on 17 May 2016
We stayed with Dii at her wonderful small hotel in the mountains near Ronda in Spain this April. One night in the company of this indomitably fascinating lady and I couldn't resist buying her book.
Wow,! I was just blown away by this incredible feat of making such a beautiful boat and then sailing her with two babies on board (and no engine or radio or satellite device) from Lamu to the Seychelles, to S Africa and then across the Atlantic. This is the stuff of dreams for many of us, but Di's vivid and captivating writing draws us into her reality and brings the tangle of salt water and sun and seas to every page.
I loved this book. It has inspired me to remember that in our ever more cosseted and canned world, there is always room for free spirits to breath fresh air and take the 'road less travelled' with friends. Jenny, Scotland
on 2 February 2015
Like characters in an ancient Greek drama, Rod, Di and their crew follow their destinies in a compelling, real-life adventure. I couldn't put it down.
Humour, discord, harmony and obsession are acutely observed by narrator Di. Her little girl Jojo thrives with Rod and her other 'daddies' on the beautiful sailing boat 'Mjojo'. Di has a new baby girl between voyages to jewel-like islands and little-known ports and little Lu takes to life at sea like a duckling to water. A mysterious, grumpy Dutchman joins them as they sail through calm, clear waters and ferocious storms. 'Mjojo', almost as much as Di herself and ocean voyager Rod, is the central character of the book but she, like all aboard her, has to come to terms with drastic change.
on 24 September 2014
This wonderful book is a voyage for the mind, the heart, and the senses! More than a spell-binding chronicle of adventure at sea, it is a thoughtful, heartfelt exploration of a rapidly vanishing world in which people communicate, face technical challenges, learn lessons, and create connections with each other without much help from the technology we now take for granted. Di Beach tells a fine tale, peppered with nuggets of her growing wisdom about design, construction, cross-cultural understanding, cooking, child-rearing, and, best of all, the strength and vulnerability of the human species. She is at her best as she delivers matter-of-fact accounts of astonishing tasks accomplished and unknown strengths tapped. As I closed the book on its heart-rending epilogue, all I could think was, "Oh, tell me another!"
on 28 December 2014
We've stayed at Di's lovely little hotel in Andalusia so we've met this lovely lady and eaten her wonderful food. Now we know where the inspiration for the food comes from. Also you can imagine Rod's spirit looking down and protecting her wherever he is.
It's fascinating to read these four years in her early adult life. Clearly she lived the experience but it's more than tinged with sadness that she and the love of her life couldn't reconcile a life together.
What surprised me most was how well written this amazing story is.
on 29 July 2014
This is a fantastic account of an epic journey from Africa to the UK back in the Sixties on a hand crafted boat, built by a swashbuckling young adventurer, who managed to convince his young wife Di Beach to accompany him - even with their months old baby in tow. I literally couldn't put it down, and was drawn into the heart of adventure by the author's vivid and colourful writing - especially her graphic description of life in Africa in a byegone era. And I could hear the ocean and the sounds of every port where they docked, from the Seychelles to Rio, a new and enthralling story in every exotic land. It's an absolute joy to read, but is also moving, and touched by mystery. Brilliant!
on 3 November 2014
This is a wonderful book. I loved it. You don't have to know that much about boats to be swept up in the adventure and romance of it all. It is hugely satisfying, unputdownable, intriguing. It left me both inspired and energised, conscious that life is for living. Anyone with an interest in boats, the sea, human relationships and adventure should read this. It makes you feel that anything is possible.
on 21 November 2014
This is a really well written true life adventure story with a shattering ending. Di's story takes her from innocent(ish) teen to mother of two and across continents and oceans. It is a great read, never grandiose or boastful but always seemingly down to earth and honest while communicating her long lasting fascination with the places and people she meets on her seven year voyage.
on 20 November 2014
Di Beach's book is a most exciting read of great courage and charm. The exceptional seamanship and navigational skills are coupled with the building of an ocean going yacht on the Island of Lamu.
A story of a very young family sailing from East Africa to Brazil and UK and by design without either engine or radio. A truly great account. This is compelling reading
on 27 August 2014
A beautifully written, first person account of coming of age and adventure in the 1960s, Di Beach hooks you from page one.
In this world of social media - over sharing, and living our lives constantly tethered to some sort of technology, it is such a pleasure to read about two unique people who created something of beauty and experienced parts of our world that no longer exist.
I highly recommend this book!
on 28 September 2014
The Ocean Voyager and Me, what a great book about a journey over the seas. Di Beach has written this book so well that when I picked it up to continue reading, after only a few words, I was right back on the voyage.
It is a excellent book, full of interesting characters, amazing places and funny situations.
It's definitely worth a read and not just for sailors.