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post #469 of Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Recommended Reading

Just finished "Tightwads on the Loose" by Wendy Hinman. Not a very good title, and an awful cover, but the description on Amazon looked interesting, and I was in a buying mood, so....

The story of a newlywed couple who ditch everything and sail around the Pacific for seven years. Ms. Hinman is a very good writer; in fact, I was persuaded to buy the book mostly on the strength of the few "preview" pages I read on Amazon. This book is clearly written by a professional writer, not some just an enthusiast who wants to share her story.

The author does not spare herself some unflattering self-observations; she convincingly portrays some of the problems she and her husband faced: danger, tension, arguments, and some clear descriptions of times they wanted to be away from each other, as well as their differing views on how and when to end their voyage. Greatly outweighing these times are her portrayals of the fascinating people and places she visited. Wendy is cleary an extrovert, and loves socializing (sort of odd that someone like that chooses to spend her life on a small boat with only her husband). Her husband is much more of an introvert and seems to have sometimes stayed on the boat to read and do boat projects while Wendy wandered about. I'm glad Wendy wrote the book and not her husband. This was all done on a shoestring budget (remember the title of the book?) in a 31 foot boat that the husband couldn't even stand up in.

The couple was away for most of the Bush II administrations, and was overseas during 9/11 and its aftermath. They wound up in New Zealand during both the America's Cup (when NZ lost to Switzerland), and parlayed some local contacts into press-level access to the sailors and the teams. They visited (among other places) Mexico, the Marquesas, Vanuatu, the Solomons, Tonga, the Phillipines and finished off with Japan before sailing back to Seattle. At one point, their electronics completely fried due to a bad battery switch and they had no money, so they wound up at a remote Pacific US Army base working as contractors for the government for two years, saving up enough to fix the damage. I mean, these two go hard.

This is a self-published work, so I doubt you will be able to find it at the library; however, I thought it was worth the price of admission.
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