Read Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat by ChrisStewart Online


Chris Stewart lands his dream job as a skipper for the summer, sailing a Cornish crabber around the Greek islands. In this memoir we follow Chris on a series of adventures, from a shaky start in Littlehampton harbour to a journey of a lifetime on a trip across the North Atlantic....

Title : Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780956003836
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat Reviews

  • Edith
    2019-04-08 15:30

    Very funny... I admire his spirit and utter disregard for his life, lol. I've never been on a sailboat, but this was very inspiring and made me want to go test out my sealegs. Even when he was describing the terrible storms they sailed through, instead of being deterred, I wanted to experience it myself even more. Either he has a gift for writing or I have an equal disregard for my life...

  • Philip Whiteland
    2019-03-31 21:23

    Having read and enjoyed Chris Stewart's 'Driving Over Lemons' memoir, I grabbed this book when it came on offer. This is really two stories, one retelling how he came to learn to sail by the simple expedient of having volunteered to skipper an elderly American couple around the Greek Isles despite having no relevant experience. The second recounts a hazardous journey following the steps of the Vikings when they discovered North America. I'm no sailor, so I probably didn't get the full benefit of the stories but I did think that the second tale seemed like an exercise in masochism in which a number of people (including a child) were put at great risk for no apparent reason. But, as I said, I'm no sailor.

  • Erin Hendrian
    2019-04-16 23:29

    Puzzling. The book is marketed as funny, and the situations the author finds himself in are often comical, but he doesn't quite seem to take advantage of the material - I found myself always waiting for a laugh and never quite reaching any punchline. So, perhaps he isn't one for comic timing and it's more of a travel book. Once I adapted I found the descriptions of the places and the sailing quite enjoyable (the transatlantic journey was especially interesting). Unfortunately, the scattered language and crassness spoil the "lighthearted travel book" sort of tone as well, and what could potentially have been a really great book never quite delivers.

  • T
    2019-04-07 18:12

    A brief but entertaining readHad a few laugh-out-loud moments. More or less like sitting around with someone over a long weekend and him/her telling you stories from their past. Found the long sailing trip most interesting and appreciated the detail.

  • Marian
    2019-04-06 23:35

    Fun!This was just a delightful book, which brought back vivid memories of messing about in a tiny sailboat in my youth. Mr. Stewart and company embarked on some ambitious voyages, particularly given his level of boating expertise. His love for the experience shines through, and his enthusiasm causes me to at least briefly consider sailing again.

  • Doug
    2019-03-27 20:10

    Avast matey...Fun quick read. Boaters will recognize marina lies, engine headaches, foul weather, and port smells. Also, memories of peaceful coves, calm morning swims, shore lunches and amazing sunsets.

  • Maricruz
    2019-03-24 20:09

    Pues no, Chris Stewart no me ha fallado. Tal como esperaba me he reído mucho, y en los momentos en que no lo estaba haciendo, estaba disfrutando de una lectura amena y llena de detalles interesantes. Le pongo cinco estrellas de puro agradecimiento por el buen rato, y porque creo sinceramente que Chris Stewart es buen escritor, muy en la línea de Gerald Durrell.

  • Diane Ploussard
    2019-04-05 17:23

    Funny, true and wonderful.He goes off on an adventure with little knowledge but a lot of enthusiasm. His sense of humor is keen and his writing kept me wanting to keep the pages turning. I cannot wait to read more of his works.

  • Mr. Wakiki
    2019-03-24 17:14

    Nice fun boat, not exactly sure how the book related to the title, not that there wasn't capsizing in the book

  • Jen
    2019-04-18 23:13

    Too short.

  • Steven
    2019-04-11 16:23

    A beautifully written and often very funny short book. My 5* rating may be influenced by the fact that it reminded me so strongly of my own slightly more modest exploits offshore.

  • william graveley
    2019-03-23 21:26

    Charming funA charming tale to read at bedtime. Recommend this book to anyone who has ever sailed. Read it for sweet dreams.

