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Letters from the Lost Soul


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Attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure. That's the adage Bob Bitchin lives by as he ventures across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in his 1981 Formosa 56, the LOST SOUL. Highlighting five years and 45,000 miles in a compact, analogy-laden book, Bob takes the reader from California to French Polynesia and back in a mere 83 pages; followed by another 51 pages of cruising down the West Coast and through the Caribbean on to the Azores; and then he squeezes in the Mediterranean and return passages, back to California, in the final 100 pages. * Good Old Boat *
Anyone who is familiar with the American sailing magazine Latitudes & Attitudes, will know exactly what to expect from Bob Bitchin, who edits a publication that is down-to-earth, irreverent, and always entertaining perhaps the main reasons for its success. If you have never read the magazine, then the following few lines from the book will give you an idea of the man and his approach not only to writing, but to life, in which his huge passion is sailing. The lines come soon after the start of the book, when he has more or less got his yacht, LOST SOUL, ready to go. He writes 'We had everything working as well as could be expected, and I was as anxious to set sail as a virgin for her first orgy.' And so begins a five-year voyage of discovery and adventure as Bob and his wife Judy circumnavigate on their staysail ketch. The Bitchins sailed over 50,000 miles in five years, and visited 50 countries. They anchored in 300 different anchorages and stopped at 150 islands. In that time, they had a dozen different crew members, 40 guests, and used more than 20 mechanics who spoke six languages other than English. Bitchin is the sort of guy to whom anything can happen, and usually does. But life, for this Hell's Angel-like character is a romp, and he sails along happily, overcoming all obstacles. Sail with him, you will enjoy it. * Sailing and Yachting *

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