“It was the best of dreams, it was the worst of dreams, it was an age of consulting the nautical experts, it was the age of landlubber foolishness, it was the epoch of determination, it was the epoch of despair, it was the season of hurricanes, it was a spring of beachcombing…”
If you dream about chucking it all away and sailing toward an island life, read this firstRenee and Michael didn’t have any boating experience and when their plans to remedy that fell through the two had to learn everything the hard way. Despite themselves they managed to get from Miami to Grenada, eventually dropping the anchor of their cruising catamaran at the island of their dreams. Determined to save future sailors from themselves, A Sail of Two Idiots includes lessons Renee and Michael learned and shares them with you as examples of what and what not to do. This a how-to guide wrapped in a funny story—kind of like getting your serving of vegetables from a slice of pizza. Read this and make your dream of sailing away a reality. Includes:
- “What Broke?” sections explores the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of a cruising multihull
- "Island” section provide assessments of the islands of the Caribbean
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are anchorages throughout the tropics strewn with abandoned hulls once intended to fulfill the dreams of escaping life and sailing away to paradise. It's a common mid-life initiative which often ends in sorrow, disappointment and a lasting depression. A Sail Of Two Idiots is the factual tale of a couple who sold everything, bought a boat and went in search of their ideal Caribbean island. If you are looking for a deep technical manual or a romantic adventure through the Bahamas and the Lesser Antilles, this is not it. This is the log of two people who, with no real seamanship skills and very little idea of what lay ahead, pushed forward with an uncommon persistence. The writer's voice is one of the strengths of this book. There is no pretention; no angelic prose; no hyperbolic description. There is what was seen with the eye, deduced by the mind and felt in the gut. It is an inspirational book without the attempt to get you to correct some character deficiency. While I am familiar with the area, the islands and the sea around them, this would have been an even better book with accompanying graphics such as track charts and outlines of islands and anchorages. Professional mariners reading this book will likely be horrified. The thought that two people with so little skill and knowledge could attempt something so difficult would have a tendency to send shivers down the spine of a bona fide sea captain. But that makes it useful to the pro as well. This is what people are doing. We share the sea-space with them and whether any of us agree with it or not, this book tells the professional to stay on one's professional toes. And from a professional standpoint, the 100 plus tips offered by the author are solid reminders to all of us, seasoned and novice, that we must be constantly vigilant of our surroundings. In professional terms we call it situational awareness; to the recreational boater pursuing "the dream" it is the everyday challenges faced in trying to live in a 37 foot boat. A Sail Of Two Idiots is a perfect first book for those who are lying awake thinking of dropping out of the rat-race and sailing off to "paradise". It identifies the many challenges without presuming the reader has prior sailing knowledge and then provides encouragement. The author never moves into elitist ground so common in many cruising logs. She remains throughout, self-deprecating and humble, and joyously proud of each accomplishment. There are times when I felt like cheering as they crossed each small hurdle. There is some modicum of "Christopher Columbus" in this book. They went with all the knowledge they had, (very little), into a vast unknown for them. And they discovered and learned and got better at everything they did. A Sail Of Two Idiots is an easy and fast read. If you're planning to sail into the Caribbean make sure to read all the "tips". And, if you're dreaming and coming close to actually doing it, read the whole book before you read any others. To the professionals and salty old cruisers who think they live in a different world, well, read the chapter 9. Who hasn't had an anchoring fiasco? This is a great primer for the dreamers contemplating the jump and a fun read for anyone wanting to get a glimpse of a Caribbean cruising couple.
This was a fun read, not extremely informative, but enjoyable.
An interesting combination of practical sailing knowledge, and honest look at what it’s like to live aboard a sailboat and funny stories about their time afloat, ‘Idiots’ is part manual part memoir. After reading several stories about people selling all their stuff and sailing south I was ready, but this book give a good look at what it’s really like and is a real eye opener for anyone who’s thinking of trying out the lifestyle. A well written, funny and informative book for the sailor or wanna-be sailor!