Blue Horizons isn't a typical cruising book. There's no how-to or travelogue. But if you want to know how voyaging makes you FEEL . . .

Blue Horizons

This week, I’ve been re-reading Beth Leonard’s Blue Horizons. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.

You’re probably far more familiar with Beth’s Voyager’s Handbook, a comprehensive manual of everything you need to know to plan for and set off on a long-distance voyage aboard your own boat.  Blue Horizons is a totally different type of book, although it too covers the realities of cruising.

Blue Horizons is Beth’s tale of their second major voyage — 6 years and 50,000 miles through the high latitudes.  Actually, the book is a collection of the “Blue Horizons” columns she wrote for Blue Water Sailing magazine.  But far from being a series of “this is what we did today” pieces, much of it deals with the trials and joys of cruising, the wonderful times and the times when she’d rather be almost anywhere else.

Dave’s and my cruising is nowhere near as adventurous as Beth and Evans, yet I find myself smiling and nodding so many times as I remember feeling the exact same way at times.  If you’re thinking of cruising and wondering what it’s really like, well, the details of your travels will be different.  You’re not likely to face the same conditions or challenges they do. But the thoughts and emotions are likely to be the same.  To use Beth’s description, the highs are higher and the lows lower than living ashore.  And if you, like me, read the book after cruising a while, I’m sure you’ll find yourself nodding time and again as you read a passage and say “yep, I understand.”

Perhaps the best description was given by one of the reviewers on Amazon:  Blue Horizons tells of the inner journey that occurs over the course of the actual journey.  No one is unchanged by cruising.

Full disclosure:  Beth gave me a copy of her book back in 2007 when I organized a talk she did for Club Cruceros in La Paz, Mexico.  We’ve become friends but I have no financial interest in her book.  In re-reading the book this week, it simply struck me again how perfectly it describes the emotions and attitudes of cruising, and I wanted to tell TBG’s readers about it.

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  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 24 June 2012 Reply

    Thanks for sharing-I will put it on my list.

  • Maryalice Mackey
    Posted at 26 June 2012 Reply

    Hello…I just wanted to know if you had any ideas on what to do with bacon grease?
    Thank you.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 26 June 2012 Reply

      Hi Maryalice!

      I let it cool a bit right in the pan, then scrape/pour it into a jar or even a plastic bag just as for the rest of my garbage. If you’re using a plastic bag or jar, be sure it’s cool enough not to melt the plastic. If you want, you can read more about how I handle garbage.


  • Kyra
    Posted at 02 February 2013 Reply

    Oh this is one of my favourite books! I agree with you – it’s beautifully written and “real” – this book is in our permanent collection aboard Nyon. I love the story about her grandmother and dolphins…

  • VL Wood on Facebook
    Posted at 02 February 2013 Reply

    I’ve ordered the (Kindle) book and I can’t wait to start reading. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 26 August 2014 Reply

    Another one to add to my cruising list…

  • Kyra Crouzat
    Posted at 26 August 2014 Reply

    Love that one, in my permanent collection!

    • Sailing with Totem
      Posted at 27 August 2014 Reply

      me to Kyra! and I know that “bookshelf inches” are hard won on a boat… this book is no contest.

  • LaDonna Thomas
    Posted at 27 August 2014 Reply

    Agree, I really enjoy her books

  • Sailing with Totem
    Posted at 27 August 2014 Reply

    I adore this book. <3 For those who only know her through her practical writing (namely, The Voyager's Handbook), Beth excels at capturing the cruising spirit in these reflections.

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