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“With a fascinating narrative of a 9-year circumnavigation, this is much more than just a coffee-table book with fabulous photography. 9 Years on the 7 Seas tracks the author’s journey from landlocked farm-girl afraid of the water to seasoned sailor and adventurer. Aboard Nor Siglar, their 40-foot sloop, Anne Brevig and her husband traveled to some of the world’s most remote locations, encountering a diverse cast of characters and forging friendships along the way. Their story and of course the 300 color photos will make you want to sell up and sail off.”
Rebecca Waters, Sail Magazine, Boston, Massachusetts
“The author calls this tale of a circumnavigation aboard the 40-foot Gib’Sea Nor Siglar out of Vancouver, B.C. a “coffee-table book”, but it’s much more. The photography is striking, the text fact-filled and lyrical, and the design both attractive and utilitarian. The result is a sugarcoated outline of a voyage west about around the world – with passion, insight, and not a few nuts and bolts.”
Nim Marsh, Cruising World, Middletown, Rhode Island
“Not another book about a couple who sold everything and sailed around the world? Yes, but what sets this book apart is the gorgeous pictures on every page and the quality of the paper which will make it a joy to leaf through over and over again.”
Sue Morgan, Latitudes & Attitudes, Redondo Beach, CA.
“A wonderful book filled with personal adventures on sea and land. Illustrated with an engaging selection of excellent pictures on every page and accompanied by Anne’s down-to-earth writing. Savour anytime!”
Anne & Laurence Yeadon-Jones
Authors of The Dreamspeaker Cruising Guides. Vancouver, B.C.
“Anne and Martin are modern-day explorers who had the courage to visit out-of-the way places and interact positively with native people on their own terms. The beautiful photographs and frank, well written text make this book a “must” for armchair sailors and those who plan to cruise offshore.”
Author and publisher of Charlie’s Charts, White Rock, B.C.
“One of the most beautifully illustrated and informative books on ocean cruising in a small boat that I have seen in my many years as sailor.”
Liv Kennedy, Nanoose Bay, B.C.
Circumnavigator and author of Coastal Villages and articles on offshore cruising.
“Few dare to live the dream of circumnavigating the globe as Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland did. They followed their hearts when they made the big leap from weekend and vacation sailing along the British Columbia Coast to completing a nine-year odyssey aboard their sloop, Nor Siglar.
9 Years on the 7 Seas documents their exciting adventure in a beautiful, informative, more-than-a-coffee-table book. Their circumnavigation was not one of speed and impressive records as they did “not rush through paradise, but stopped to smell the roses and to live for the moment”, the author writes.
The couple visited 76 countries and island nations, often in remote areas seldom visited by cruising boats, skipping some of the more popular destinations. “In the places we liked the best, we stayed the longest and got to know the people,” Anne writes.
9 Years on the 7 Seas is a must-read for those who hope to circumnavigate. It’s also a wonderful book for the dreamers among us who would love to follow in their footsteps.”
Jo Bailey & Carl Nyberg, Seattle, WA.
Freelance marine writers and authors/ publishers of the Gunkholing Cruising Guides in the Pacific Northwest.
“Anne E. Brevig’s new book, 9 Years on the 7 Seas (7 Seas Productions, Port Moody, Canada), is a testament to the magic and beauty of traveling around the world. Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland spent nine years sailing to 76 different countries and logging over 56,000 nautical miles aboard their 40′ sloop, Nor Siglar. On returning, Brevig set to work on a book that is different from any other cruising adventure ever written. It’s not a how-to book, nor is it a memoir—it’s a unique combination of photos that belong in a magazine like National Geographic and beautifully written passages about their journeys, the local cultures they encountered along the way, and their thoughts and feelings on life aboard.
Perhaps the most obvious difference between Brevig and Vennesland’s journey and most peoples’ was their desire to take things slowly and let the world shape their schedule. “We met people from all corners of the world, experienced the delight of bonding with fellow cruisers, brushed up on history and language skills and learned about other cultures,” Brevig writes on the sleeve. “We came to know and understand lifestyles completely different from our own and learned that is it possible to live quite happily in a variety of ways in this complex and fascinating world.”
Before they left, they both had strong careers, Vennesland as the head of a Canadian forestry consulting firm and Brevig as a manager of an international shipping company. Inspired by stories in boating magazines of couples who lived aboard and sailed around the world, they lived and worked at the dock for about five years while getting their new boat ready. Not only was it a trial period for the boat, it was a trial period for their relationship. They knew that living in close quarters can be very difficult, so they made the wise decision to move onto the boat together long before taking off. The week before they were scheduled to leave, they got married.
