Theo Dorgan's gripping account of a transatlantic voyage on the schooner Spirit of Oysterhaven, from the Caribbean to the coast of his native Cork, is both travelogue and meditation, interior journey and outward voyage of exploration.
Dorgan's meticulously exact account of the labour and skills involved could well act as a handbook for anyone prompted to repeat the adventure. His feel for the history of the sea and sailing, drawn from wide reading, is tested against the practical realities of what is involved in such an ambitious undertaking.
The qualities of endurance and willingness he must find in himself, the shared experiences that make four individuals into a crew, all these come as a succession of revelations. He brings a poet's eye to the immensities of the ocean, its lore, its mysteries and its secrets. As so many before him, he will learn that what you find on the journey, not the destination, is what matters.
Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953 and is one of Ireland's best known poets. Poet, prose writer, editor, scriptwriter, translator and sailor, his other books include the long poem Sappho’s Daughter and, in 2007, A Book of Uncommon Prayer, which he compiled and edited. He is the editor of Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh, and co-editor of Leabhar Mór nah Éireann / The Great Book of Ireland, An Leabhar Mór / The Great Book of Gaelic, the anthology Watching the River Flow and the acclaimed collection of historical essays Revising the Rising. He translates from the Irish and from the French and his own work has appeared in Italian and Spanish editions. He is a member of Aosdána.