Book Review: Skirting the Shore: Reflections on Sailing the Great Loop, by Adrian Martin

My second read up on what’s called America’s Great Loop was this family adventure called Skirting the Shore. It was also the first book to feature a catamaran as the vessel of choice and I would have to say with a shallow draft there seem to be a lot of advantages. His book was an entertaining read and worth the low ball price point.

He set out from Maryland with his wife, son and daughter and two cats to circle the loop clock-wise. I find it fascinating to read peoples journeys as they deal with weather, pets and kids. Each adventure is different from the others. Adrian is a fair writer, but seemed to improve as their story moved along. They even take a side trip to the Bahamas that was a very different look than the ones I have seen.

This was also the first family oriented read on a boat in a while and the struggles of home schooling are addressed often. It seems that it can work on a boat, as it has for many families in the past, and I paid attention to this as my daughter is still young. It eventually lead me to read about the Donnelly’s adventure going on right now on SV Serenity, again a catamaran.

These journals are, like the circumnavigating books I have read, a completely new world of words and experiences. I am a hiker by nature and adventures like the Martin’s are a different take on what you can do to make life more interesting.

I recommend his book, check it out on Amazon.com.

Keep writing, and reading, and while you’re at it-having adventures!

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Impunity in the Pacific, A Book Review

Mary Trimble showed us how interesting and scary sailing can be in her wonderful Pacific adventure Sailing with Impunity: Adventure in the South Pacific. Vivid details, compelling moments and honest prose fill her book with an adventure we all might want to take.

Starting out from Seattle in 1988-89 Mary and Bruce head out to do a circumnavigation after selling their house, buying a boat and kissing their family good-bye. They settle for an extended stay in the South Pacific and their adventures are a fun read in this well crafted book.

Mary is honest to a pointed edge at times, while being interested in everything. Stories of hikes, a typhoon, an emergency and other yatchies makes her book full of color and life.

I recommend this book even if it is a pre-GPS, Bruce go get the sextant, sort of adventure. I actually found this much more interesting at times than today’s reliance on technological everything. Please check it out!

Keep writing.

Reading His Dream: Book Review for Dick Allan

Dick Allan’s adventure sailing book was a long read, almost as long as circumnavigating! No, but it did have a lot of bang for the buck. His book is Sailing My Dream: A Voyage Around the World in a Small Sailing Boat.

Allan and crew aboard the SV Greylag join a Tour Winds group setting off from Gibraltar and clocking West across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, across the Pacific through Tahiti and Looping up along Australia, then across to Thailand, Sri Lanka and around to Oman. Through the Suez Canal, the Med and then unexpectedly taking the canals through France. The French leg (no not a type of chair) through the canals is a refreshing shift from the daily sea squalls, depth soundings and rolling anchorages.

Allan’s style is simple and full of detail, though can be for some readers unfamiliar with the genre a bit repetitive. Overall he did a great job and it was an interesting journey back in 1996-7. Now I just need to find something newer!

Keep writing.

Tales of Luna-C

The story of Steve and Beverly is one that has probably happened to many. They got a boat and sailed through the Caribbean. What makes this different is how the story is told and Steve is an excellent writer!

It’s the delivery that makes the difference in writing (believe me I know!) and Steve did an excellent job tell his tail in a frank, funny and self-deprecating manner that stuck in my mind after reading.

I got it for only .99 cents on Kindle and it was well worth the price. At times shocking, other times hilarious, once in a while relevant, Steve’s book should be priced higher, honestly.

One of the reviewers on Amazon said it was written like a collection of bar stories, but I would have to disagree with that idea. Sure people can weave a good tale while on a stool, but Steve tells it like a writer should and brings out the details that hit you like a well timed joke should.

I recommend this read for anyone interested in sailing and especially south to the Bahamas and beyond. Bev and Steve’s adventure shows what some cruisers lives are like, what the dangers can be and what can happen if you eat peanuts. A great read that made me laugh!

Keep writing, Steve!

