- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Afro-Indies Press (2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0976139707
- ISBN-13: 978-0976139706
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adrift on a Sea of Blue Light Paperback – Illustrated, 2005
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Peter Muilenburg has lived in the Virgin Islands for almost 40 years, building boats and sailing his gaff-rigged ketch throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and along the African coast. Here are his true tales, many previously published in magazines such as Islands, SAIL and Reader's Digest. Peter's passion for the sea, the stars, his family, his boat and the islands themselves is mirrored in his sensuous prose, his ear for dialogue, and his talent for transporting the reader to the place and time of his Caribbean imagination, and to his wondrous insights into island (and everyday) life. * * "DELIGHTFUL . . Muilenburg has the enviable ability to write as if he were talking with a friend . . immerse yourself in the world beyond, and a life lived simply but full of riches." SAIL, 12/05 * "SEAWORTHY . . During their adventures, Muilenburg and his wife, Dorothy, find themselves building boats, raising two sons . . and narrowly escaping would-be disasters . . Many of the 32 stories are full of intriguing encounters . . With his self-deprecating humor and zest for life, Muilenburg's collection is an entertaining read that will make you want to set sail." ISLANDS, 06/05 * "I don't know when I have enjoyed a book of stories more than 'Adrift' . . The tales revealed are warm, human, poignant and hysterically funny . . The accompanying black and white photos . . lend a dreamy and exquisite aura to the pages . .This book is a wonderful way to get away from it all and I cannot praise it enough." ALL AT SEA, 07/05 (see below). * "The author . . has the generous outlook of a seasoned world traveler . . [A] book I would heartily recommend to all cruisers and armchair sailors . ." CARIBBEAN COMPASS, 10/05 * "[This] incredible book . . is probably one the best books to come out of St. John, ever." St. John Sun Times, 5/20/05. * "Read this book . . Muilenburg deserves an A+." Paul Leary, The Daily News (St. Thomas), 3/22/05.
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Reviewed by Nancy Terrell
I don't know when I have enjoyed a book of stories more than "Adrift on a Sea of Blue Light". Perhaps it is because sailing is also my passion or it may be that taking a good book in hand is just a wonderful way to spend the day - either way this collection of nautical tales recounting the lives of Peter and Dorothy Muilenburg, their sons Diego and Raff, their adorable Schipperke Santos and the love of their lives, their 42' gaff rigged ketch BREATH, is about as good as you can get. The book is rich in lore and love - life of a simpler kind - the way it was when many of us arrived in the Caribbean decades ago. The tales revealed between its covers are warm, human, poignant and hysterically funny. I found myself laughing out loud picturing Santos chasing donkeys out of the Muilenburg's beach house and frolicking with an elephant on the beach in St. Lucia.
Ironically, when I first moved to St. John in the mid 80's, from St. Croix, my friends and I took a delightful day charter on BREATH. Peter, Dorothy and I had much in common as we had been Freedom Fighters in Mississippi in the 60's. While I missed being jailed, like Peter was, I was equally incensed by racial injustice. Being also a teacher, like Dorothy, I admired how she had started Pine Peace School in St. John. Here are two people that actually live life, not just exist through it. They both have passion - for the sea and their family and friends. This wonderful reverence for the adventures of just plain being alive shines out on every page of this book.
Having lived in the Virgin Islands since 1968, Peter built BREATH, one of the largest boats ever to be constructed on St. John, on the beach at East End. During the past two decades she has become a part of St. John's sailing lore. I see this beauty often; with her tan bark sails, taking charters up the Sir Francis Drake channel in the BVI.
Besides chartering, they made two round trip voyages to the Mediterranean and West Africa, as well as numerous voyages between North and South America. Her longest voyage,1989-1991, took them to the Azores, throughout the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, as well as hundreds of miles up the Gambia River in West Africa. In 1995-1996 she went again across the Atlantic, visiting new locations---Galicia, Morocco, Lanzarote and Guinea-Bissau. BREATH has sailed often to Venezuela, Jamaica and all through the Bahamas as well as a voyage of mercy to a Haitian children's hospital during the '94 blockade carrying antibiotics and crutches donated by the VI Rotary.
The happenings of these voyages have been turned into delightful narratives in this book, many of them having been first featured in publications like Readers Digest, SAIL, Islands, Americas and American Way. Here are sea stories filled with adventures of another day and time and of characters that became entwined with the Muilenburg family and the sea. The accompanying black and white photos, by photographer Don Brown, lend a dreamy and exquisite aura to the pages.
While each chapter can be read separately, the tales are arranged in a sequential order that forms a continuum of a way of life spent adrift - but not without direction - on the sea of life. Whether you are cruising, want to buy a gift for someone special or just want a great read - this is the book for you. Several of the anecdotes are so memorable that I have reread them just to lighten my day. This book is a wonderful way to get away from it all and I cannot praise it enough. Hats off to you, Peter. What a fine life you have enjoyed.
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