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Spindrift cover

Rubery Book Award 2014 Non Fiction winner

This is a beautifully presented book about a journey from Plymouth across the Celtic Sea and back again, partly a sailing story and partly a meditation on life and nature. The narrative is lyrical and thoughtful.

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Spindrift was originally published by Vala Publishing Cooperative whose list was taken over by Jessica Kingsley Publications in 2016

Available from good booksellers or direct from JKP


What they say about Spindrift

A wonderfully salty, sea-soaked voyage of discovery. Peter Reason shows us what it is to fall in love with the Earth all over again.
Sharon Blackie, Editor, EarthLines Magazine

We land lubbers who stand ashore and wonder about the sea and its wild mysteries may feel what Masefield called the, "call of the running tide," but few of us ever answer it. Peter Reason has and his written voyage is not just a sailor's yarn but also a thoughtful, challenging, moving account of a pilgrimage into wilderness. Confronted by Nature at it's most elemental, the intensity of the experience, the quality of the reflection and the humanity of the writing turns a journey from the south coast of England to the far western isles of Ireland into an exploration of what it is to be human in the wilderness. At a time of increasing anxiety and environmental crisis, Peter questions how we live with Nature. Do we turn our backs on its troubling enormity or do we answer Nature's challenge: "a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied"? This is a timely book of new British nature writing, a conversation we can join as crew and feel the sea-spray in our faces and the wind in our sails.
Paul Evans, Guardian Country Diarist, author of Field Notes from the Edge

A truly great reading experience that drew me out of myself into the turning world of the oceans and into the depths of ecological awareness.
Stephan Harding, resident ecologist, Schumacher College, author of Animate Earth. Full review here.

This is an enthralling sea-journey which is at once thoughtful, provoking and unforgettably human. I was absorbed from the very first page, and in awe of the courage and tenacity of Peter Reason's quest. I'll never look at a sailing boat heading out into the Atlantic in the same way again. This is exactly the kind of writing we need right now; heart-stopping, mind-expanding, it will leave readers inhabited by landscapes of waves, sails and surf, and with a deeper knowledge of the visceral contours of the human spirit.
Miriam Darlington, author of Otter Country

There can be few book titles as mouthwatering as this one, destined to appeal to the wild seeker in us all. Sure, Peter Reason decided to sail from Cornwall across the Celtic sea to the south-western coast of Ireland but the odyssey acts as a poetic framework for what is part memoir, part philosophical exploration, part reflection, all of it dipping and diving into one compelling theme: the sacredness of nature.
Jiny Reddy Author of Wild Times: Extraordinary experiences connecting with nature in Britain

A profound and beautifully written mediation on our place in the world.
Neil Ansell, author of Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills

I very, very much loved that book of your season at sea
Joanna Macy, ecological teacher and author of World of Lover, World as Self

A wind-swept Peter Reason peers out of the back cover of this beautifully written account of his wilderness pilgrimage at sea - he retired from his position at the University of Bath in 2009 where he was a leading figure in action research. As such, this book represents a new departure as an experiment in autobiography and travel writing. The voyage covered in the book begins in Plymouth, sailing across to Kinsale in Ireland and then round the west coast and back. The deeper agenda of his journey is about how we experience ourselves as a member of the community of life on Earth, building on the work of other ecological thinkers such as Thomas Berry, David Abram, Brian Swimme and Gary Snyder, whose works are referred to. Consistent with his earlier academic interests, Peter explores the practice of participation more directly in his relationship with the sea and the land. The vividly described daily events of the voyage are interspersed with autobiographical reflections involving not only his family but also significant conversations with like-minded thinkers. His doctoral studies in the United States are vividly evoked, as is an early visit by Henryk Skolimowski, who invited people to go out into the university grounds and find a tree or flower with which to enter into dialogue. His encounter with Thomas Berry and the importance of a new story is fundamental, and the reader gains a very distinctive sense of his presence. Readers who are sailors will resonate particularly with this book, but its message is one that deserves a wide readership, not least because of the quality of the writing.
David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Journal

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book, Spindrift. I have sailed much of the south coast of England including the Scillies and been to the south west coast of Ireland but not sailed there. The book describes and evokes wonderfully the detailed personal experience of sailing and atmosphere it evokes as well as the issues around our place in the environment. I liked the way you create the connections. I ended reading the book slowly - sipping it in order to be able to extend the voyage. Thank you for providing several hours of real pleasure.
Tony F

Part travelogue, part inner journey, part deep thought on our place in the world. Peter Reason's book is a delight to read, redolent of the sea which infuses each page. He has thought long and hard and deep on the relationship between human and environment and it is this that shines through in the writing. As well as a brief description of the art of sailing, including the nautical naming conventions, which can be confusing to the landlubber (like me) Reason goes on to describe the outer journey he is taking in an effort to reconnect with the wild. This takes the form of sailing round the Irish coast, partly with a companion, partly alone. Drawing in many influential thinkers into his narrative he explores how we have become out of tune with the wider "more than human" world and discusses his meditations upon why this is so and what it is possible to do about it, at a personal level. Pilgrimages are usually religious experiences but this goes far beyond any "spiritual journey" in the normal sense of the word, being as it is a reconnection with the wider world, rather than any one god or spirit. Overall - intense, thoughtful, meditative this is a book that you'll want to read and reflect upon, and probably read again
Peter Sutton at LibraryThing

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