Nothing is glossed over in this book. Brevig writes candidly of visiting Skikda, Algeria, where, even though there has been a recent epidemic of violence, they are carefully looked after by Port Authorities, who bring them fresh-baked bread in the morning and appoint two armed soldiers to guard the boat. When one of the soldiers boards Nor Siglar in the middle of the night, machine gun in hand, the situation is tense. But human goodness prevails, and Brevig and Vennesland leave Algeria with a new understanding of how bad politics can ruin the lives of good people.
For each country they visited, a sidebar is included listing the location, government, area, coastline, population, capital, languages, religions, currency, industries, agriculture and exports. These informative at-a-glance pieces help the reader understand the dynamics of the countries, and the narrative moves from place to place as smoothly as the water under Nor Siglar’s hull.
But the best thing about the book is, without a doubt, the photography. In the first chapter, a fully-suited Brevig steps off Nor Siglar in her high heels and stockings on her way to her last day at work, the buildings of Vancouver behind her. By page 24, she is clad in a bikini inside the boat, operating the vessel’s ham radio, and Vennesland loses all his clothes by page 33. There’s nothing smutty about it—they are simply two people basking in their freedom to explore a beautiful world. In Morocco, Brevig shows off gorgeous bridal henna (temporary) tattoos. An iguana stares down a red crab in the Galapagos. 9 Years on the 7 Seas belongs on a coffee table or in a yacht’s library—or both.”
Melanie Neale, The Crew Report, TRP Magazines, London, UK
“Sure, there have been any number of books written about sailing around the world and it took us a while to get started reading this one which was a big mistake. 9 Years on the 7 Seas is like no other circumnavigation book before it and every chapter provides you with another unique insight into the world of cruising in this day and age which is a combination of old world common sense sailing and the reality of dealing with the politics of a modern world. In addition, there are beautiful full-colour pictures throughout the book along with excellent charts and descriptions. For this reason, we have selected 9 Years on the 7 Seas to receive this year’s Northwest Yachting Editor’s Choice Award.
In 1986, Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland sold most of their worldly belongings and moved onboard their new sailboat, which they named Nor Siglar, meaning “Northern Sailor” in Old Norse. For five years they lived onboard their 40-foot French sloop in Spruce Harbour Marina in Vancouver, to save money and prepare themselves and the vessel for an offshore adventure, which started in 1991 and ended in 2000. So Nor Siglar has not only been their faithful circumnavigator for nine years – but their beloved floating home, their only home – for 15. Their voyage has not “just” been a circumnavigation, but a lifestyle.
During 56,000 nautical miles at sea, which is a bit more than twice around the world at equator, they visited 76 countries and island nations, met lost of interesting peoples from different cultures and had many, many exciting and touching experiences while also encountering dramatic and dangerous challenges. In short, it was a once in a lifetime adventure, full of highs and lows, which they share with you on these pages.
On a technical note, the “List of Vessel Specifications and Equipment Inventory”, will prove helpful to those of you who are planning an offshore voyage. In the discussion, “Pros and Cons of a Circumnavigator”, they share with you their experience with the equipment onboard: What worked and what didn’t work, what broke and what didn’t, what they could have done without and what they would not leave home without, and finally, what they would have done differently should they do it all over again.
In the “Map and Log” section, you can follow Nor Siglar’s route around the world, complete with a statistical summary of distance, time and speed and the many countries visited. They have also included their cruising budget with supporting comments.
Bruce Hedrick, Northwest Yachting Magazine, Seattle, WA.
“It’s every sailor’s dream to sail the seven seas but few ever get to realize that dream. One couple who did live out their fantasy are Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland. Originally from Norway but living in Vancouver, the modern-day Magellans circumnavigated the globe aboard the Nor Siglar, or “Northern Sailor” in old Norse, (a 40-foot Gib’Sea sloop ) and survived to write about it.
In a saga ranging somewhere between Mutiny on the Bounty and Survivor Marquesas, the couple sailed from Vancouver to Panama (September 1991-April 1992), the Caribbean (May-December 1992), the Atlantic Ocean to Norway (January 1993-July 1994), North Sea, Mediterranean and Atlantic (August 1994-March 1998), Pacific Ocean (April 1998-August 1999), Indian Ocean and Mediterranean (February-June 2000) and Gibraltar to Norway (July-August 2000). Total distance logged: 56,000 nautical miles).
