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Taken by theWind

   Memoir of a Sailor's Voyage in a Bygone Era


Would you have sailed a 30-foot sailboat to the South Pacific before GPS navigation and accessible ocean weather forecasts existed? In 1976, after graduating from Harvard College, Mike Jacker embarked on a year-long voyage aboard Rhiannon with two friends named Louis and Clark. The three Midwestern boys had never experienced ocean sailing. Mike’s captivating narrative takes you along on his remarkable adventures at sea and on land.

This compelling memoir, told with the benefit of four decades of hindsight, portrays an engaging voyage of personal discovery that depended on thoughtful planning, resourcefulness, and good luck.

Mike evocatively conveys his awe of the open ocean while authentically chronicling the vicissitudes of small boat cruising during a simpler era.

Sail aboard Rhiannon to:

  • Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season

  • Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, Mexico

  • Belize

  • Panama Canal Zone

  • Galapagos

  • Marquesas

  • Tuamotus

  • Society Islands

  • Cook Islands

  • Hawaii

Readers of Taken by the Wind will relive the crew’s transformation from nervous uncertainty to quiet confidence as the boys gradually prove their untested celestial navigation skills and self-sufficiency.

Taken by the Wind features:

  • Color photos

  • Hand-drawn maps

  • An extensive Glossary

  • Informative Appendices

Mike’s sailing narrative is recounted in a straightforward readable prose. This book is suitable for sailors and non-sailors of all ages who dream of a sailing adventure to the South Pacific.


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Available versions:



Kindle ebook


   with companion PDF


I chose Taken by the Wind for my sea literature column in Yachting World  because I knew it would inspire many of today's adventurers who inhabit a completely different world to the one that Mike describes. Yet the picture he paints so well, of an age without satellites, communications, instant position fixes or a guarantee of being saved if things go badly wrong, lies within his lifetime. It's a remarkable and unusual book, well produced, beautifully written and a charmingly non-confrontational challenge to those who would travel far from the main road.

-Tom Cunliffe, journalist, author, video blogger, and maritime educator.


Mike Jacker is natural storyteller ... the memoir is more than a recollection, it's an evocation and an education ... Sailing authors who can report and evoke well are rare. This joins the classics of the literature.

- Christian Williams, journalist, sailing author, screen-writer, and single-handed ocean voyager


A large part of the book's charm comes in Jacker's unforced telling of his voyage. He describes the people he meets, the condition of the boat, and relations between the crew and their adventures in straightforward prose with some poetic allusion and reference to the mystique of the sea and to sailors who came before.

- Ann Hoffner, Cruising World

"... the book is a trove of inspiration, an elegy to a bygone America and world at large... It's remarkable how much they learned and how methodically they proceeded on their cruise, from shakedown through each ocean crossing."- Twain Braden, Ocean Navigator


This book is exciting. It's a tale from another time, when small boat sailing really was an adventure ... Jacker recounts the adventure with graceful and compelling prose ... I was glued to the page.


- Maya, Sailing Magic Carpet YouTube vlog

Written in thoughtful detail ...Taken by the Wind is a refreshing reminder of the ability we all have to thrive in the ocean on our inspiration and grit.

- Josh Pederson, This Ocean Life Podcast

This is one of the best written accounts of what is many sailors'  bucket list trip--sailing the Pacific Ocean. Any sailing enthusiast will enjoy this fascinating story of making the dream happen in pre-GPS days.

- USCG Capt. Hugh and Julie Covert, owners and builders of Schooner Huron Jewel

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