Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Flirting with Mermaids by John Kretschmer

First line: I make landfalls for a living.

From the back cover: In the course of twenty years of delivering sailboats to far-flung quaysides, John Kretschmer has had innumerable adventures, both humorous and terrifying. In Flirting with Mermaids, he recounts the most memorable of them.

He crosses the Western Carribean with a crew of eccentric Swedes researching ancient Mayan mariners, lands in Aden at the outbreak of civil war, and endures a North Atlantic crossing during which he discovers the existence of Force 13 winds. Approaching Japan at the end of a particularly trying delivery, he finds himself sailing in "a high impact debris zone," but his resolve is unshaken. "If a piece of rocketship jetsam fell out of the sky and sank [me] after encounters with Hurricane Floyd, General Noriega, a tsunami, an erupting volcano, and Typhoon Roy, then it was meant to be."

My thoughts: This was the selection for my book club for our October meeting. When I first heard that this was the book, I figured it would be a book that I wouldn't like and would have trouble getting through it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I did enjoy it. Maybe because of the adventure that John constantly finds himself in or maybe because my husband and I just bought a big boat and might take a few long trips on it, either way, I was hooked when I was reading it. Now I have to admit that I am not a sailor...I've done one trip on our new boat so far, but it is really my husband that is in love with boats. He has been sailing since he was little and would live on a boat if he could.

In Flirting with Mermaids, John blends his stories together in a very clever way that causes the book to be entertaining and somewhat humorous. At times, I was a bit confused because I am not up to speed on all the terminology of boating, but I was able to get the main gist of what was happening. He tells about his adventures, risks and pit falls of sailing to distant ports in an unfamiliar boat. He does this with candor and all the while, he is filling in his new wife with the history of his trips.

If you enjoy boating or just reading about the adventures of others, give this book a try!

(I purchased this book.)

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