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Jim H 10-29-2007 05:07 PM

"Two in a Boat," by Gwyneth Lewis
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:


Jim H
London, UK

SailorPam 10-29-2007 09:04 PM

Thanks for the review Jim. I've picked that book up a couple of times, but always opted for something else. I'll pick it up next time. I'd rather explore those issues ahead of time and be prepared than glibly bob along assuming all will be rosy. I read a book about a couple who sailed around Cape Horn together, he being possessed while she was reluctant. The woman wrote the story and it was again largely about the dynamic between them rather than the adventure, which was formidable since they pitch-poled and lost their rig. I read it long before thoughts of sailing in fact. Haven't felt the urge to pick it back up since I started sailing I've got to say...;)

sailhagg 10-31-2007 12:52 AM

Hey SailorPam, let me know what you think about the book. My last one was an oldie moldie, Fair winds and far places, I think. It was a bit different but written by the hubby. This sounds interesting and I'm starting to look for another book to read. PM me if you think of it. Thanks!

lapworth 02-03-2009 06:05 PM

Great book! Helped me understand my wife and some of my crew.

Valiente 12-07-2010 09:46 AM

*bump* I just finished this book and wholly endorse Jim H.'s take on in. In fact, I reviewed it myself here: Volumes of Salt

Not an easy read, but, I think, a honest one that could serve to highlight the emotional beartraps around a couple thinking of going to sea.

eryka 12-07-2010 04:03 PM

Neat Blog! (Though I'll probably pass on this particular book, given our circumstances beginning our 9th year aboard together)

tdw 12-08-2010 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by eryka (Post 674426)
Neat Blog! (Though I'll probably pass on this particular book, given our circumstances beginning our 9th year aboard together)

Sometimes it is worthwhile bumping an old thread. I certainly missed the original post and this sounds like my kind of cruising book. Will have a read of Alchemy's review.

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