Editorial Reviews, Maiden Voyage
“The work is illustrated with gorgeous color photography throughout, and sidebars furnish interesting cultural and historical information.”
“Over the course of their travels—with memorable, thoroughly described stops in Morocco, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and many other locations—the two wrestle with tumultuous weather, injury, and mechanical malfunction.”
“The book is an eclectic hybrid of multiple genres, including travelogue, personal memoir, and photo essay. It can even be understood as inspirational self-help when Hofmann reflects deeply on the lessons she learned at sea.” “A companionable…tale of adventure.”
A review by New York Times Best-Selling Author Marie Chapian
A BEAUTIFUL BOOK!
Here is one of the most beautiful books you’ll see this year. Packed with exquisite photos, the author has journaled a 34,000-mile sailing adventure on their 43-foot Catana catamaran, “Pacific Bliss,” that will set your heart a-sailing. Hofmann and her husband, Günter, both in their sixties, decided to do what most of us only dream of at any age –they up and left their busy, and successful corporate lives and sailed around the world.
Gulp. Did I say sailed around the world? It took them eight years, but yes, they achieved their nautical triumph and circumnavigated the entire globe. You can only sigh with awe as you live their adventure with them throughout this gorgeous book that covers their first voyage from France to San Diego If the photographs aren’t amazing enough, the experiences Hofmann tells about will rivet your imagination -stories of Gibraltar and Morocco, the Pillars of Hercules, the Canary Islands and San Blas Islands, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and more exotic and not-so-exotic settings they sailed to.
But all of sailing isn’t bliss, and the Hofmanns met with some death-defying experiences. On a 600 mile passage to Catagnena, Columbia , they met with a pair of blinding white lights, and realized another ship was headed directly at them, threatening to crush them upon impact. They were missed by a hair. She tells stories of being caught in dreaded storms on the sea of winds at Force 9 and 10, (Force 8 is a gale) and wind speed of 50-plus knots. “Some of the waves hit Pacific Bliss so hard the entire structure shudders at high frequency. The sounds of creaking, bombing and banging are awful.” They pray she’ll hold together.
And hold together she does. This book has something for everyone. If you’re a sailing aficionado you’ll enjoy the sailing reportage, detailing every technical move of the journey. If you enjoy geography and little-known facts, Hofmann has included “Did You Know?” sections where she reveals fascinating information about the places they sail to and from. If you’re an adventurer, you’ll be inspired and thrilled by the courageous and ambitious undertaking of this husband-and-wife team who made a dream come true.
And! If you are simply a lover of beautifully and affordably produced books to enliven any coffee table or library, you won’t want to miss this adventure book of the year.
P. S. Did I say exciting?
Mark Sutton, Marine Product Reviews
5 stars, an outstanding sailing, travel and personal adventure book that really delivers
Lois Joy Hoffman’s In search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: Maiden Voyage is a wonderfully written book about an adventure that just about anyone who has spent time on the water has dreamed of. Maiden Voyage is an outstanding sailing, travel and personal adventure book that really delivers with its sailing stories, perspectives cultures and places and incredible photography.
Lois and her husband Gunter circumnavigate the globe from France to San Diego aboard their 43′ catamaran Pacific Bliss. The book masterfully describes the voyage across oceans and provides insight into the cultures they experienced over their 8 year and 34,000 mile sailing adventure.
I particularly enjoyed Lois’ description of their ocean passages including preparation and provisioning, sea life encountered, peaceful waters and harrowing storms at sea. Lois provides any sailor with great insight to life aboard and all that is involved with offshore sailing.
In search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: Maiden Voyage is a book that you can enjoy just flipping thru the pages looking at spectacular photographs that let you see the sites and cultures that Lois experienced in their travels to 62 countries. The book is packed with hundreds of pictures of the wonderful people, places and cultures they encountered. There are thorough, interesting and thoughtful descriptions of the areas they visited, people, customs and cultures. Lois does an outstanding job of sharing these experiences in a compelling fashion.
In search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: Maiden Voyage is a book that you will thoroughly enjoy and that we’d recommend to any boater who dreams about taking off and sailing around the world. Kudos Lois on your inspiring adventure and on doing an outstanding job of sharing it. Highly recommended!
