This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds

In 1951, the Smeetons bought the 46′ bermudan ketch Tzu Hang on a visit to England. They returned on the boat to British Columbia, learning to sail on the way. In 1955 they sold their farm and sailed on Tzu Hang for Australia.

In December 1956 Miles and Beryl departed Melbourne on Tzu Hang to return to England, intending to follow the old clipper route. The journey would take them eastbound around Cape Horn, a voyage that at that time had very rarely been accomplished in small boats. They were accompanied on the boat by a young friend, the Englishman John Guzzwell, who had been circumnavigating the world in his self-made boat on a voyage later recounted in his book Trekka, as well as by their Siamese cat, Pwe.

Approaching Cape Horn, the yacht was pitchpoled by a rogue wave. Beryl, who had been on the helm, was tossed from the boat and injured. Tzu Hang was dismasted, partially submerged, and the topsides were severely damaged, but the three sailors managed to sail the damaged vessel to Chile, where extensive repairs were undertaken. In 1957, a year later, Miles and Beryl departed again to round Cape Horn. However, in approximately the same position, beset by storms, another dismasting took place. Again, they managed to make the coast of Chile, and Tzu Hang was shipped to England for repairs.

After repairing the vessel, they made a multi-year eastabout circumnavigation. In 1968, they again attempted Cape Horn, westabout, and successfully rounded.

Once Is Enough rolls with the rhythm of the ocean, and the reader, like the crew of the Tzu Hang, is shaken from a page-turning dream by the storm’s sudden violence.

This tale of fear and determination electrified the sailing world when first published in 1959. What keeps it as fresh and captivating now as when it was written, however, is not the fury of the storm but Miles Smeeton’s spare, eloquent descriptions of life at sea.

By: Miles Smeeton

Publisher:‎ McGraw-Hill (August 30, 2001)

ISBN-13: ‎978-0071382199


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