Frank Burnaby


Frank Burnaby is a poet, traveler, sailor, and storyteller. He worked as a gifted and successful lighting designer in Los Angeles for many years. Then moving to an island in the Pacific Northwest, he devoted his time to raising his sons, writing, and to the creation of a wilderness school focused on the developmental needs of 7-13 year old children to experience nature.

As a youth, he survived his parent’s good intentions of enrolling him in military school in seventh grade where he learned to disassemble and reassemble his rifle with his eyes closed, and to pull weeds for not having a mirror shine on his shoes. For high school they sent him away to boarding school in New Jersey.

In 1969 after a stint at San Francisco State University film school, Frank boarded a freighter bound for North Africa. Hitchhiking across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, he made his way through India and South East Asia, to remote islands in Indonesia by native boat, and finally on to Hong Kong where he taught English.

Landing back in New York City he drove a taxi at night, and studied acting at Herbert Berghof Studios. He worked quickly as an actor including an offer to be a principal in a travel adventure feature film, but instead of pursuing an acting career he started a thriving vegetarian taco stand on the edge of the meat packing district.

Drawn to the sea and his own dream of sailing to a tropical wilderness, he took a job as an apprentice shipwright in a Los Angeles marina. Soon after, he set off with his soon-to-be wife, Gayle, to purchase a small vintage sailboat in England. He was 27, and she was 17. The ensuing five year voyage, eastward across the Indian Ocean, and their amazing story living on an uninhabited island changed his life forever. This is the story, Island Born.

View details at Amazon
View details at Barnes & Noble
View details at iTunes iBookstore


  1. Thanks for this wonderful write-up about an amazing adventure, this life, and what some of us have the courage to make of it! I can’t wait to read this and feel the joy and courage that it promises!

  2. Congratulations are well deserved. The journey of writing the book almost equals the journey itself. Well done! Looking forward to the read… ..

  3. Hi Frank..

    We met eons ago in Djibouti when you sailed Joya into the Indian ocean..
    As much as you had adventures and ventures obviously since those days. So had I… after a long career in yachting and sailing the world, I have now an art gallery in Italy and still work as a project manager and freelance yachtsman mainly in the south of Europe but make often forays into the US and the Caribbean.

    Let hook up and share memories.

    looking forward reading from you

    All the best


Speak Your Mind