Love with a Chance of Drowning By Torre DeRoche
Love can make a person do crazy things…..
Published by: Summersdale (1 July 2013)
Sailing virgins should look away now. If any new Lovesail members are planning to pop their sailing cherry and fancy some nautical inspiration, this is not the book for you. The clue is in the title. Drowning. The D-word – every sailor’s nightmare. It was certainly Torre DeRoche’s enduring terror and she never seemed to quite get over it. It is also evident she never really took to the sport. Even at the end of the book she is still hilariously referring to the galley as ‘the kitchen’ and to the heads as ‘the bathroom’.
Torre tells how as a young Australian city girl she found herself sailing the Pacific on a battered, leaking boat, with Ivan, an Argentinian she had met during a drunken evening in a bar in San Francisco. A one-night stand led to a passionate love affair and the charismatic, but stubborn and bloody-minded, adventurer persuades Torre that she should join him on a month-long voyage across the Pacific from the US to Australia.
Despite the benefit of 22 years on the water including a transat and other ocean sailings, as well as a love of the reckless and adventurous – I still found myself with a racing heart and anxiety-induced deja vu reading about their escapades and scrapes. At the same time, I yearned to see the beautiful and remote places they visited, some so remote and unheard of I had to Google them. Evocative-sounding locations like Hiva Oa, Tuamoto and Huahine. I could have done with a nautical chart and coloured pins to track their journey.
The pair enjoyed spiritually uplifting star-spangled nights at sea, days on remote islands making friends with the locals as well as some truly horrendous days at sea. Torre was continually seasick, the boat sprang leaks and gear broke, and they constantly miscalculated the weather with devastating effects. There were many times, too, when, if I were Torre, I would have pushed the arrogant, obsessive Ivan over the side. The book also highlights the challenges of spending day after day with another person in a space the size of a large washing machine permanently on spin cycle. I have spent enough days at sea in floating broom cupboards to know the challenges to ANY relationship of close-quarters living. Torre did it all for love. You will have to read the book to see if the couple survived the challenge.
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