"Captain Rowland’s scenes on deck, especially in heavy weather, are exquisitely rendered and will give even landlubbers a keen sense of the power, beauty, and dangers of the sea. But what’s most compelling about this riveting sea memoir is how the fateful voyage repeatedly tests them, physically and emotionally. Courage, love, faith, bravado, and endurance make this a compelling book about the value - and cost - of resurrecting old dreams and living them out despite the risks."
Reviews & Readers Comments
Praises for No Return Ticket
A Rollicking Adventure Story
"Skip Rowland's, No Return Ticket, is a rollicking adventure story on one hand and a thought provoking examination of why we go to sea on the other. His voyage from California to Australia includes encounters with thieving mechanics that would have derailed a less determined sailor, ferocious storms that will spook the heartiest sailors, and even a south Pacific coup. Rowland writes honestly and openly about his relationship with his son, girlfriend, and various shipmates, using dialog to create a sense of intimacy. He can't seem to get enough of the stars, gazing into the heavens he never loses sight of his place in the universe. It's a nice read indeed."
A Great Read
"Encountering jaw-dropping beauty, exotic beaches, storms, thieves and equipment failures, the author takes his readers across the Pacific in a story which is never less than engaging, exciting and intriguing. A great read for both the experienced yachtsman and armchair reader alike."
A Hopeful Reminder of Why We Step Away from the Shore
"Rowland's debut epic tells the tale of an ordinary salesman who decided to "chuck it all," and sail across the Pacific to the South Seas while he was old enough to afford it, but young enough to enjoy it. From the moment his custom-made sailboat was stolen and put to the torch by thieves - who were subsequently captured in Mexico at the business end of Rowland's revolver - to his fighting off pirates in hand-to-hand combat for it's replacement, Rowland offers a fast-paced behind-the-sails peek at what happens when the romance of the seas meets the reality of the journey. "No Return Ticket" artfully balances the many dimensions of a complex sea voyage - harnessing a crew, dealing with bureaucracies and natives, maintaining the vessel, and all the various weather, navigation, health and financial worries - while letting us share in the joy of membership in the seagoing fraternity. Rowland makes the journey at once vast and intimate, relaxing and terrifying, so both the layperson and the old salt can feel both the excitement and the joy. Not at all a cautionary tale for those contemplating the journey, No Return Ticket is a hopeful reminder of why we step away from shore."
A Riveting Read of High Seas Drama
"A riveting read of high seas drama, storms and pirates along with passionate reflections of sailing in shimmering moonlight with beautiful Denise by his side. This “living the dream” sailors saga is also a love story."
A Rollicking Adventure Story
"Skip Rowland's, No Return Ticket, is a rollicking adventure story on one hand and a thought provoking examination of why we go to sea on the other. Rowland writes honestly and openly using dialog to create a sense of intimacy. He never loses sight of his place in the universe.”
One Incredible Piece of Storytelling
"'No Return Ticket' by Captain Skip Rowland is one incredible piece of storytelling. I have read near 2000 books during my lifetime, and this sits on the top ten of my list of favorites. Everything is in place making this as great as a story could possibly be. The author's personality is 1/3 salt, 1/3 raw courage and 1/3 acid. Any lesser of this three ingredient combination would have sealed the fate of himself and the lives of his crew. Being challenged by a vagabond freighter, navigating through a once in a hundred years storm in the south Pacific on a 43 foot yacht to sailing into the midst of a military, government takeover in Fiji, this could make a great fictional story. In this case however, it is not fiction. 'No Return Ticket' is a true story of faith, courage and unparalleled open ocean seamanship.
'No Return Ticket' is a story that will captivate the mind of the reader and put him or her in the cockpit of a true life adventure."
Couldn't Put It Down
"'No Return Ticket' was a book I couldn’t put down until the end. I am an experienced offshore sailor and have sailed many miles racing to a destination. None compare to crossing the Pacific and Island hopping where islands are 600 miles apart with a very small pick-up crew. The personalities of the people aboard, under good and bad conditions, help animate the book, as well as the outgoing personality of Captain Rowland. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to live an adventure without risking their lives in the process.
A Great Read – I am now waiting for his next book as the adventure continues."
Jam Packed with Vivid Word Pictures
"Blessings to Capt. Skip, his adorable wife, Denise, and his interesting crew. This book is perfect for every chapter is jam packed with vivid word pictures of the varied ports of call, the geography of the world, glimpses of other cultures, and even danger. One will also experience the closeness they feel to God as they experience wondrous things."
Right Amount of Detail, Authenticity and Narrative
"The narrative puts you right on deck as the author launches into an incident-packed voyage across the Pacific. For a book of this type to succeed, the yarns have to be delivered with just the right amount of detail, authenticity and narrative, and Skip Rowland sure knows how to deliver."
When Will the Next One Be Out?
"My wife Debbie and I met you at the Vancouver BC boat show this January and purchased your book from you for my Father-in-Law. He enjoyed reading it so much that he brought it back for us to read. I'm sitting out on our boat having just completed reading your book. We have traveled to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Rangaroa, Nuka Hiva and quite a few places in Australia although we did it in jet airplanes and cruise ships. We all very much enjoyed your book and would love to know when the next one will be out."