Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home is the Sailor, Home from the Sea

Crew member Roy Olson took this as we approached the Vasayan island of the Philippines at dawn after eleven days at sea.

Home Is the Sailor

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
     Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
     The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
     Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
     And every fowl of air.

'Tis evening on the moorland free,
     The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
     The hunter from the hill.
A.E. Housman

Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scotsman, sailor, and writer, used the essence of this poem in his own Requiem, the last lines being used as the epitaph on his tombstone where he died on American Samoa. It's a fine sentiment for the sentimental and I admit to being one of those.

Anytime a sailor, particularly a small-boat sailor, completes an extended voyage, it is a cause for some celebratory relief for the sailor and those who love him. In our case, we were six senior citizens who, between April 15 and April 27 2013, made a successful, nonstop, 1,250-mile voyage from Guam to Cebu island in the Philippines. 

This is Carpe Diem, a Tayana 42, ready to sail. She has the lines of a race horse but our average speed was about 5.5 knots.

The author with the essentials of proper tropical voyaging:  A mahi caught from the stern rail and a stalk of slow-ripening bananas.

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