In the late summer of 1996, I shoved off from Monterey Harbor, just south of San Francisco, to be the first person to solo row around the world. It didn’t go so well. In less than 5 days, I had to turn around and come back. I had set my boat on fire. I didn’t shove off again for another year. I used the talk of the sea to help guide me for 269 days and 11,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. This is the story of that voyage.