Lynn Michell & Stefan Gregory


We dreamed for years of crossing an ocean. Then we did it in a blue boat called Scarlet.

This is a book of many voyages.

There is the meandering trail that leads to the right boat for crossing an ocean. There is the preparation – stalled in a sweltering American boatyard while arguments about equipment and finance combine with the narrowing of the hurricane window. There is the crossing itself which starts with the wrong weather, broken boat parts, torn sails, serious leaks and a very seasick crew as Scarlet gets blown off course in unkind seas.

Male and female monologues form the internal voyages. The skipper’s thoughts range from the challenges of fitting a wind vane to almost losing an arm in a tangled genoa to the navigational system of the Puluwat Islanders. His wife describes diminishing supplies, the damp, bruises, blue eggs, jellyfish and her anxiety about the deteriorating health of her son who, suffering from ME, should not have been persuaded to go with them.

External and internal journeys criss-cross as Scarlet sails on across 3000 miles of ocean. She would have told a different story.

If you dream or plan to sail off into the blue, you will learn from this book. A great read.
— Sir Chay Blyth

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About this book

Lynn Michell has published 13 books including an illustrated writing scheme for schools, a book about ME, and two books published by The Women’s Press. Read more →

Stefan Gregory fell in love with boats at the age of four while dangling his head over the side of a skiff. He is an experienced sailor who has voyaged eventfully with Lynn off the North Wales coast, in Majorca, Croatia and the Caribbean. This was his first ocean crossing. In his day job, he pursues equally dangerous philosophical theories.

ISBN: 978-0-9559618-8-5
Published: June 2013


“In this book, I recognise many of the mistakes I myself have made. If you dream or plan to sail off into the blue, you will learn from this book. A great read for those who are going or want to go over the horizon!”
— Sir Chay Blyth

“Shooting Stars are the Flying Fish of the Night should be compulsory reading for anyone intending to make their first extended offshore trip under sail, especially if the boat is also new to them.
“It is also an endearing human story of three members of a family; father, mother and son battling to survive both physically and emotionally. It tells of Lynn’s anguish in having allowed their chronically ill son, Louis, to accompany them and Louis’s unfailing loyalty to both his parents. Few families put thermselves through such a test and then have the courage to commit it all nakedly to paper.”
— Chris Hawes, Yacht Fractions