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Charting the Unknown: Family, Fear, and One Long Boat Ride Paperback – July 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Behler Publications (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933016639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933016634
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Charting the Unknown shows what is possible when you are prepared to step out of the imagined security of a suburban existence.  This is not only a journey of the oceans, but a journey of the heart. --Suzanna Clarke - author of A House in Fez

About the Author

Kim Petersen: Kim Petersen has been published in Living Aboard and Southern Boating and has kept a consistent and well visited blog. She is a speaker and Certified Professional Life Coach, helping others move beyond fear to accomplish their dreams. Kim continues to live aboard Chrysalis with her family where she is working on a second book about their pilgrimage through the Mediterranean including Morocco, Spain, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and the Red Sea.


More About the Author

Kim Petersen has been published in Living Aboard, Multihull Quarterly and Southern Boating and has appeared on several Television shows including Lifetime Television's The Balancing Act and Fox News. She is a speaker and a Professional Life Coach, helping others move beyond fear to accomplish their dreams. Her memoir Charting the Unknown: Family, Fear, and One Long Boat Ride was released through Behler Publications in July 2010.
Kim still lives aboard Chrysalis in Florida along with her husband, son, and Cavalier Spaniel, Skipper. She is working on a second book about their pilgrimage as a family through the Mediterranean including Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, Egypt, and the Red Sea.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
Mike and Kim!
samantha dubois
I thought I'd just read one chapter at a time, but then found myself reading more and more because I wanted to see what happened.
mrs bookworm
The author shares deeply of her personal thoughts and feelings.
---- Neil H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Bricker on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I saw Kim Petersen speak at a writers group meeting and wasn't sure what to expect. I lived on a boat for 15 years, sailed across the Atlantic myself, and I find most of the "voyaging" literature out there to be pseudo-motivational, feel-good, smiley-faced fluff, much of it written by people who attempt to inspire by posing as heroes who have successfully slain their dragons. In the case of Charting The Unknown, I was pleasantly surprised.

Kim Petersen offers a refreshing and very personal chronicle of her family. After losing an infant daughter to SIDs, Kim and Mike grieve, recover and have two more healthy children. Still, the natural, lingering concern that something can suddenly go dramatically wrong haunts her. The discovery of a "bucket list" they drew up on a lark as a young couple back in college days reintroduces some outrageous, youthful dreams into their fairly conventional existence. Pretty soon, there's a boat in their lives and everything changes dramatically. After building the boat up from an empty hull, a trip to the Bahamas leads to a trip across the Atlantic.

Instead of writing as a seasoned salt, Petersen tackles the nautical lexicon by bringing the reader aboard along with her as a novice unfamiliar with the many named parts of a vessel. It adds a note of levity to the writing and helps the reader identify more easily with the sense of disorientation brought on by being thrust into such an utterly different environment.

I broke away from the mainstream when I was 18, much younger than Kim was when she and her family left on their journeys. It was interesting to read "the voyaging story" from the perspective of someone who had already invested a great deal in houses, kids, etc. and was able to put conventional life aside to try something new.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic reader on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Charting the Unknown is a novel of letting go of everything except that which has true value. The building of the Chrysalis(yacht) and sailing across the Atlantic is more than a metaphor for a woman and her family's journey to love and interdependence. Kim Petersen writes with humor, insight and compelling honesty of her confrontation with and successful submission of "FEAR", how that psychological entity had shaped her life and what the freedom from fear brought..

There is much that Petersen writes about herself, family and their lives that is universal. Love and relationships come not with just words but with ongoing demonstration of responsibility, fair negotiation, commitment, shared joy and constancy. What better (or worse) situation for bonding than learning and living on a boat crossing the Atlantic. After reading her experiences, I came away with the notion that if you truly want to live LIFE, your own life, you need to dredge up your fears again and again, constantly confronting and challenging until you finally know the fear is you. As Petersen cautions, knowledge of your fear doesn't change it. The knowledge just let's you know you need to pull up your socks and do what it takes to show yourself what your capabilities are. There is no fault in failing, only in not allowing yourself the opportunity to pursue your dreams.

To be honest, I thought this would be a chick book. It isn't. I enjoyed it completely. I'm thinking the movie will be great too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paula Margulies on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
A beautiful tale of courage and family spirit, Charting the Unknown describes the adventures of Kim Petersen, a Colorado native, and her husband, Mike, who sold everything they owned and took their two preteen children on a sailing journey across the Atlantic aboard the 65-foot power catamaran, Chrysalis. Although they had never sailed or built a boat before, they constructed the engine room, plumbing, and interior of the Chrysalis, which they discovered as an unfinished hull in a farmer's field in New Zealand, and moved aboard full-time as a family in 2005.

The Petersens crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 2007, journeying to England, Zambia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Morocco, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel. Along the way, Kim documents the family's joys, as well as their tribulations, and how she comes to terms with her own fears and sorrows. Told in an open and touching voice, Charting the Unknown chronicles not only Kim Petersen's physical dream of sailing across the globe, but also her spiritual odyssey through motherhood, marriage, the loss of a child, and the understanding of her own personal strengths and weaknesses.

In one of my favorite chapters, Kim describes how sailors use charts, rather than maps, to help them recognize the ocean's depths, currents, buoys, anchor spots, and landmarks. Charts also provide lines of longitude and latitude, lending a sense of security to what can be a frightening and chaotic world on water and on land. In the final line of the chapter, Kim marvels at her feelings of reassurance: `"Look," I would say while pointing to a coordinate, "there I am and all is well."'

If you enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, you will treasure Kim Petersen's journey of self-discovery in Charting the Unknown.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By journeying joan on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kim, the author and main character tells a story of her own family on a journey using a mix of frivolity, adventure, intense sorrow, determination, skill. and so much more. After an identity crisis tied into the loss of a baby to SIDS, Kim wonders how life could be so unforgiving, so bewildering. In search for answers,and acting on a bucket list created much earlier in their lives, this family leaves the comforts of suburbia to complete the inside of the the shell of a 65 foot catamaran they call the Chrysalis, proceeding then to journey along the coast of the USA and ultimately across the ocean. And none of them originally had any boating experience!
Within that journey is a discovery, a transformation of self that is extraordinarily powerful. Her discovery that the unknown can be befriended and enjoyed while on a journey of epic proportions is empowering to say the least. She emerges from her own chrysalis transformed, less fearful and with a different and deeper acceptance and understanding of herself and God. Like THE SHACK, everyone who reads this book will gain a little more of a glimpse of their own journey, of what is possible. This story inspires, and is a MUST READ!
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