All Hands on Deck: A Modern Day High-Seas Adventure

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Date & Time

Sat, Apr 29 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Address (map)

113 Harbor Way

Venue (website)

S.B. Maritime Museum

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum & Anchor Rose Restaurant Present

All Hands on Deck: A Modern-Day High-Seas Adventure to the Far Side of the World

A Reception, Presentation, Book Signing, and Film
Screening with Will Sofrin

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) is partnering with Anchor Rose restaurant to develop a series of collaborative harborside movie screenings and special events. The first of these will launch a new book, All Hands on Deck: A Modern Day High-Seas Adventure to the Far Side of the World, on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 4:30 p.m., with a unique experience. All Hands on Deck will include a reception on the Waterfront Center’s patio, a presentation based on author Will Sofrin’s book, an optional  18th- century-themed dinner, and a complete screening of the classic movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, considered by many to be the best sailing movie ever made.

First, up for this exciting evening will be a reception and book signing on the museum’s patio featuring a complimentary 18th-century-themed rum cocktail from Black Bart Navy Rum and the opportunity to meet author Will Sofrin.

The reception will be followed by Sofrin’s presentation at 5:30 p.m. and will include film clips, commentary, and photographs. Sofrin will share the story of his maritime adventure as part of the crew that sailed the American tall ship Rose (a 180-foot-long replica of an 18th-century British frigate), 6,000 miles from Newport, Rhode Island to Hollywood. The ship ultimately served as the centerpiece of the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.

Following Sofrin’s presentation, the film Master and Commander, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, will be screened on the museum’s patio. Anchor Rose restaurant, in partnership with SBMM, will offer an optional dinner based on the food served to officers and crew in the British Navy around the turn of the 19th century.

The cost to attend the reception, the presentation, and the film screening is free for SBMM’s Navigator Circle Members and $35 for all others. For an additional $40, guests can register for the optional dinner, which includes a glass of wine and a buffet meal featuring lobster bisque, saffron rice, chicken, swordfish, and a vegan option. Register for this event at: Proceeds from this event will enable SBMM to continue offering tall ship and other education and school-based programs.

This event is made possible in part by the generous support of Black Bart Navy Rum.

About the Book

In the late 1990s, Patrick O’Brian’s bestselling historical novels inspired the film Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World. While director Peter Weir and stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany were signed on, there was one problem: Rose, the replica eighteenth-century British warship that the filmmakers purchased to serve as the HMS Surprise, was in Newport, Rhode Island, two oceans and thousands of miles away from Hollywood.

Enter a ragtag crew of thirty tall-ship fanatics including author Will Sofrin, then a 21-year-old wooden boat builder and yacht racer looking for some direction in his life. Together, the crew embarked on an epic adventure, racing a ticking clock and fighting against Mother Nature, and occasionally each other, to deliver Rose.

All Hands on Deck: A Modern-Day High Seas Adventure to the Far Side of the World (Abrams Press; April 18, 2023) is Sofrin’s account of this unforgettable voyage. It’s a story of reinvention, hard work on the high seas, love, and of survival. The crew of the Rose effectively went back in time, bringing the old ways of a forgotten world to life, while barely living to tell the tale. All Hands on Deck is a gripping story and a must-read for fans of O’Brian’s novels and the Academy Award–winning film adaptation.

What the Reviewers Are Saying about the Book

“Will Sofrin’s thrilling account of the eventful, sometimes terrifying delivery of the tall ship that starred in Peter Weir’s adaptation of Patrick O’Brian’s The Far Side of the World is a must-read. Even if you haven’t seen the movie or read O’Brian’s novels, this is an adventure story of the highest order.”

—NATHANIEL PHILBRICK, author of the National Book Award-winning In the Heart of the Sea and Travels with George: In search of Washington and His Legacy

“Fact stalks fiction in this epic tale. Huzzah!”

—PETER WEIR, Academy Award-winning co-writer, producer, and director of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

“Will Sofrin takes us on an unbelievable ride on the high seas . . . I played pretend on the open ocean. Will Sofrin has lived the real experiences and survived to tell the tale.”

—DAN SHOTZ, executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning Starz series Black Sails

“So you want to go to sea, do ya? Will Sofrin takes us aboard Rose as the vessel endures storms and near calamity. After a long delivery under the glare of Hollywood lights, Sofrin tells us what it was like to sail the seas on a tall ship. This intriguing tale will inspire you to head offshore.”

—GARY JOBSON, America’s Cup Hall of Fame sailor

“A thrilling account. Readers needn’t have ever set foot on a boat to enjoy this story.”

—TRACY EDWARDS, trailblazing round-the-world sailor

 About the Author & Speaker

Will Sofrin, who grew up in Connecticut, describes himself as “the guy who didn’t follow any of the rules.” Instead of going to college after high school, he became an apprentice shipwright at the IYRS School of Technology and Trades, learning to build and restore wooden boats, and then became a professional sailor, working on yachts, logging over 30,000 blue water miles, and becoming a licensed captain. He sailed throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and both coasts of the U.S., competing in numerous sailing events such as America’s Cup Jubilee, the Prada Classic Yacht Challenge, and the 12-meter World Championships. Sofrin is a master shipwright who has taught at MIT and built boats for Billy Joel and Estée Lauder.

Today, Sofrin is a freelance writer for numerous maritime periodicals such as Classic Boat Magazine, Cruising World, Latitude 38, Ocean Navigator, Pacific Yachting, Sea History Journal, Soundings, and WoodenBoat, as well as an accomplished maritime artist. When he’s not writing, Will is doing all sorts of other cool and creative things, like designing the architecture of a home, overseeing the restoration of historic homes, designing and building furniture, or painting a wall mural. Next year, he will start construction of a cold-molded power boat for cruising off the coast of Santa Barbara, but his passion for yachting persists. He and his wife have a sailboat that they enjoy racing and using to explore the California coast with their 7-year-old daughter.

To learn more about Will Sofrin and his book and to view a trailer for his presentation, visit

About the Film

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“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 American epic period war-drama film co-written, produced and directed by Peter Weir, set during the Napoleonic Wars. The film’s plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin series, which includes 20 completed novels of Jack Aubrey’s naval career. The film stars Russell Crowe as Aubrey, a captain in the Royal Navy, and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, the ship’s surgeon.

The film was a personal project of Fox executive Tom Rothman, who recruited Weir to helm the project. Filming took place on the open sea, on replica ships in the water tanks of Baja Studios, and on the Galápagos Islands…The film was released on November 14, 2003. It was critically well received and garnered Weir the BAFTA Award for Best Direction. At the 76th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. “


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