Wondering why the author’s name sounds familiar? He is the very Captain Woody whose column has graced the pages of Latitudes & Attitudes magazine each issue for 11 years now. Here he is in his own book, telling the story of his circumnavigation aboard Low Key, a 33′ sloop. Captain Woody tells his story with the same humorous, down-to-earth (sea?), irreverent tone with which faithful readers of his articles are well familiar.

Woody’s account of his circumnavigation couldn’t be much different than Jessica Watson’s in her book True Spirit(reviewed in the February 2011 newsletter). Jessica’s story is about sailing around the world. Woody’s is about sailing around the world. His sketches and sagas, told in his distinctive style, of adventures ashore bring the book to life. Hey, the sailing parts are great, too, but Woody and crew stopped to smell the hibiscus. And quaff a few ales.

The chapter titles give potential readers a taste of what is to come:

  1. We’re sinking
  2. Tiki bars
  3. And then there was one (when his girlfriend left)
  4. In trouble with The Man
  5. How do porcupines mate?
  6. Man (Person?) overboard
  7. Work?!!

Packed with lively repartee and droll humor, Woody’s tale may remind readers of Jimmy Buffett himself. It’s a comfortable book. It draws you in, then makes you want to read “just one more chapter” before setting it down. It makes you want to be aboard the next time Woody sails out of the harbor. And it makes you drool over the eight pages of color photos that supplement the word pictures.

Woody says, “I got clear of cars and rent and bills and the rest of the mania that we all participate in when we are home in the States. Life slowed down and quality increased. The world opened up and revealed a thousand great experiences. I was back in the land of showering off the swim step, hiking waterfalls, getting to know the locals and enjoying three-stop shopping: bakery, fruit stand, vegetable market.”

Buy the book. Read the book. Enjoy the book. It’s time well spent.

Circumnavigating Low Key: Where A Small Boat and A Smaller Budget Lead To A Big Adventure By Captain Woody Henderson (Sheridan House, Inc., 2010; 208 Pages)