If you dream or plan to sail off into the blue, you will learn from this book. A great read. — Sir Chay Blyth
We dreamed for years of crossing an ocean. Then we did it in a blue boat called Scarlet.
A book of many voyages, this account of crossing the Atlantic is much more than a book about sailing. As one reviewers says, ‘It is an endearing human story of a family battling to survive, physically and emotionally.’
There is the meandering trail of nights spent on the internet and trips across the globe hunting for the perfect boat for blue water sailing and for crossing oceans. There is the preparation – stalled in a sweltering American boatyard - while arguments about equipment and finance combine with the narrowing of the hurricane window. There is the crossing itself which starts with the wrong weather, broken boat parts, torn sails, serious leaks and a very seasick crew as Scarlet gets blown off course in unkind seas.
Male and female monologues form the internal voyages. The skipper’s thoughts range from the challenges of fitting a wind vane to almost losing an arm in a tangled genoa to the navigational system of the Puluwat Islanders. His wife describes diminishing food supplies, the damp, bruises, blue eggs, jellyfish and her anxiety about the deteriorating health of her son who, suffering from ME, should not have been persuaded to go with them.
External and internal journeys criss-cross as Scarlet sails on across 3000 miles of ocean. She would have told a different story.
Lynn Michell has published 14 books with HarperCollins, Longman and The Women’s Press. They include a writing scheme for schools, an account of life with ME and two books about mothering adolescents with The Women’s Press, one of which received massive media attention and was translated into several languages. Her debut novel, White Lies, was runner up for Scotland’s Robert Louis Stevenson award, and has received rave reviews. Her second novel is being published in 2015 by Inspired Quill. A third novel is in preparation.
Stefan Gregory fell in love with boats at the age of four while dangling his head over the side of a skiff. He is an experienced sailor who has voyaged eventfully with Lynn off the North Wales coast, in Majorca, Croatia and the Caribbean. This was his first ocean crossing. In his day job, he pursues equally dangerous philosophical theories.