All the way through the book I was thinking that it was something in the nature of the medieval Peregrinatio, the pilgrimage undertaken towards the end of a career as much for its own sake as to reach some holy city..Curiously not long before your book arrived I had been reading William Wey's account of his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. Nothing ever changes. He got to Plymouth on 1st April 1456 and then had to wait till 17th May before they could set sail! No doubt they had a succession of South Westerlies, or who knows, trolls even. I believe this idea is well rooted in Hindu culture as well.
The other thing I particularly valued about the book was that you described cruising as it really is: when it's good it's very very good, and when it's bad it's horrid. People who've never done it don't understand this. People see the palm trees and the crystal waters, but they don't begin to understand the skill and effort required to stay safely on top of those crystal waters. Most sailing books woefully underplay this, and to the extent that the Great Storm Chapter is required the subtext is always what supermen the author and his crew were to be able to cope with it. I think yours is the first cruising book I've ever read where the author had the courage to admit that he wanted to turn back because this wasn't being fun any more. Yet I don't believe there is a single yachtie who hasn't felt that at one time or another.
And, of course, you prove the sense of the old adage: if you find a good crew, marry her! Or
him I suppose one has to say these days.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Peter Bonsey: An Experienced Cruiser Comments
Peter and Sylvia Bonsey are experienced cruisers with a double crossing of the Atlantic behind them. Peter recently made two comments about Sailing Away from Winter which particularly pleased me. Here they are: