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Jenny's Journey: The Reality of Living the Dream Paperback – October 6, 2009
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About the Author
One of my first childhood memories is set on the beach of the New Jersey shore. I was six. I had let a helium balloon go flying and watched as it went out to sea. I asked Mom where it would go. She said Europe if it stayed in the air long enough and I stared in wonder. I wondered what the journey would be like and what Europe was. It's been a long time since then, and while I've been to Europe several times, that balloon is still pulling me out to sea. As I grew older, my spirit of adventure pulled me toward sailboats. I read every book that existed on voyaging. My heroes were Magellan, Cook, Darwin, Chichester, Larry and Lynn Pardee, Sterling Hayden, Joe Richards and so many others. I had a family by the time I graduated from College and started a career with IBM. Thoughts of cruising the world were put in the deep freeze. I did manage to buy a sailboat along the way. It was a Herreshoff Eagle named Harmony, a reflection of Princess, a gaff rigged centerboard sloop. She was perfect for the Chesapeake Bay and I took my family for day sails with an occasional overnight thrown in. The dream remained alive, but still on submerged. Work and family life demanded my full attention and the kids found sailing boring. Decades passed. Midlife married a second time, I retired from a very successful professional career in information technology in 2007 and began a new life at sea. Jenny, a Nordhavn 46, took me away.
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The downside (to this reviewer, at least) is the extreme degree to which the author anthropomorphizes his vessel. Sure, we all give our boats and ships a female gender and treat them as quasi-living creatures, but Mr. Schramm takes this to the maximum possible extent. It's really a bit hard to read some of it and not wonder about the author's state of mind...
But even that annoyance is drowned out by the value of the knowledge and experiences that are offered here. Don't pass this one up.
With the caveat below, I consider this a must-read, among many other cruising classics available, particularly for anyone planning a powerboat cruising life. There are lots of superb books written by the prolific sailboat cruising community: The Hiscocks, The Pardeys, Nigel Calder, Jimmy Cornell, etc. But few are written from the long-range powerboat community, and this particular book is a testament to the superb engineering and design of the Nordhavn line.
One must look beyond the often annoying writing style of the author, which is a mix of mild sexism, the tedious use of the literary technique of personifying his boat and speaking of her likes and dislikes in the third person, and egregious spelling and grammar errors throughout. (Obviously a self-published book...something you get with a professional publishing company is a proofreader)
The book will also please anyone who is planning to buy or rent a trawler yacht with the aim of spending extended time on board,since the author provides a lot of day to day practical information. It's a pity that the editorial work missed a lot of typos and that the author did not follow the 24hour format in his logs resulting in discrepancies between the duration of the respective passages and the PM and AM log entries. Apart from this, the book remains highly enjoyable and informative and the reader will be pleased to have bought and read it.
Jenny becomes the central character and gives David the platform that he thought he was looking for. The author should be praised for telling his story in
his way.He proves that it is about the journey not the destination. Some poignant personal drama keeps the reader expecting but not hoping for the worst.
In the end you will be pleased you bought and read David's book. I hope he writes another one. And that its ending may leave a smile on the author's face.