Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi (with Bernadette Brennan)
When Tania Aebi left New York to sail the voluptuous circumference of Planet Earth, she was 18 years old and a sailing beginner, with no GPS, no long-range radio, and – get this! – no Facebook page. It all began when her dad delivered an ultimatum to his unruly drop-out teenage daughter: either go to university, or sail around the world – alone. Tania hated school, so her father bought her a 26 foot boat that was the nautical equivalent of a beat-up, rusted VW with 300,000 clocked miles and a tendency to sputter noxious gases from the rear. Imagine if, as a father, you bought your child a car like this, even though your kid didn’t really know how to drive, then stuck her behind a temperamental gear stick and sent her on a solo cross-country journey. Times the risk levels by about 1,000,000, add the possibility of drowning, the excitement of storms, a cat companion that pees on soft furnishings, and that is the story you’ll read about in Maiden Voyage. Some may call it abuse; I call it 304 pages of awesome.
The lessons I learned
- If she can do it, I can do it. (I read this book before deciding to sail across the Pacific and it inspired me to just go for it.)
- You don’t have to be an expert to jump in the deep end: your inbuilt survival instincts will fast track the learning process.
“When God designed the Marquesas … he must have been high.”