797.1 Fac (c2018)


Sarah P’s comments: I’m back from the deep and yes, it’s because of a book. I fell away from writing this blog not because of time or disinterest but because I stopped believing in myself. I saw no way forward to the place where I want to be: sailing and cruising and a life on the water. Feeling this way, it was too upsetting to read my normal sailing books and instead I wandered around the fiction section of the library feeling lost. I was definitely washed up on a ledge and feeling pounded to pieces.

I drifted into summer. The boat swung on the mooring, every day sunny with a perfect breeze. I would row out, clean, polish, and lie on the settee, feeling sad. Why didn’t I go sailing? Because I can’t take the boat out myself. What if something happened? It would not be ‘prudent’ to take this risk. I needed to wait for the return of my always-away merchant marine husband who was also making noises about buying a tractor and becoming a dirt dweller.

Then, in that mysteriously serendipitous internet way, a magazine called SisterShip appeared in one of my searches. Intrigued by the name, I bought an online copy and began reading about women sailors of all types. I flipped a page and there appeared the cover of the book: Facing Fear Head On. And I knew, exactly in that moment, the answer to my problem. I was afraid to take the boat out alone.

Well, duh. But it had been hidden from me because I wasn’t a new sailor who would expect to be afraid. Get this…I grew up sailing, worked on a windjammer (as a cook), have sailed to Canada, down to Florida and back. We have owned our catamaran for seven years and I am the Captain (my husband is the Chief Engineer). I know, I know…how could I possibly be afraid? But I was.

I ordered the book. I rowed out to the boat, lay on the settee, and read every story in it. And thought of the quote from Chicken Run, one of my all-time favorite movies, “Fowler, you have to fly it. You’re always talking about back in your day, well, TODAY is your day!”

I decided I could do it. Then I decided I would do it; take the boat out alone…

Now if that isn’t a good review for a book, I don’t know what is. I’m not saying it’s deep literature but the stories are real, written by real women sailors, and I’m sharing this title because it helped get me off my mooring and I hope it will get you off yours too.




912 Jen (c2011)

Sarah P’s comments:  It is deep winter so I am deviating from my usual water path. While in my favorite 910.4 section, my eye wandered to the 912’s and fell upon this odd book. Everything you wanted to know (or not) about maps and people who love looking at them. I admit I am one. It’s a strangely fascinating read from a strangely fascinating guy who also happens to be a good writer. The only negative is he never mentions charts! I will have to write him…how can you write a whole book about maps and never discuss maps of water???

Maps give us a sense of place and stability and origin that we otherwise lack.’

‘Falling in love with places is just like falling in love with people; it can happen more than once, but never quite like your first time.’

Almost every map…will show us two kinds of places: places where we’ve been and places we’ve never been…We can understand, at a glance, our place in the universe, our potential to go and see new things, and the way to get back home afterward.’


F Tol (c2017)

Sarah P’s comments:  This blog mainly focuses on true, non-fiction sailing tales. Not because I don’t like sailing fiction but because, other than the classics (Moby Dick, Captains Courageous, etc.), I haven’t found much current stuff worthy of reading. This book is exceptional in the way that this author captures the ‘feel’ of sailing and water; both river and sea.

Song of the Current coverBOOK TRAILER

Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

“Caro’s description of her boat home, the Cormorant, will make even readers unfamiliar with sailing feel as though they belong on the water with her. Tolcser blends the right amount of epic fantasy, sea voyage, and romance for a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure. – Kirkus (starred review)

Favorite Quotes:

A fair day with a fresh wind has a magic all its own.

To a captain, a ship is more than just something that carries cargo from place to place…you understand the life in her, and it calls out to you…

In spite of everything, my heavy mood lifted as the wind filled Cormorant’s sail.

From the author:

To go forward, sometimes you have to go back. I went back to the folk songs and the sailing adventures I loved, the ones that inspired a girl with dreams of being a pirate.

Map Song of the Current

WaterBug letters