"Fear is here for us to face, and adventure waits on the other side. "
An immersive non-fiction adventure story, "Becoming a Sailor" captures the scene as one would experience it. Readers will feel that they are sailing in the ocean on a dark and windy night, beating into a northwest wind and heavy seas while rounding Cape Canaveral. They will feel the cold water hit them in the face when waves crash into the little sailboat. They will experience the joy of a perfect day, sailing at hull-speed under bright sunshine across the open water halfway between Cuba and Florida. They will dive in the clear waters of The Bahamas and see the ancient and cavernous coral around which swim schools of blue tang, majestic queen angelfish, and the upside-down royal gramma. The reader will surf big waves in Puerto Rico, freedive into underwater caves in Florida, visit the remote Venezuelan outpost of Isla Aves, explore a huge and abandoned 1800's fort in the Florida Straits. Alligators will be encountered deep in the Okefenokee swamp. Manta rays, dolphin, sharks, Goliath grouper, and many colorful reef fish move in and out of the story.
"Becoming a Sailor" also goes into technical detail about the repairs and additions to Sobrius, a 1972 Dufour Arpege, as well as the techniques the author had to learn in order to sail singlehanded on multi-day passages.
The narrative moves back and forth in time, from the author's adventures leading up to the purchase of Sobrius to the final journey, singlehanded, from Tampa Bay to The Dry Tortugas, then Miami, and finally to St Augustine. When the author departed on this passage, he had little experience, but had done much preparation and study. Still he was not certain about many things, including his ability, the ability of the vessel, and whether or not he could sleep in 20 minute increments for three or four days at a time. All the unknowns of a first singlehanded voyage lead to a fascinating experience which is shared with vivid description of both scene and mind in this gripping tale of adventure at sea.