"Of mixed race, Neal Petersen was born physically disabled and impoverished in apartheid-era South Africa, where he found healing and equality in the grueling waters surrounding Cape Town. Petersen dreamed of building his own boat and of sailing in the great solo races of the world. Journey of a Hope Merchant recounts the epic journey that took him from a racially segregated neighborhood to the prestigious BOC Challenge and ultimately to a place in history as the first black man to race solo around the globe.".
"Petersen's narrative places him among the ranks of such famous sailors as Joshua Slocum and Sir Francis Chichester. Petersen describes mining for diamonds underwater; rounding Cape Horn; surviving near-fatal accidents, killer storms, and a mid-Atlantic collision; capsizing in the Roaring Forties; and overcoming heartbreak, loneliness, continual financial difficulties, and adversity at every turn. His heroic experiences illustrate the incredible resourcefulness required of a sailor, especially one alone at the helm of a homemade boat. His gripping account of the 1998-99 Around Alone race, made famous by the mid-ocean rescue of the French sailor Isabelle Autissier, will become a classic of nautical writing.".
"While Petersen sailed his boat alone, his story extends beyond himself. He describes the unforgettable individuals who have sustained him - an activist mother, a generous community of Irish citizens, a cadre of eminent sailors including his mentor Harry Mitchell, and the woman who ultimately ended their relationship because Petersen chose to follow his dreams of sailing."--BOOK JACKET.