Captain Joshua Slocum: A Man for All Oceans
Book Launch and Exhibition Opening
Wednesday, May 10 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, Mass. – Maritime legend Captain Joshua Slocum (1844-1909), the first person to singlehandedly sail around the globe, is the celebrated subject of a new biography by author Stan Grayson and a new exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The Whaling Museum will host a book signing, author talk, and exhibition opening on Wednesday, May 10 from 6 pm to 8 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Register at www.whalingmuseum.org or call 508-997-0046.
The exhibition The Spray will Come Back: Solo Circumnavigator Captain Joshua Slocum is based on Grayson’s recently released biography A Man for All Oceans: Captain Joshua Slocum and the first solo voyage around the world. Together, the book and exhibition reveal Slocum’s life story more fully than ever before.
Grayson, author of A Genius at His Trade, the biography of C. Raymond Hunt, is a respected yachting and maritime historian. For his new book, Grayson conducted years of research using newly uncovered source materials from Slocum’s own time. In A Man for All Oceans, Grayson gives readers fresh insights that fill significant gaps in our understanding of Slocum’s life and voyages, and provides answers to longstanding questions about Slocum, who despite his celebrity in the early 20th century, remained something of an enigma.
Joshua Slocum set sail from Boston, Mass. in 1895 in the sloop Spray to become the first person to singlehandedly circumnavigate the globe, a voyage of 46,000 miles. Ocean cruising in yachts of modest size as it is known today did not exist then. Sailing for pleasure, or as a way to enjoy nature and live simply, was still a largely new idea. Joshua Slocum’s lone voyage would do much to inspire others and to change time-worn perceptions. When Slocum ghosted into Newport, Rhode Island three years later at 1 a.m., he and his beloved Spray sailed into history.
Slocum published an account of his great sea adventure in the international bestseller Sailing Alone Around the World, which has been continuously in print since 1900. In clear, graceful prose – the book has sometimes been compared to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden -- Slocum told of his voyage’s perils and its pleasures. At one time, Slocum was among the more famous people in the United States. Yet in the book and in the years following its publication, Slocum revealed few personal details about his adventurous, tumultuous, sometimes violent life.
Although he experienced many fortuitous events and near misses throughout his sailing career and acknowledged his good fortune as “Slocum’s luck,” Captain Joshua Slocum and his beloved Spray vanished at sea in 1909. Now Grayson’s A Man for All Oceans and the Museum’s exhibition The Spray will Come Back bring the man and his sloop to life once again.
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About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.