  • Josephine
    2019-04-08 23:21

    One of my all-time favourite travel books is by Chris Stewart.I think a great writer can make almost anything sound interesting — mainly because they have an innate interest in everything about their lives. And the bonus about Stewart is that he’s not afraid to make fun of himself. While his books aren’t exactly laugh-out-loud-funny, they put a smile on my face.I think the fact that I loved “Driving Over Lemons” so much was the main reason I bought “Three Ways to Capsize A Boat” — which brings me to an important lesson: never buy a book simply because you liked other stuff that an author wrote.The book wasn’t horrible — I liked it, actually — but it didn’t equal the writing in “Driving Over Lemons.”“Three Ways To Capsize A Boat” is about one of Stewart’s many jobs (and he’s had many — ranging from being a sheep shearer to a circus performer).When he’s offered the chance to captain a sailboat in the Greek Islands one summer, he goes for it — even though he’s never sailed a boat in his entire life.There are a couple of funny moments — like when he accidentally sets the boat’s engine on fire a couple of times and didn’t even have a bucket to help scoop out sea water to douse the flames.But at 173 pages, this is a small book — and I think if he’d wanted to, he could have been more in depth about a lot of things. Instead, what you get is an almost rushed, cursory look at what was probably a really interesting chapter of his life.The book is divided into several sections — the longest of which chronicles his stint joining a crew that planned on retracing Viking Leif Eriksson’s historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean. That meant five months on a small boat with seven other people, sailing through the frigid Atlantic.There was one line that I particularly liked in the book:“Sadly, albatross rarely come north of the line, so we didn’t get to spot one, and I fear that a certain restlessness has now descended on my soul — in that special place where we keep our thwarted ambitions.” (p.106)How could you not like a guy who writes like that?

  • Enikő
    2019-04-12 22:36

    A wise woman by the name of "Mom" once told me that the night before an exam, you must go out to the movies. Well, I couldn't very well do that tonight; I read this wonderful little book instead.The other parents in the gymnastics viewing room may have found me a little odd, sitting in the front row of plastic chairs, shaking silently (attempting to do it silently anyway!) with laughter.Three Ways to Capsize a Boat is funny. The stories are funny,the writing is funny, and I probably looked a little funny reading it.Chris Stewart, a founding member of Genesis (he played on their first album), has a witty way with words. In this short (too short!) book, he tells of how he came to the sea, accepting a job as skipper when he had never even sailed before. (His grand entrance when his boss first saw him sail was crashing into a dock with her boat, which he had gone to fetch for her, and which was on fire.) Chris goes on to tell of his crossing the Atlantic in the footsteps (or wake?) of the Vikings, sailing to Vinland (Newfoundland.) At the end of the book, when things were getting a tad bit too serious and nostalgic, Chris went out with a bang (okay: Splash!) by telling of how, now a seasoned sailor, he took his girlfriend sailing and succeeded in capsizing the boat. Not to worry, though: everything was hilarious! :DAmidst the funny stuff that happened, I also really liked reading about the people met along the way, and especially about the chickens in Iceland that are tied to small rocks that are small enough for the chickens to drag around, but heavy enough to keep the chickens from being blown away by the wind and into the fjord. There are so many other little gems like this in the book, along with a hilarious account of trying to pee off the lee side of a boat during a full-force gale, but I won't ruin it all by telling it. Go read the book! It's a quick read and well worth it!

