View Full Version : The Last Man Across the Atlantic by Paul Heiney
Just finished this book and it turned out to be a very enjoyable read. The author entered the 2005 OSTAR in a Biscay 36, but very much in the Corinthian spirit (the clue is in the title).
He describes the anguish, doubt and hardship very honestly and the book is very much an average man's guide to transatlantics.
A book to which I will definitely return.
Yes good book. SWMBO gave me a copy for xmas. Very easy to read and some wonderful passages and humour.
"I had read all the accounts written by the tightly-focused sailing stars and, to be honest, they made me more tired than the sailing itself. Take Ellen MacArthur. When I read that she claimed she could never forgive herself, ever in her life, for having, in a round-the-world race, wasted a full two hours in crossing the equator, I realised the enormity of the motivational gulf between us."
(The Last Man Across the Atlantic, Paul Heiney)
I was reading it over the xmas period. Coincidently, while reading the book reviews in January's Yachting Monthly, which SWMBO had also bought me as a present, I came across a review of A life before the mast by Nick Heiney.
Nick is Paul's son, there is an email from him in Paul's book. Sadly he committed suicide, the book is a collection of his prose that was put together by Nick's mum (and Paul's wife) Libby Purves, who writes a column in Yachting Monthly.
I think that's correct.
I was reading The Last Man Across the Atlantic and then all of a sudden there was this second sad story unfolding, also involving the people in Paul's book.
There is more information at
I must track down the books. Sad to think that a young man with two seemingly wonderful parents took his own life.
I've just finished reading the Silence at the Song's End. Some interesting descriptions of ocean passages on a tall ship, and some articulate but rather adolescent musings on life, the universe and everything. Probably worth reading if you can borrow a copy.
His death was a very sad business. By all accounts, he had been struggling with mental illness for some years; Paul Heiney and Libby Purves could have been the best parents in the world, and it would have made no difference /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
As I posted I hoped no one would see an implied criticism of his parents. As someone who has always enjoyed the optimism and humour of Libby Purves writing, it just seems so unfortunate. I shall seek out the books.
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