Friday, October 2, 2009

Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster that Saved Them

This is the story of John and Jean Silverwood and their four children, Ben (16), Amelia (14), Jack (9), and Camille (5) and their adventure sailing around the world on their 50 ft catamaran, the Emerald Jane. In 2003, the family decides to leave their hectic life in surburban San Diego and embark on a life changing journey. Jean narrates the first part of the memoir and describes adapting to life on the high seas. I enjoyed her depictions of the family adjusting to the close quarters of a boat (especially the teens), passing through the Panama Canal, the enriching experiences of observing marine life and exploring other cultures. The children become adept at sailing and navigating. There is the threat of pirates in certain ports.
John is the voice of the second portion of the book and gives the reader his perspective of the trip along with historical information. The family confronts a dramatic collision with a coral reef 350 miles off the coast of Tahiti and the event has dire consequences for John. The strength of the family is tested and the the accident is life altering. In the vein of the Perfect Storm, this is a real life adventure tale that promises to be a memorable read. Hope you enjoy it!

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