  • Clare O'Beara
    2019-04-18 23:18

    This short, fun and light read makes us marvel that the author survived. With no sailing experience he gets a job from a rich relative to skipper her little yacht around the Med for her. Snag; the boat is laid up in a shipyard and nobody in Greece has any interest in doing the work. By this time the author has sensibly taken a day's sailing opportunity and a short instruction course near the Isle of Wight. He's got the glimmering of an idea that matters can go very wrong and he would be a long way from help. Having over a few weeks managed to get the Cornish crabber repaired, Chris then sets out delightedly - only to find the engine going on fire. And he doesn't have a bucket. That idyll would make anyone want a small boat and to sail on the Med. The next experience though, crewing with friends who were retracing the steps of Vikings across to Newfoundland, via Denmark, Iceland and Greenland, even in summer, proves horrendous. I can't understand how the skipper of that boat felt justified in bringing his four year old daughter. Seeing a whale and pod of dolphins seems to make the hardships worthwhile. Self-deprecating and painfully honest, Chris is also looking back at his youthful days and admitting to all the foolhardiness and mistakes which make this such an amusing narrative.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-03 20:09

    During my beginner sailing lessons at the lake this month, we do "capsize drills" that help me understand what to do not IF but WHEN! Ha! Anyway, the title of this book grabbed my attention and did not disappoint. The author provides personal stories about sailing, beginning when he was completely unfamiliar with nautical terms and situations (again, I can relate!) and on to his voyage as crew across an unrelenting ocean. Along the way he's thoughtful and funny. p. 68 "And the beauty, the incomparable beauty, of sailing boats is a thing that has settled deep in my heart and it's hard to get rid of it. Of all the beautiful things that mankind has created, it's the tea clipper, racing home from China under full press of sail, that is the absolute zenith for me."p. 69 "And the fact that there is so much lore and literature about boats is because sailing goes back to the dawn of history; it goes deep into the genes of our island races, and if one is not a lover of poetry and literature, then there are few better ways to become one one that to spend time sailing in small boats." A good read!

  • Christine Blachford
    2019-03-25 20:16

    Short and sweet, this book illustrates the author's transition from sheep farmer and reluctant sailer to hardened adventurer crossing the Norwegian fjords and beyond. From the first tentative steps on board a sailing boat with a friend, through proper instruction, to the warmth of a Greek summer, and then the real challenge of an Icelandic adventure with friends, you get to feel how his spirit evolves through every stage.It's well written, wide-eyed and romantic, but equally realistic and funny without taking that sarcastic tone that some reluctant travel/adventure books can. It was super quick to read, too, so you can whip through it in an afternoon and decide whether you too want to start donning a lifejacket and heading out to the high seas. (I don't, I'll just stick to reading about it!)

  • Jen
    2019-04-06 21:15

    "Far and few, few and far, / Are the lands where the Jumblies live; / Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, / And they went to see in a Sieve." There's a good reason Chris Stewart quotes this Edward Lear verse several times in this book--his two sailing stories here seem almost as foolish as going to sea in a sieve. In the first one, through some odd, never explained miscommunication, he is offered the job of captaining a yacht around the Greek islands one summer, EVEN THOUGH HE HAS NO SAILING EXPERIENCE. And he says yes. In the second part, he sails on a bitterly cold voyage to retrace Leif Eriksson's route to North America. The author, who was the original drummer for the band Genesis, narrates with classic British humor and an irrepressible sense that everything will work out okay. I'm giving this one on to my husband next.

  • Louise Jones
    2019-04-03 15:14

    I had heard a lot about this writer with his lemon tree book so was interested to have a read i was slightly dissapointed with it as although raised a few smirks not many!! i got more into it as read deeper in to the waters but at times especially at the begining slightly tedious but was a quickish read so never wasted to much time would be interested to read his other stuff saying all that i am not a sailor always glad to get off the ferry going over the mersey !!!

  • Karen
    2019-04-15 17:33

    It wasn't as funny as I had expected it to be, but it was a well written story about his epic adventures in sailing which I love. This was a quick, easy read that you expect to be about his bumbling adventures at sea but it turns out that overall he's a competent and fearless sailor, given the circumstances. So I found the title to be a tad misleading but other than that, this was a captivating story. Sailing across oceans? Living in Spain (Driving Over Lemons)? Former member of a famous rock band? This man leads a charmed life and lucky for us he has to skills to write about it.

