Charles Tyng‘s quarter century under sail took him around the world half a dozen times at the begining of the nineteenth century. Fortunately, he proved to be as natural a storyteller as he was a sailor. Before the Wind has been hailed as a superb contribution to seafaring literature, alongside such books as Two Years Before the Mast and the novels of Patrick O’Brian. Both Tyng’s life and the way he recounts his years at sea are full of wonder: He survives shipwrecks, squalls, and pirates. He makes and loses fortunes in tea, sugar, and cotton. He meets Lord Byron as well as the British princess (later queen) Victoria. Sailors, armchair travelers, history buffs, and lovers of pulse-quickening maritime stories will find this book as seductive as the siren song of the sea.