This was another men's book club selection, and a manly one at that! It's a bit tricky to locate a copy, but while relatively short at 170 pages, the read becomes a bit tedious as Budreau, a native of the Canadian Maritimes somehow remembers each and every one of (what I counted as) at least twelve schooners. At some points in the story there were two he owned at the same time, as he operated a tourist business specializing in Caribbean tours. The boats seemed to come and go, and several were renamed from the previous owners.
The story is very personal, indeed a paean to the love of the sea and boating on significant vessels. His experience begins on commercial boats and involves some very nasty ocean storms. Unfortunately, several of the boats were lost, and at times lives also were lost in the calamities - fortunately, never during his subsequent touring business. Although the author and his also-sea-loving wife did buy homes in the Caribbean area, much of their life took place on the oceans and seas and living on their schooners at harbor.
Just when Boudreau and his wife had obtained what seemed to be the perfect schooner after years on the sea, a shipwreck claimed their dream boat, which was captained by a professional skipper while the ship was being sailed back home from Nova Scotia following a total and complete makeover and upgrade. One wonders at this - was there incompetence or a tragic error by the captain? That the captain was found by a review board to be incompetent, and his license cancelled, appears to answer that question. The reader would wonder why a sailor as experienced as Budreau would have trusted that key task to someone even marginally questionable.
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Enjoy life; it's the only one we will get.
J.K. (Jim) George
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