Racing Through Paradise is the third entry in Bill Buckley’s now classic sailing trilogy.
In the best-selling Airborne, he introduced us to his special style of seagoing: episodes of high adventure and high spirits, occasional hardships, companionship, and such luxuries as a sailing craft can hope to have.
In Atlantic High, another critically acclaimed best seller, he furthered the form. Now, Buckley takes his son, his friends, and his reader to another ocean, on a four thousand mile run across the Pacific.
Each Buckley voyage is distinctive, yet each is an enhancement of earlier journeys. And a journey with Buckley is inevitably an expedition into oddly assorted experiences and comedy, into observation and illumination — into wit and reflection, and into friendships that overcome friction.
Here the irrepressible, eloquent, enjoyable Buckley guides us through his beloved Azores, and through the Galapagos (“the Bronx Zoo at the Equator”), about which he inclines more to Melville’s view than to Darwin’s, and through places such as Johnston Atoll, where mysteries and hostile ties await.
On a hilarious side adventure, we have a memorable encounter with “The Angel of Craig’s Point.” Some of these episodes were previewed in Life and The New Yorker.
William F. Buckley’s sailing career began in 1939, when he sailed across Lake Wononskopomuc in northwestern Connecticut. After college, he raced for ten years, including four races to Bermuda. In 1975, he made his first transatlantic sail, from Miami to Gibraltar, in his schooner, Cyrano. Five years later, he sailed Sealestial from St. Thomas to Spain. And in June 1985, he set off from Honolulu to Majuro and points west. Thirty days later, he and his friends disembarked at New Guinea. Racing Through Paradise is the story of this third, vexing, exhilarating passage.