To Sail Beyond the Sunset


To Sail Beyond the Sunset: Hurricane Island - The Outward Bound Years

Voices From the Field Collected by Susan St. John

This book tells of the creation - starting in 1964 - of the only Outward Bound sea school in the United States, on Hurricane Island, ten miles off the coast in Penobscot Bay, Maine.  

Susan St. John, a HIOBS instructor herself for 30 years, took nine years to gather the 400 color photographs included in the book and the stories of 100 staff members. Philip Conkling & Associates assisted Susan in bringing this project to fruition through a coordinated effort of editing by Philip Conkling, and design and production of the 300+ page book by Paige Parker and Bridget Leavitt.

The book begins with short histories of Outward Bound, started in Britain in the early 1940s, and of the quarrying years on Hurricane Island, circa 1900. At the heart of the book are the stories about the creation of experiential education on an island and in “those funny little boats,” which include carrier pigeons and a non-fatal strike by lightning. All the stories are liberally doused with a sense of service, salt water and the smell of spruce on Hurricane and in the magnificent archipelago of Midcoast Maine. The epilogue includes HIOBS’s success after its move to Wheeler Bay in St. George in the first decade of this century and the creation of the Center for Science and Leadership which now runs programs on Hurricane Island.