The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Love With A Chance of Drowning

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Keeping myself in books is a fulltime job even though I don’t discriminate between eBooks and regular books—it’s all good. Mysteries, biographies, non-fiction, travel writing, the occasional novel—I read them all.

My obsession with books is okay when I stick to the swap and sell-off quick tables, but whenever I enter a bookstore with a credit card in my wallet, John gets nervous. With justification.

A few weeks ago we were in Halifax running errands and, while I was waiting for John, I just happened to end up at this great independent bookstore. And that’s where I found Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche. Well, there was no way I was walking out without that book (along with a few more).

If you don’t mind a bit of rough language and quite a lot of personal information, this book is a great read. It’s the true story of an Australian woman and Argentinian man who meet up in California. He’s a sailor and she is mortally terrified of deep water. They fall in love a few months before he’s set to sail around the world. What’s a woman to do? Well, Torre hops aboard and the journey begins.

Unfortunately, her lover has some sailing experience but is not so good at the maintenance part of voyaging, which does lead to some exciting and avoidable adventures. And Torre goes catatonic when scared, which she is a lot when offshore. But together they manage to get to Tonga.

I must say that I could relate to Torre’s story in some ways. I also jumped aboard a boat without knowing a thing about sailing and took off on a 5-day early spring delivery to Maine. I also suffer a lot from anxiety, which can be quite wearing on John at times, as I look for reassurance.

However, there are also a lot of differences between our stories. For one thing, I got on board Morgan’s Cloud for the sailing, not for the guy. That came later. I also went sailing with someone with a vast amount of experience and a dedication to maintaining his boat at a high standard, which really limits the mayhem. And, though I am a poster girl for Anticipation Anxiety, I tend to cope well when the going actually does get rough, rather than keel over like a myotonic goat as Torre admits to doing.

So, if you want a light, funny, heart-warming read, this just might be for you (John enjoyed it too). It also just might solve the what-should-I-buy-so-and-so-for-Christmas problem.

And it’s another story that supports what Mark Twain so famously wrote:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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