Most people at some point long to escape - from the weather, the commute, the routine. Sailing off in a 40-foot boat called Voyager comes at a price, however. Indeed, for David and Sandra Clayton it meant selling their house and possessions with a lifetime's collection of memories and emotions attached to them. But the result proved life-enhancing.
With her eye for detail and vivid descriptions, Sandra carries the listener with her through some of the Mediterranean's loveliest islands. Charmed by tranquil anchorages, ancient harbours and the people they meet, they also develop a fascination with the sea and its wildlife. And, whilst questioning the things we value and the nature of happiness, this book reveals the growing and sometimes amusing inter-dependence of two people alone at sea.
This is the sequel to the popular Dolphins under my Bed, which charted Sandra and David's first long journey: a 2,000-mile voyage from England, down the Atlantic coast and into the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
but I'd suggest reading "Dolphins" first to get to know the Claytons; if you liked that one, you'll enjoy this one, too. As for what to expect: an hour or so of pre-trip talk (which I found a bit lengthy), and then they leave the Balearic Islands for Sardinia. At that point, they decide to head back towards Gibraltar, rather than moving further east, so they explore the Balearics in greater detail (they were there in the first book), hit mainland Spain, and then Gibraltar, where they're confined for a while for mechanical repairs resulting from the wake of a huge pleasure craft swamping the inside of their boat earlier. After Gibraltar, they hear head out to the Canary Islands for the final leg, where things get a bit spooky a couple of times.
I've seen readers say that Sandra seems negative, and I understand where they're coming from as things do go wrong regularly for them. However, I feel she's more balanced on the whole, with lots of mention of beautiful places, friendly locals and fellow boaters, etc. To be fair, yachting in itself does attract the self-indulgent rich, and the nouveau riche aren't exactly known for their concern for others.
I didn't think I'd be interested in reading their third book on their trip from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, but now I would, although I'd strongly prefer an audio version if possible. Pamela Garelick does a good job with the stories.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
A worthy successor to the first book, this one covers the fraught process of selling their UK home and their passage out of the Mediterranean. Although not intended as a cruising guide, one suspects the writer's observations on the character of people and places visited would prove accurate and helpful information for other travelers.