John Ekdahl (Spring, Texas, US)
What a beautiful well written book!! This book has something for everyone who enjoys adventure, travel, and learning about different cultures. The photos in the book are absolutely beautiful and tell a story by themselves. Lois has incorporated side bars titled “Did You Know” and “Messing With Boats” which gives interesting facts about the countries visited and her husband Günter’s perspective. You don’t have to be a sailor to appreciate this book. You can share their experiences as they sail from France to San Diego and share in the terror of a Force 10 storm at night. Learn about the cultures of the countries visited and the comradery of fellow cruisers. If the reader is interested in learning more about sailing the appendix has sailing terminology and a brief primer on sailing. I highly recommend this book! You won’t be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Rebecca Brist (DAYTON, MN, US)
The book is worth it for the beautiful pictures alone! But the story is really entertaining as Lois and Günter leave their lives in the business world and set out on an adventure that most of their friends and family think is crazy. This book is a fun way to learn about geography and sailing. It’s not too technical, but it gives you insight into what it’s like to sail across the ocean on a 43-foot yacht. I was really impressed at everything that was involved in doing that, especially going through the Panama Canal. Sailing around on a yacht is not as glamorous as you might think! What I liked best was how the author describes the different cultures and helps you get a feel for them. They got to observe a coming-of-age ceremony of a young girl in the matriarchal society of Mamitupu. I never even knew there was such a place! They spent Easter weekend in Antigua, Guatemala, and witnessed the amazing pageants and viewed the intricate carpets made of pine needles and flower petals on the streets of the city. See the pictures on page 204. Beautiful! What sets this book apart, though, is the human element. Lois and Günter struggle with their own fears and doubts and their need to control their environment. By the end of the journey, they have changed. Their frustrations, delays, injuries–as well as their moments of bliss–give them a deeper understanding of humanity, and of God. I like how the author weaves her faith into the narrative. Not in a heavy-handed way. She just naturally shares the moments she felt closer to God–and when God seemed far away. If you’re curious about other cultures and countries or curious about what motivates ordinary people to do extraordinary things, you’ll like this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Expressions and Feelings Mixed with Thrill and Adventure, December 24, 2010
By M. Scott (San Diego, USA)
Lois has managed to not only tell the story of the beginning of her and Günter’s around the world voyage, but to make you feel like you are actually traveling with them — with her realistic descriptions written through the her eyes and her feelings and emotions you can almost feel the rocking of the boat at peaceful moments and the roar of the crashing waves during a storm. It is a great read for those who have experienced cruising and can relate to her story, as well the want-a- be cruisers who may plan a future life at sea, as well as a thrilling ride for “arm-chair” sailors.
5.0 out of 5 stars A real-life sea yarn!
By M. Brist “GaleCrewe” (Minneapolis, MN)
Lois and Günter Hoffman sailed around the world (circumnavigated the globe) over eight years during their retirement. This is the tale of their first voyage from France to California. Lois is a personable, thoughtful, and observant narrator. She is a master weaver of the details and moments that made their journey one of immeasurable bliss.
However, Lois and Günter are honest about the hardships. “Cruising” is almost a misnomer. Sailing carries with it idealistic notions of calm seas and cozy days in the sun. But sailing around the world is not for the faint of heart. It is a mixed bag of good times and bad times. Rough seas and dangerous gales, unbearable heat and inhospitable harbors–contrast with evening sundowners, moments of solitude and camraderie, and delightful local color and history. In the end, Lois and Günter felt that the good times outweighed the hardships. But many cruisers come to the opposite conclusion.
Gorgeous and telling color photos illustrate almost every page of the book. Also included are regular informational boxes–detailing the history, flag, local items of interest for the region at hand, such as Morocco, Guatamela, and El Salvador. For readers unfamiliar with nautical terms, Appendixes A-D are helpful and can be found in the back of the book: Glossary, Beaufort Scale of Sea States, Points of Sale, and the Physics of Sailing.
Lois’ story truly shines when she speaks of the local cultures, the food, the scenery, and the emotional highs adventure and risk can bring. The life-meaning she has drawn from her experiences light up every page. Her raw feelings of stress, anger at difficult situations, and frustration with life being so out of control on the seas are not censored, but rather, tempered by time and wisdom. She has come to realize as she says in the moving last chapter of Maiden Voyage, “There is a certain peace in being out of control. It reminds one of how much there is to lose and how fast one can lose it…Our own journey has become a part of us, and Pacific Bliss has become our trusted friend and family member. Günter and I brought back with us a vision of a wider world, a world where values matter and differences don’t. With it came a new understanding and appreciation of cruising’s highs and lows, and indelible memories of the characters we met along the way.”
I highly recommend this book for anyone longing to leave their mundane life, and travel somewhere else, even if only vicariously. Highlights for me were chapters about Morocco, the Atlantic Crossing, the Kuna Indians of the San Blas Islands, and the trek through Costa Rica, as well as the final chapter, “Re-entering and re-evaluating our lives,” which will be meaningful to anyone who has traveled abroad for an extended period and has felt the pangs of disorientation that comes with returning home.
Read this book and pass it around! You never know, maybe you may be inspired to choose a life of adventure as well!