  • Maggieg
    2019-04-18 23:10

    I love books about boats and sailing and although not quite an armchair sailor my sailing experience does tend to be confined to rivers or hugging the coastlines of Greek Islands so I am filled with awe when I read about exploits such as the author's journey from the UK to Newfoundland across the North Atlantic in a vintage sailing boat.I have been vaguely aware of Chris Stewart's bestsellers about his life as a farmer in a remote part of Spain and based on this book (which was written later although the period it covers pre-dates his move to Spain)I will now seek out 'Driving over Lemons.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-13 20:17

    An interesting look at one man's adventures in sailing. I have always had a love of the sea and a desire to spend some time on a sail boat. After learning to sail with this author, adventures in the Greek Islands, and being lost at sea in the middle of a tremendous storm in the North Atlantic, I am satisfied with dry land. The descriptions of the sea and the loneliness of being in the middle of water at night on watch were haunting. The discussion of sanitary conditions was amusing. And the whole book was a fun read with a tone between reverence and irreverence that really worked.

  • Peter Butt
    2019-03-25 21:09

    I have never laughed so much - I was crying with laughter at some of the situations nearer the beginning of the book - probably because I do sail and have been in similar situations and at the time I was reading it on my boat halfway through a trip a long the French coast. It really is like two books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately I lent it to someone who has lost it and I would love to read it again.

  • Jan
    2019-04-15 22:07

    This book started off really well - amusing little piece about travelling to Greece to skipper a lady's boat for her - repairing the work left undone by someone who had been paid to do the work, etc...charming in places but not really enough of any substance. If you fancy a light, mildly amusing read about a bit of sailing in Greece and later up into the Arctic, this is for you...but you won't be missing too much if you find life is too short to bother....

  • Tuck
    2019-04-17 16:29

    a fairly thin, but amusing tale of English wanker trying his hand in the sheets. Chris Stewart wrote a very good book called "driving over lemons" about moving to southern Spain and starting a farm. In this he describes getting a job captaining a crabber for a rich family in Greece, then getting a berth with his sailing instructor to sail from GB to newfoundland, following the viking route to vinland.

  • Benjamin
    2019-03-28 23:16

    Middling-to-fair. Author seems to recognize that he's only getting to publish this book because his last one was a hit, which is humble enough. It's like having a few drinks with a British man and listening to him go on about his sea stories, only he's a bit too drunk to notice when you're bored so he rambles. I think I picked it up when I was really into travelogues and just got around to it now.

  • Heather Cawte
    2019-04-17 16:17

    I do love a book that entertains me while informing me!As well as a very engaging memoir about his problems and triumphs while learning to sail, this book is a really evocative account of sailing in the Aegean, and in the North Atlantic. He finds the humour in every situation - frequently at his own expense - but also writes vividly and enlighteningly about his experiences. I was captivated by this book, and I'm off to find his others...

  • Nick
    2019-04-03 20:31

    Disappointing. Stewart has seemingly run out of material and this book is a bit of a mess, a patchwork of memories which he tries to stitch together into a linked narrative, but fails in doing so. I liked his other books, but this race has been run methinks. If an aspiring author went to a publisher with this it wouldn't get published - tenuous connection to Genesis or no ...

  • Cailean
    2019-04-02 20:32

    A fun and quick read. Stewart agreed to learn how to sail to have a fun summer job and continued to love to sail regardless of the many misadventures he encounters. I was drawn in by the witty British humor at the start and found the author engaging and intelligent...but the humor dwindled midway. Still a fun book but I wish it stayed as funny.

  • El Segoviano
    2019-04-12 17:15

    No hace demasiado tiempo que lo leí, unos 3 años y mas o menos recuerdo su contenido.Es entretenido, de humor y sirve para pasar un rato sin problemas,Típico humor ingles sin grandes alharacas. No se puede decir que el libro esté mal escrito pero vamos para un rato y poco mas , sin grandes maravillas.