This is a quick review of Two in a Boat
by Gwyneth Lewis.
For some reason, I find this book to be both engaging and haunting. Maybe it should be on the "required read" list for couples about to cruise...
Gwyneth Lewis is the National Poet of Wales, and the book is the story of the planning, preparation and beginning of an extended cruise from the UK with her husband on a Nicholson 35. It goes through the start of the idea, the financing, the sacrifices, the selection of the boat, and the voyage in a way that is startlingly honest in comparison to most other "we went cruising!" books.
Be warned, this is not a "rah rah" cruising is the answer to all of life's problems story. It does have some how-to and historical sections (including some interesting sections on sea sickness), but overall it's really about her relationship with her husband over the course of the trip. It's not the rosy, hoped-for experience most of us dream and plan for. But it's also a rite of passage, as her subtitle notes.
I finished reading this book about a month ago, but it's funny how strong an impression it's left. There were a few times I wanted to stop reading, since it's tone and form is so different than the typical cruising book, but in essence that's what maybe makes it important to read. Real life is a lot different than our plans sometimes, and thinking about a wider range of possibilities surrounding a cruise is worth the investment.
Not to give anything away, but I learned about the book when researching Nicholson 35s for sale in the UK, and I came across the boat: