Determination and courage are strong ideas in the book. Captain Joshua Slocum showed a great deal of determination and courage during his solo voyage around the world. The author does not discuss what made him undertake such a voyage nor the processes he had to go through to arrange it. Instead, Slocum focuses on the rebuilding of the Spray. Part of the deal with Pierce was that Slocum would be offered helpers to refit the ship to make it seaworthy. Slocum learned that the thirty-seven-foot sloop had been a joke of the area and its residents often referred to it as an antiquated ship that was first manufactured around the year one.