• Second Wind

  • A Sunfish Sailor, an Island, and the Voyage That Brought a Family Together
  • By: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Length: 4 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Second Wind  By  cover art

Second Wind

By: Nathaniel Philbrick
Narrated by: Nathaniel Philbrick
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Publisher's Summary

A charming early memoir of midlife by the best-selling author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, recounting his attempt to recapture a national sailing championship he'd won at 22.

"There had been something elemental and all consuming about a Sunfish. Nothing could compare to the exhilaration of a close race in a real blow - the wind howling and spray flying as my Sunfish and I punched through the waves to the finish."

In the spring of 1992 (eight years before the publication of In the Heart of the Sea), Nat Philbrick was in his late 30s, living with his family on Nantucket, feeling stranded and longing for the thrill of victory of a national sailing championship he had won 15 years earlier. Was it a midlife crisis? It was certainly a watershed for the journalist turned stay-at-home dad, who impulsively decided to throw his hat into the ring, or water, again. 

With the bemused approval of his wife and children, Philbrick used the off-season on the island as his solitary training ground, sailing his tiny Sunfish to its remotest corners, experiencing the haunting beauty of its tidal creeks, inlets, and wave-battered sandbars. On ponds, bays, and rivers and finally at the championship on a lake in the heartland of America, he sailed through storms and memories, racing for the prize but finding something unexpected about himself instead.

A warm, funny, and modest book about the journey home for one sailor and his family.

©2018 Nathaniel Philbrick (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Describing his races tack-by-tack and gust-by-gust, Philbrick crosses the finish line with sure-to-be satisfied readers interested in sailing and the personal life of this highly popular author.” (Booklist)

"Here's an audiobook to listen to on a road trip.... Philbrick narrates his story with verve and pays great attention to sailing lore and history.... In this effervescent memoir, to sail is to win." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Second Wind

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Limited audience

Not interested in sailing. Therefore story was not interesting. The character had limited appeal. The story, was not very interesting.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Could have been…

Second Wind could have been a good book if it would have been well written. Seems more like the writer bounces around a flimsy storyline with a thesaurus. 😞 Disappointing.