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A great read: the Dyes’ “Ocean Crossing Wayfarer”

As I mentioned recently, my dad gave me Frank and Margaret Dye’s Ocean Crossing Wayfarer: To Iceland and Norway in a 16ft Open Boat for Christmas and I tore through it in several days. Great book for those liking adventure or those liking nice wooden boats.

For those not in the know, Frank Dye began investigating the possibilities of dinghy cruising in the early ’60s. He bought a Wayfarer dinghy and began going offshore, into – and then across – the North Sea. He survived force 8 gales and kept pushing. The book details two voyages: one from Northern Scotland to Iceland and one form Northern Scotland to the Faeroe Islands and then central Norway. Both were double-handed trips, and both are full of the fine line between expert seamanship and sheer lunacy. It is all, however, entertaining, the moreso because of Dye’s no-ego style (Margaret’s words based on Frank’s logs).

Even more interesting is the appendices, which detail the supply lists and lessons learned from the trips (the Dye’s went on to do many more dinghy cruises). In particular, he reviews equipment choices (including updates in the newer edition on more modern alternatives) and even maps out rigging / layout he used on the Wayfarer WANDERER. Its fascinating and makes you think a bit about following the Dye’s brave lead…

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