Book of the Week: Doina Cornell's 'Child of the Sea'

Doina Cornell - Child of the Sea
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Cornell ChildOfTheSea-Cover-HighRes
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Child of the Sea is the true story of a young British girl growing up aboard the family’s 36 foot yacht whilst sailing more than 68,000 miles around the world and visiting 54 countries on the way.

In 1975 the family set off cruising, and apart from returning home that first winter, they didn’t set foot in England for another six years, having completed a circumnavigation.


From the age of 7 to 14 Doina Cornell, daughter of bluewater sailing guru Jimmy Cornell, enjoyed a childhood that most children couldn’t imagine – swimming, diving and playing the days away in deserted anchorages and visiting some of the most beautiful islands in the world. The book describes in vivid detail a sailing family’s onboard life, from balmy trade wind ocean passages to heart-stopping near-misses with coral reefs and over-friendly whales.

Her parents figure very prominently as characters in the book. It was the determination of Gwenda and Jimmy Cornell, who broke the traces of the 'normal' world to set off on their grand adventure and became well known to cruising sailors around the world. But that was later - in the beginning, Jimmy Cornell, who had been a BBC journalist, was, according to Doina, 'as much a novice as anyone'.

Cornell family, Gwenda and Jimmy with Doina and Ivan, while cruising
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This is also a tale of a girl’s coming of age in the South Pacific, and the difficulties of growing up close to other cultures and values, away from regular contact with school and friends of the same age.

Child of the Sea evokes a unique and appealing childhood spent at sea with undreamed-of freedom, at one with nature and far removed from a materialistic world – until the family return home.

Since returning home, Jimmy Cornell has written 13 books on nautical themes, his latest, written in conjunction with his son Ivan, being Cornell's Ocean Atlas, containing pilots for all the oceans of the world. For more information about this and the other publications by the Cornell family, go to http://www.cornellsailing.com/

Child of the Sea is to be published next month. If your local bookstore does not intend to stock the book, you can order it online by http://www.amazon.com/Child-Sea-Doina-Cornell/dp/1408178591!clicking_here.

Child of the Sea
By Doina Cornell
Published by Adlard Coles Nautical
http://www.sail-worldcruising.com/97908