- File Size: 2114 KB
- Print Length: 270 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Book Bums Publishing; 1 edition (June 25, 2008)
- Publication Date: June 25, 2008
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003DTMSMS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,298 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
Bumfuzzle - Just Out Looking For Pirates 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Page numbers are just like the physical edition
- Length: 270 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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I can see how this book and the author get right up the nose of the weekend sailors, coastal cruisers, someday but not just yet circumnavigators, and maybe even a few of the folks who have taken long sailing voyages. The narrator doesn't like sailing, for the experience of sailing, much more than he or his wife like cooking. What they like is going new places.
They bought their boat in an afternoon, and took off around the world without any real training in sailing. That's not what I would do with regards to a boat, but I've done crazy stuff in a hurry, and maybe for the same reason - if you don't launch right now, you may never launch.
Before sailing, he was a commodities trader, and the commodities traders I've known all seem to be unconventional, maybe even a bit unhinged, but the successful ones actually have a very good understanding of risk. Perceived risks (getting flipped upside down while sailing) often are much less significant than we think, especially if - as these sailors did and most cruisers do - you take care to sail in the places and at the times when extreme weather is unlikely. Other risks - getting old and dying without ever having stepped out of your rut - can on the other hand be a much greater risk than it seems, because you don't visualize the down side quite so vividly.
That said, on reading the book they weren't quite as reckless as they sometimes suggest and as people seem to think. For example, one way to reduce risk is to be able to fix things that break on your boat. I suspect that there are a lot of retired folks sailing out there that aren't very good at being diesel mechanics, but the fact is you can be in a world of hurt if your diesel goes and you don't know how to fix it. The author spends a lot of time talking about fixing his aging and unreliable machinery, but the fact is he was prepared to fix it himself while out at sea. Similarly, when the old GPS died at sea, a new replacement was on board and ready to plug in. You also notice that they follow all the local cruising guides, so even though there was the occasional mishap they weren't exactly cruising blind when it came to the on the water part of the sail.
It's interesting that they raise such strong emotions from people who object to the way they did things. They were young and without dependents; they did a lot of the conventional things to reduce risk; even in the worst case scenario, they weren't going to kill anyone besides themselves. Why care about their sailing any more than you might care about their subsisting on a diet of peanut butter, canned meatballs and Dorito chips? It would be interesting to know if the extreme negative energy comes at all from people who have taken considered but unconventional risks, or from people who have deep frustration arising from their failure ever to make the risky move.
His years as a trader in the Chicago Stock Exchange gave him boundless confidence and daring. He was lucky enough to be married to a woman who shares his fearless approach to life. She LITERALLY "can't boil an egg" but she's so photogenic that she was chosen to star in a National Geographic documentary. They are perfectly matched - happy to eat at Taco Bell every day, but able to manage on sodas and Doritos when the going gets tough. This is a match made in Junk Food Heaven.
I bet this book ruffled some feathers among the snooty cruising crowd and I almost wet myself laughing several times when he described the herd mentality and mindless idiocy of some of the people who are so proud of being "full-time sailors." Most of those people are middle-aged and well-financed. Sadly, instead of encouraging young folks to be adventurous, they seem to be insulted that youngsters have the nerve to buck the system. I've read of other young sailing couples who met with similar attitudes. I suspect that the retirees (of whom I am one) feel that the young folks haven't "earned" their freedom. What a silly attitude.
I enjoyed this book enormously and I developed a great affection and admiration for this young couple. I hope Patrick keeps having adventures and writing about them. He's an inspiration and a very entertaining guy.
Just one example: Other sailors warned him of pirates in the seas off Indonesia. He pooh-poohed the advice and sailed there anyway. One day, a boat with some unsavory characters appears. They board his boat, look around, then depart without saying a word or taking anything. Any sane person would breath a sigh of relief. The author? Nope. He mockingly dismisses the episode. I guess he thought these guys were mute missionaries. ;-)