What makes this epic voyage even more amazing is that Brevig was a farm girl in her native Norway, didn’t learn to swim until she was 16 and became easily seasick. All told, Brevig and Vennesland visited 76 countries and island nations and, because they learned how to slow down, got to interact with people from many different backgrounds and cultures.
A warning to those of you who are tempted to put this book under the Christmas tree for that sailor in your life: You just might not get to see him or her again for a long, long time as he or she sails into the sunset.”
Joseph Kula, The Province, Vancouver, B.C.
“Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland, originally from Norway but now living in Port Moody, sold most of their belongings and moved on-board their new sailboat, Nor Siglar. For the next 15 years they lived aboard their boat, spending nine of those years circumnavigating the globe and visiting 76 countries and island nations, some of which rarely see visitors.
As the gorgeous pictures in this book that documents their journey attest, the pair were more focussed on learning about the different cultures and peoples of the countries they visited than in the round-the-word trip itself. They were not out to set any records. “Why are you rushing through Paradise,” Brevig writes homesteaders on an exotic island asked. The question became a motto for Brevig and Vennesland for the rest of their voyage.
The book provides a balance of sailing lore, personal anecdotes and general information about the countries the pair visited. (A box listing population, religion, languages, etc. is provided for each country.) It’s the pictures, however, that really tell the story. All are in color and seem to capture something of the spirit of the people being photographed.
Brevig ends the book with a Navajo proverb: “I have been to the end of the earth/ I have been to the end of the waters/ I have been to the end of the sky/ I have found none that are not my friends.”
Linda Bates, The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, B.C.
“Why rush through paradise? This became the motto for Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland as they journeyed around the world on their 40-foot sailboat, Nor Siglar. With beautiful photography and informative writing, this book takes you on a cultural and intellectual journey.”
Bluewater Books and Charts Catalogue, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
“An inspiring record of a leisurely circumnavigation. A fascinating photographic travelogue of a leisurely 9-year circumnavigation in the 40-foot Gib’Sea sloop, Nor Siglar. Author Anne Brevig and her husband, Martin Vennesland, both Norwegian-Canadians, have created a memorable record of an epic trip. If you’ve ever dreamed of bluewater sailing that goes off the tourist circuit, meeting local people and truly savoring the experience, this is a book to dream on. No wonder it is the Recipient of Northwest Yachting Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award.”
West Marine, Watsonville, CA.
“The dream of circumnavigating the globe became a lifestyle for Anne Brevig and Martin Vennesland who sailed their 40-foot sailboat, Nor Siglar for nine years, visiting 76 countries. Their main focus became the opportunity to get close to people from different backgrounds and cultures. The book reflects this interest, with its many color photographs that really tell the story of the cultures they visited. There is a nice balance of sailing lore, personal anecdotes and general information about the countries the pair visited.”
The Nautical Mind, Toronto, Ontario
“This beautiful book of one couple’s adventures circumnavigating the globe, visiting 76 countries and island nations is saturated with enchanting encounters, unique experiences and friendships with people of many cultures. Includes 300 photographs, facts boxes on coordinates, location, government, coastline, population, capital, languages, religions, currency, etc. that allows quick access to pertinent information of interest to readers. Detailed maps accompany each geographic section linking places and events to specific maps.”
Bellingham Charts and Prints, Bellingham, WA.
“Nor Siglar’s bluewater adventure is captured in this beautiful book in magnificent colors. This book is an ideal gift for anyone dreaming of an adventure on the high seas – or simply loves to travel. At the peak of their careers, Anne and Martin made the decision of their lives: they chose freedom and a highly uncertain future on the high seas instead of secure jobs and the safety and comfort of life ashore.
In order to finance their dream, they sold their house and most of their belongings and moved onboard their 40-foot sailboat, Nor Siglar. She became their one and only home for 15 years. In fact, the dream of circumnavigating the globe became a lifestyle for the career couple. Neither imagined that they were going to spend 9 years on the 7 seas and journey more than 56,000 nautical miles!
Experience Anne and Martin’s unique odyssey far away from the traditional tourist routes through the pages of their very special adventure book. Their main focus became not so much the circumnavigation itself but the opportunity to get close to people from different backgrounds and cultures. They learned how others live and exist quite happily in ways different from our own. The book is saturated with enchanting encounters, unique experiences and drama. They also found that paradise still exists and can be explored.
Anne and Martin realized their dreams. Through their book they hope to inspire others to pursue their own dreams. It certainly gives a rare opportunity to live vicariously in NOR SIGLAR’S wake.”
Captain’s Nautical Supply, Seattle, WA.
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