A charming memoir of how an Australian woman with a neurotic fear of the ocean set sail across the Pacific with her Argentinian lover.
Graphic artist DeRoche came to San Francisco from Melbourne to accomplish three things within a period of one year: “leave [her] comfort zone, work in a foreign city [and] enjoy some uninhibited fun.” A few months after she arrived, she found herself head over heels in love with Ivan, an Argentinian man she met in a bar. Tall and handsome and, as she found out later, hopelessly clumsy, Ivan had plans to sail his small boat, Amazing Grace, around the world the following year. DeRoche loved that Ivan could dream big, but she hated the ocean and all the “creepy crawly wet things.” For almost half a year, Ivan tried to persuade her to come with him, while the author looked for every possible way that the trip could go wrong. Afraid of dying at sea, but even more afraid of losing the man she realized was the love of her life, she took the plunge and traveled with Ivan “into oblivion.” They sailed to the Marquesas, Society and Cook islands, where they encountered bewitching tropical landscapes, generous natives and other “ocean gypsies” like themselves. But bad storms, equipment failure and leaks that almost sank the Amazing Grace caused DeRoche to finally abandon the voyage in Tonga and leave Ivan to finish the journey alone. The ending to this love story is still a happy one, though, since, once apart, both realized that a life spent testing limits together was the best adventure of all.
A funny, irresistibly offbeat tale about the risks and rewards of living, and loving, with an open heart.