Sailing Adventure Book Review: This Is It: 2 hemispheres, 2 people and 1 boat

After just finishing Jackie Parry‘s book of adventure across the Pacific I feel it was a tough journey! The storms, the sights and the people made the voyage interesting as well as informative. This book is popular on Amazon Kindle and it’s not hard to see why.

Named after the Micheal Jackson movie they watched shortly before leaving San Francisco in their new-to-them boat SV Pyewacket II, the two tackle a big ocean. It was interesting hearing all of the places they went to along the way.

I wish there was more intimate detail in the description of people, but Jackie is a great writer and to write this seems a bit misleading. She gives great detail. Maybe what I mean is if she could have given more personal stories of conversations and places it would have felt intimate, but again it was a good read.

If you are looking for an adventure to far off land by a sail boat then this is one of the books for you.

Keep reading.

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Around the World in Six Years: A Review of Henry Holt’s Sailing Adventure Book

Henry Holt’s adventures aboard his Island Packet boat Chyka (Russian for seagull) is an interesting collection of the highs and lows of his 6 year journey. A man who set out in his late 60’s to do a circumnavigation solo he is an inspiration reminding us that you can do it at any age, even after suffering injury.

He survived the great tsunami in Thailand, storms at sea, dangerous reefs, a rogue wave and many other dangers while also enjoying some of the most exotic places the world has to offer.

Along the way he finds confidence, romance and the green flash. If you don’t know that last one, then I recommend you get a copy of his book and find out.

One thing that was interesting about Mr. Holt was his ability to speak German and French, with his mixture of Spanglish. There are a lot of German sailors out there and his ability to communicate with them, I think, make a big impact on his journey. He now lives on Paradise Island with his wife, but you’ll have to read how he got there to understand the amazing journey he undertook. A great read.

Keep reading!

Keep adventuring!

Keep writing.

Around the World in Six Years, My Mostly Solo Circumnavigation in a 35 Foot Sailboat

By Henry Holt

Halloween Party, an Out of Season Review!

This was one of those books I started in mid-February, but that I did not expect to be as good as it turned out to be. My last review, of The Mystery of the Blue Train, was published in 1928-but this book was published in 1969! One major difference is seeing Agatha clearly have most of her characters lament the facts of rising murder and crime in Briton during that time. The fact that human life was treated so sadly comes out on every other page, showing she too was getting fed up with the senselessness of a culture in upheaval at the time.

This book is a deep one, pulling on Biblical, psychological and headlines of the times. It also dealt with the feeling of “there’s no place safe” problem a country feels when troubles pop up outside of the cities. Beauty and betrayal are also undercurrents. She also referenced enough Greek myths to make me curious as to why I have never learned any of them!

If you’re looking for a read that will ask deep questions and deal a dose of death then Halloween Party is for you, no matter what the season. Any season for Agatha!

Keep reading.

The Mystery of Blue Train: Another Agatha Review

It was another ride on another train, oh Agatha and trains is like Spielberg and bicycles! Well it was a good ride, with good characters and interesting twists. The mysterious Comte de la Roche trying to mess everything up. The dancer, the war vet, the rebel, the dead wife, the enigmatic M. Papopolous and his daughter. Then there is the mysterious Marque. All ties together in such a way that you find yourself turning in every other direction. It was also the first novel in which Agatha used supernatural aspects to deliver a twist. Her writing style incorporated more variety and it was a fun read!

You might also be hard pressed to read a book first published in 1928 that reads like a modern thriller! The Mystery of the Blue Train.

Keep reading!

The Cards, it was more than a book for me….

The Cards was an experience more than a writing exercise really, when I think about it now. It was my second novel and it is full of things that are more like myself than any other book I have written to date. That is what made it so different than my other novels, and my blog-book Killing the Paper Tiger, which shows me editing through that particular book before publishing.

Anyway, as I write in every different direction right now, I am surprised how focused I had been and how hard that focus comes to me now. So I write in order to get a bit of that focus back.

If you want to try something new, try The Cards.

Keep writing.

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