Proving that sailing is not just the husband's pursuit, this charming narrative of one couple's first long distance voyage is told from the wife's perspective. Writing in a lively, humorous way, Sandra Clayton gives an entertaining account of her and husband David's maiden cruise from the UK, down the Atlantic coast and into the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Conscious that old age or poor health could prevent them from sailing away for much longer, they left the world of work behind to chase their dream of adventure. Conditions are sometimes maddening, occasionally dangerous, but frequently magical.
Marine creatures enchant their days while ships that pass in the night add a touch of romance.
But the book is far more than just the story of the Claytons' 2,000-mile trip. Somewhat unprepared for what faced them on the way, they had to learn from their own mistakes, finding themselves in places and situations where they never expected to be. The book has plenty to offer those who might consider embarking on a similar voyage of their own: Learn how the Claytons did it, which route they took, the beautiful locations they visited, who they met along the way, and their good decisions as well as their bad. A great bunkside read, it may inspire others to make a similar break themselves.
©2011 Sandra Clayton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Clayton has been accused of "whinging" in other reviews, but I felt that she was presenting the many times that things went wrong as humorous. She has plenty of nice things to say about the people and places she encounters, while the actual sailing mishaps have to do with being rookies at the game. One aspect that I did find dated concerned their mad hunts for accurate weather forecasts, where today a smartphone would work fine. Bear in mind their trip was over a decade ago, reconstructed (quite well) from her notes.
Pamela Garelick's narration works so well that I had to remember it wasn't Sandra herself telling the story directly to the listener. I'm looking forward to hearing the sequel.
"most realistic sailing book so far"
Written with a normality unusual for sailing books. No hype and little action, just subtle English humour and observation. Must buy a yacht.
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