006. After doing some asking around, I found the anchorage where it had been but was told that it had been destroyed in the Dec. 2004 tsunami.
Voyage of Symbiosis:
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:32   #22
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True. And Sea Dart is in Coeur D'Alene Idaho. Last I heard Cresswell was owned by someone on the US east coast.
for Tristan's critics, I would recommend reading Laurel Wagers' "Sailing Among The Stars".
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:36   #23
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I think Gord the Man just had a Tremendous Capacity for the Facade
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:41   #24
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Sometime in the mid seventies (Can't remember the year), he was the guest speaker at the RYA's stand/theatre at the London Boat Show, which I was able to attend. Very charismatic and within minutes, had a hundred "three piece suit" pragmatic businessmen/weekend sailors, on the edges of their seats absolutely enthralled.

Very interesting and entertaining storyteller.

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Old 03-12-2008, 13:21   #25
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Love Tristans writing... and for Ref: when some of our posters say "we were in a gale" .... was it a temporary leading edge of a wx front with gusts to gale strength? Was it a true Gale? Moderate gale...? Wind gust? The Dart was defintely on Lake Titicaca, as I remember it he paid to truck it there....
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Old 03-12-2008, 13:31   #26
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Just finished "The Improbable Voyage" Did he circumnavigate Europe? I don't really care 'cause it was a good book. I'll look for more of his books. They are entertaining.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 03-12-2008, 14:29   #27
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I have read several of his books. I loved them all. I was, however, greatly saddened when I first learned of his many fabrications. You see, many of us had met him at various boat shows, and he always asserted these tales were 100% true. There was no fiction to the man. He had no problem changing ANYTHING if it would self promote. I simply cannot imagine living that lie. C

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
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Old 03-12-2008, 16:15   #28
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Truth or Fiction

I've only read "The Incredible Voyage". I felt there was enough truth, backed up by photo's to make it real and enough story telling to make me want to keep reading.

What was truth and what was fiction? Who cares, it was a good book and since I have never planned on trying to recreate his journey myself, it is not important for me to know. In fact it is better that I don't know, for the enjoyment of the book.
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Old 03-12-2008, 19:30   #29
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Ugh. I couldn't trudge through his writing. I found it all to be very boring and sort of self reassuring in a very insecure way, particularly the part where he gets his tri stuck and "needs" it to be airlifted or something. He's that uncle that you really didn't want to sit next to at thanksgiving pretending to believe his drawn out drunken stories while the rest of your family looks on in horror/sympathy.

Give me a little Moitessier any day.
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Old 03-12-2008, 21:09   #30
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At his end, Tristan was a double leg amputee, poor and alone in Thailand far from his roots although not far from home, because the world was his home. He then dedicated his efforts to handicapped children. Wanting the world, and those children to know that although physically challenged they are of great value when the sprit is strong.
It seems that there is also reports that he was using the handicapped children as a line to actually gain money to support himself...

a controversial figure ?

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