At Sea on Literature

My apologies for absence last night, another £1 in the pot to Unicef, which is all good for the cause.

I have an excusable reason though, I was out at sea with Guy Grieve……metaphorically speaking. I was reading his book ‘Sea Legs’ and the quality of his prose as he described the emotions he and his family endured on their epic sailing journey was too good to miss. Like his journey in deep seas, once I was committed to a chapter I had to stay the course. At the end of every chapter you want to know if they will make it unscathed.

His description of acute seasickness was so powerful I began to feel mildly nauseous myself and I consider myself to have fairly good ‘sea legs’ but they have never been tested in the way Grieve and his family experienced. Visions of the Clooney film ‘Perfect Storm’ flashed through my head as he described his scary nights at sea. Add to that the threat of pirates, sudden depth changes, perilous coral that could cut through a hull in seconds and weather that, sods law, never quite goes your way, and you have a potent mix of irresistible peril all wrapped up in a deliciously written book.

The book will appeal to land-lubber and sailors alike.

I am no sailor, but I am the other half of a budding amateur with an 18 foot trailer sailor and I have 2 kids. I gulped at the prospect of crossing the Solent in bad weather with kids in tow but to do what these guys did, repeatedly, is stunning. The danger onshore was as high as the danger offshore and Guy is admirably honest in his account of his feelings as a skipper albeit a capable one, but very much learning on the job.

Before we bought our boat, I asked my uncle, an experienced commercial fisherman, for any advice, tips, dos and donts. Apart from the must-haves of VHF, flairs and fire-extinguishers, he just said ‘the sea is the best teacher’ – just get out there and learn.

It takes serious sized cojones to take on the sea with a young family in tow – the Grieve family didn’t let that stop them from an experience of a lifetime.

Read Sea Legs and enjoy.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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