Editorial Review, Sailing the South Pacific
“The book is once again vividly illustrated with full-page, color photographs, and crammed with diverting historical asides; for instance, there’s a brief account of the Tahitian origin of the word “tattoo.”
This time, the trip is haunted by the dark specter of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Still reeling from their expulsion from the biotech company they founded and frustrated by its subsequent floundering, the Hofmanns were in search of an opportunity for self-reflection and renewal.
“The author memorably describes their brushes with danger…they also portray the quotidian quirks of long-distance travel…”
“Also, this installment includes lessons that Gunter learned about sailing that could prove useful to readers who might be planning a boat trip of their own.”
“A handsome memoir that should interest would-be sailors, as well as the author’s loved ones.”
“…an informative travelogue overall, and a gorgeous coffee table book.”
BEAUTIFUL BOOK, BEAUTIFUL WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER
By C & M on French Curve on May 29,2013
Sailing the South Pacific by Lois Joy Hofman is a MUST READ!
The first time I heard Lois speak I was impressed about her sailing knowledge. We were at the Women’s Sailing Convention in So. Ca. in The Pirate class. The teacher of this class was telling us how to check the Hot Spots for Piracy. From the back of the room, this petite pretty blonde spoke up about her travels on the high seas, it was Lois. She was a fantastic speaker, that captured everyones attention, as she shared stories of her experiences.
Later that day I found out she had written the first of her three books about sailing the world Maiden Voyage. Eagerly I purchased this beautiful book, and read it with tears in my eyes. We had similar backgrounds and I hope the same continues, as we too hope to sail the world. Her stories are engaging, of the many places they visited and people they met. I pictured myself in her situations, how would I do as a sailor? The photography throughout the two books are bright, colorful and so beautiful. As an Artist I really appreciate the visuals!
When she announced her second book about the Sailing the South Pacific In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss was available, I was first in line to purchase it. This book is as facinating and full of adventure as her first book Maiden Voyage. We are eager for her third book to be out, about the last segment of their voyage. I highly recommend her books and writing style to everyone, whether you plan to follow in their footsteps or stay on land. You’ll experience the adventure of traveling the world through Gunther & Lois’s eyes. What an accomplishment, a true story that will captivate your imagination!
By hometeacher on March 27, 2013
Sailing the South Pacific is something I would never do. But experiencing this adventure vicariously through someone who has a similar background is the next best thing. (Actually, to me it’s the BETTER thing!) As a teacher, I loved learning about all the fascinating customs and cultures in these faraway lands. I got to learn about the two different cultures of Fiji, what it’s like to shop at a “bloody market” in the Marquesas, the weird history of Easter Island, and how a chief is chosen and installed in Vanuatu (a place I admit I didn’t even know existed before this!). The gorgeous photographs that grace nearly every spread of this book help me imagine myself tagging along with Lois and Gunter as they boldly forge their way into unfamiliar territory. I didn’t have to get rain-soaked, fear for my survival, suffer heat stroke or food poisoning, or deal with foreign government red tape. Lois endured all that and more to capture these experiences–which I now get to enjoy in the comfort of my suburban Midwest home. Aah–this is the life! Thanks, Lois!
5.0 out of 5 stars
By T & A on March 24, 2013
Wow!!! Lois once again brought to life in us, a real feeling of “being there”. The writing was very descriptive and fun to read. The photos were beautiful and really made us feel like part of the experience. There was a great openness in the descriptions of their emotions as they viewed beauty, made new friends and overcame the hardships of sailing. My husband said he felt like voyeur, stowed away in Petite Bliss, looking over their shoulders. Our patience for this second book was grandly rewarded, but now must start all over again. We are very much looking forward to the release of the next!!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Editorial Review, The Long Way Back:
“Hofmann…and her husband, Gunter, decided to sail around the world in a state-of-the-art, custom-built catamaran, started in 2000. Their last series of voyages commenced in Australia and circled back to France, where their journey began…the entire trip landed them in 62 countries…”
“The couple found themselves at a discomfiting emotional impasse when Gunter suddenly announced that he wanted to abandon the original navigational plan in order to spend another year in Thailand. He was depleted from travel, Hofmann writes, and worried about the wisdom of sailing through Pirate’s Alley, an infamously dangerous stretch of water between the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.”
“This is also the most romantic volume of the trilogy…”
“…adorned with spectacular color photographs, and the author furnishes a surfeit of intriguing asides about the lands they visit.”
“…an incisive and granular travelogue for those who want to emulate the author’s journey…”
“…her accounts of cultural mores are fascinating, as in her astute comparison of Thai and Malaysian history.”
“A beautifully produced travelogue…”