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on 3 March 2009
This book should provide inspiration to anyone that seeks out a cruising lifestyle founded upon acceptance that life is about the journey and not the destination. It also demonstrates unequivocally that in the end, it is the absolute will to go, rather than any other aspect that drives cruising adventurers out into the vast expanse of our seas and oceans, seeking attainment of adventure, lifestyle and finding out who exactly they are.
It is not having the boat perfectly ready, it is not waiting to have sufficient funds, it is not about having everything in absolute order - it is purely the will to join in on the adventure of life and embrace the randomness of it all that this book illustrates. The author writes in an easy to read style that conveys a real sense of the reader accompanying Maamari as part of her `virtual' crew as she sails in, around and across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond, meeting the people, places and cultures in a varied kaleidoscope that makes up planet earth and epitomises the cruising lifestyle.
You are taken on the journey and grow to understand and participate in the highs and lows, fears and uncertainties, frustrations and celebrations of both cruising and everyday life, which are articulated with clarity, description and feeling. `Human-ness' permeates this wonderful story and travel log from beginning to end.
Several paragraphs stand out like shining beacons that show a little glimpse of the real depth of lifestyle that this family pursue, away from today's pervasive pollutant of western culture consumerism, acquisition and greed that is founded upon the insatiable appetite for materialism. This book describes where enjoyment of life's natural and rich wonders are appreciated from sunsets to storms, from people and cultures, and where real wealth is created and harvested - in one's soul - and in having the greatest gift of having time, the very essence and lifeblood of gracious living and exploration, woven into and at, the speed and natural cycle of life. Time to be with one another for them both as a couple, and as skipper and mate, and time to foster their family in a real and tangible education of life. They have successfully removed themselves from the `gravy train' which can never be caught, and I marvel at their endeavours and their success as a family which radiates from this manuscript. Rarely can we find a family that remain self sufficient and simultaneously fostering all that remains best in life. When things do go wrong, they are met squarely with determination and perseverance, two omnipotent factors that feature throughout their story from beginning to end.
To cruise and then create and grow a family `en route' is a fabulous testament to what these particular parents have achieved whilst all the time never giving up on pursuit of their dream. They say that if you do not have a dream that changes you - then it's not big enough! Here, through this story, we observe how igniting the original cruising dream now permits it to continues through each member of the Dickin Schinas family.........what a beautiful legacy.
A great read for both sailors, non sailors and for real or `armchair' sailors alike.
Value is measured in experiences far more than price and the reading of this book provides an experience to the reader far above any fiscal measure.
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on 17 November 2009
Just a quick note on a great read. Following Maamari's crew on their voyages from the snug comfort of my sitting room and bravely resisting the temptation to peek into the last chapter, I had the permanent feeling of wishing that I could have been there with them.

A pleasant break from reading fictional sea adventure stories, as the author (authoress?) narrates the daily events in a natural style and a breath of fresh - sea - air from the complex heavy literature that we're all suppposed to be reading if we have the time.

All in all, a pleasant read, and a harmless exercise in self-discipline to see if you can resist the temptation to peep into that last chapter. But a word of warning: once you're there, you won't be able to put the book down till you reach the end. Looking forward to the sequel.
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on 17 December 2012
More than just a travel blog as some of these are prone to be. Well written in an easy reading prose yet conveys what it is really like to cruise long distance and visit far away places.
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