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The Voyage of the Northern Magic: A Family Odyssey Paperback – Mar 2 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (March 2 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771082630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771082634
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.5 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #270,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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The tone for The Voyage of the Northern Magic is set early on, when the author attempts to pilot a dinghy. "Within seconds I was in trouble," writes Diane Stuemer. "The combination of wind on the nose, the unruly waves, and my unique style of dyslexic steering caused the dinghy to wag alarmingly from side to side." In other words, to say the five-member Stuemer family sets out on its four-year voyage around the planet without much sailing experience is an understatement. And yet, against all odds, the little expedition succeeds. The Voyage of the Northern Magic is about one Canadian clan's journey to 34 countries. Family ties are emphasized throughout as Diane Stuemer and her Berlin-born husband Herbert take their three sons (Michael, the oldest, is 10 when they start out) on a voyage that begins in Ottawa and takes them to such exotic ports of call as Cuba, Malaysia, and the Azores Islands. Along the way they encounter endless engine failures and sailing mishaps, culture shock, a cancer scare (on the part of the author), and, perhaps most fearsome of all, Egyptian bureaucracy. "When you enter a country by boat, you have to jump through a series of hoops.... Nowhere did we ever experience anything as tortuous, inefficient, or frustrating as clearing into Egypt," writes Stuemer, before describing in painstaking detail her dealings with Egyptian bureaucrats. Oh, and then there are the storms. Spurred on by these great, raging, perilous phenomenon, Stuemer, a columnist for The Ottawa Citizen, produces passages of white-knuckled suspense. "Those long-ago nightmares of storms at sea, encountered in the safety and warmth of my bed at home, did not do justice to the reality of the fury that now enveloped us.... It was as if the wave was a muscular Titan, a Goliath of the sea, lifting us onto his huge shoulders, intent upon our destruction." Even more impressive, and heartbreaking, is the Stuemers's attempt to "give something back to the rainforests of Borneo" by saving a gibbon after the family witnesses first-hand the human-engineered ruin of the creatures' habitat. By the end of the voyage, the five crew members of the Northern Magic have become not only able seamen and "circumnavigotors," as the author calls them, but also first-class citizens of the world. --Shawn Conner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“After reading The Voyage Of The Northern Magic, I wish they’d asked me along.”
Toronto Star

“For anyone who has dreamed of leaving a life in the Canadian suburbs to sail around the world…this is the book that will either persuade you to do it…or bring you to your senses. Either way, it is not to be missed.…What a trip! Thirty-four countries and more than 65,000 kilometres, some of them in Force 10 storms. It’s a nicely told tale, alternating between descriptions of idyllic moments in exotic places and moments of sheer terror.”
Montreal Gazette

From the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When we read this book we were carried away to the ends of the earth. When we finished it, we said it could be done. Its a year later and our family has taken sone sailing lessons. This summer we are chartering a boat in the Carribean. By next summer we will own our own boat. For our family, the adventure began with this book. How can we thank you?
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Format: Hardcover
I received the 'Northern Magic' for Christmas and I managed to met Diane Stuemer this past winter at the Toronto Boat Show ... I even got the book autographed. Her book was an excellent armchair sailor read but she definitely has the gift in public speaking. I also recently found out that she died of cancer .... I must admit that I did shed a tear or two when I heard that.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best travel and adventure books I have ever read.The author has such a superb command of the English language that she literally brings this exciting voyage alive in the reader's mind. While the author's vivid description of the various countries she and her family visited, and the people and friends they met, was most interesting and highly educational, I personally was particularly fascinated with the episodes at sea both on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The description of every aspect of their long voyage had such an impact on my mind that I actually found myself experiencing everything the family was being subjected to on the high seas; the gigantic waves crashing into the side of the boat and attemtpting to push the Northern Magic off its established course, the cold and huge waves splashing over Diane and her husband Herbert as they attempted to keep their boat on course;their constant struggle to survive in spite of periods of sea-sickness, long periods in the cockpit without eating a proper meal, their very real concern for the safety of their boys and the boat, which often required immediate attention by Herbert to fix the engine, the sails, the mast, untangle the propellor and so forth, really increased the flow of adrenelin in my body.
I highly recommend this book to all those who enjoy the spirit of adventure and wish to have a realistic experience of such a fantastic voyage. The information covering the visits to the various countries is highly educational and most enjoyable. The Stuemer family left the Ottawa area as novices and returned as seasoned sailors.
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By A Customer on March 12 2003
Format: Hardcover
Join in on a three year experience cruising around the world with three children. After reading a good review of the book and being new to sailing with children of the same age I thought this would be a good read. I have since been unable to put the book down, it has been uplifting to read about a family simmilar to my own living through extreme experiences. A lit bit of cruising, a lit more about traveling and experiences and even more about a family living an extreme experience together for three years.
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