The Epic Voyage of the Seven Little Sisters: A 6700-mile Voyage Alone Across the Pacific - William WillisLondon: Hutchinson, 1956, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good+ — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper worn at the edges, now wrapped in a removable protective sleeve. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. Previous owners' name to the first blank. Pages very gently age-tanned.
Includes: Line drawings; Black & white photographs; Facsimiles; Colour photographs; Maps; Colour frontispiece; Appendix;
From the cover: “On October 15th, 1954, William Willis achieved the impossible. Alone on a sinking raft, battered by nearly four months of storms and wind, exhausted from lack of sleep, he landed at Pago Pago in British Samoa, 6,700 miles from his starting point in Callao, Peru. He had sailed not only farther, but also faster than the Kon-Tiki expedition, to complete what has been called the greatest solo trip since Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight.
In this inspiring book Willis tells the full story of this epic adventure. It is a saga of raw courage and dogged determination, of a man’s faith in himself that could not be weakened by any blow of fate. He set out to prove that castaways, with minimum equipment, could survive; he discovered the unimaginable delight in existing alone with Nature — beyond time and space — where the expected battle with the wind and waves became instead a fusion of himself with the tremendous natural forces around him.
Raising money to outfit such a hair-brained project was not easy. He searched for months for the seven balsa logs of the right size to make his famous raft, which he then christened The Seven Little Sisters. He had to find native workmen to help him build the raft according to his own unique design, and he had to find a way to convey it 700 miles down the coast from Guayaquil to Callao in order to take advantage of the Humboldt Current and to avoid, if possible, the worst of the hurricanes. The greatest test began on June 23rd, 1954, when he was at last alone at sea, out of sight of land, with only his cat and parrot for company. The spiritual adjustment required to endure the endless, lonely days; the constant activity needed to sail the raft; exhaustion from too little sleep — these were daily stresses, as ever present as the wind and the waves. But there were harder trials in store. A mysterious illness almost paralysed him with pain for 30 hours; most of his drinking water went bad; heavy storms ripped his sails. There was the terrible moment when, while trying to free his fish hook from a shark’s mouth, he fell overboard and, with bleeding hand, had to haul himself back with the help of the frail, frayed fishing line. And finally came the awful realization that the water-soaked balsa logs were sinking lower and lower in the water.
It is an extraordinary saga of a man who dared to dream of the impossible — and made his dream come true.”