Val Howells

Sailing into Solitude

2011 Edition

"The book is much more than just another yachting yarn. The passage of an ocean is described as the exciting experience it certainly was. But Sailing into Solitude is much more than that, for it tells the story of another journey, to the … 'land that is walled with mirrors' . . . that revealing place where every posture, every façade, stands naked to the truthful eye. Perhaps many of us trudge this road; not all of us are honest enough to tell of our adventures."

Val Howells, Sailor & Writer

Sailing Into Solitude - 2011 Edition

An eventful series of voyages in the Merchant Service pumped salt into Valentine Howells' young bloodstream, resulting in a succession of sailing dinghies and the eventual acquisition of a Scandinavian Folkboat. This vessel, launched in 1958 and named Eira after the owner's wife, was sailed in the 1960 single-handed trans-Atlantic race when Val was invited to take part by Lt Colonel H. G.Hasler. At the time the whole concept of a singlehanded oceanic race was novel. The boats were small and wooden, the word electronics was not even in the dictionary and sponsorship was non-existent. Author and boat thus played a not insignificant part in helping to establish what has become a major event in the international yachting calendar.

The account of this trip was published as 'Sailing Into Solitude' in 1966. Nearly half a century on, the sailing public's appetite for a good seafaring yarn remains as strong as ever, and now Val has extensively re-written 'Solitude' and set up his own publishing company to produce a beautifully bound book that is at once a cracking yarn, a study of a deeply interesting individual and a piece of yachting history.

'Solitude' is not the author's only work . . . it is the one to read first, but we guarantee that you will then be compelled to follow it up with the appositely titled 'Up My Particular Creek'.

Please explore the site to find out more about this fascinating sailor, his voyaging and his writing.

Val's books are sold out in print format.   They are still available as E-books, and 'Solitude' is available as an audiobook.