Sunday 14 February 2021


Finished February 10
Uncharted: A Couple's Epic Empty-Nest Adventure Sailing From One Life to Another by Kim Brown Seely

This memoir is told by a woman in her forties. In 2009, her husband convinced her that they should buy a sailboat that had been repossessed by a bank and was therefore a pretty good deal. They's talked about buying a sailboat, but this 54 foot Moody needed work and was in Rhode Island while they lived in Seattle, and thus would need to be moved across the country. They bought it and her husband Jeff, who had some sailing experience in his youth worked to get Kim and their two tween and teen sons competent sailors. While this book is about one specific sailing trip they took when their youngest left for college, it is also about the experience of having one's children move into adulthood by leaving, and about the way the relationship between a couple changes over time.
Partway through this particular trip, the couple's sons join them for a week, flying in to meet them by float plane. The whole family then docks the boat, locks it up and goes back home, with their older son heading back to his internship in San Francisco, and the couple flying east with their youngest to take him to college in northern New York State. 
There were definitely things that were foreign to me, besides sailing. I can't imagine my parents escorting me to university, or there being so much crying about me setting off on my own adult adventure, but maybe mine hid it well. I found the sailing well described, so that even a complete novice like me could understand, but not full of technical stuff that would bore the reader. 
It was the trip that fascinated me, leaving Seattle, and soon sailing into Canada, along the edge of Vancouver Island and the mainland, and up the Inside Passage to the Great Bear Rainforest. 
There are four pages of maps in the front of the book that show their journey, and they are better marked than other such books that I've read in terms of naming waterways and islands, but there were still a few that were named in the text, but not indicated on the maps. This is a pet peeve of mine. 
The journey was full of wonder at the nature and people that they encountered, and Seely really gave a sense of the feeling and ambience of the days. 
Also fun was that there was a lot of references to music, as they used an iPod for background, company, and mood. 
Seely is an award-winning journalist and the quality of the writing here shows that. I really enjoyed this book, and its setting was of great interest to me. 

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