Monday, 3 November 2008

Death of a legend.


I just picked this up off the Seven Seas Sailing Association site. How very sad. This man was one of my great heroes and like many others his books chronicling the adventures of Margaret, his wife, and himself are at the root of much of my own knowledge. His explanation of anchoring techniques in 'After 50,000 miles' is still the clearest dissertation I have read on a difficult cruising skill.

Sat Oct 25
The Associated Press

EASTON, Maryland -

Hal Roth, an avid sailor and author of 12 books who circumnavigated the globe three times, has died. He was 81.

Roth died on Oct. 18 after a 2 1/2-year battle with lung cancer, according to his wife, Margaret.

Roth's first book, "Pathway in the Sky," about the John Muir Trail in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, was published in 1965.

The next year, Roth and his wife quit their jobs and began a 19-month journey around the Pacific on an 11-metre sloop. The adventure led to his first sailing book, "Two on a Big Ocean."

Publisher McGraw-Hill later coupled that book with two other critically acclaimed titles, "Two Against Cape Horn" and "The Longest Race," to produce "The Hal Roth Seafaring Trilogy," released in 2005.

His books "are universally listed among the most influential sailing books ever published," according to SpinSheet, a sailing magazine.

Hal and Margaret Roth sailed around the world together from 1981 to 1985, and Roth later competed in two solo round-the-world races. The couple also retraced the path of Homer's Odysseus.

"We had an amazing life," Margaret said. "We were married for 48 years and a large part of that we lived on our boat, on our yacht. That became our home and so we were very close together when we sailed."

Roth's last book, "Handling Storms at Sea," will be published this month, his wife said.

1 comment:

RE said...

Hal Roth's books inspired us to go cruising, and once we were out there, his books were well used and basically read to shreds. Ulf and I called him our "house god" on Sea Quill. I can hardly think of another sailing writer who combined such poetry with practical and humbling advice. Roth's approach to sailing -- simplicity, self-reliance, the importance skill and caution vs gadgetry, and the supreme importance of reaching out to people of other cultures -- resonates deeply. Thanks for sharing the news, Gerry.