Southwinds February 2016

Page 54


Salt of a Sailor by Annie Dike Review by Steve Morrell


get a lot of books sent to me by sailors who write about their sailing experiences. On Amazon, there are scores of them, maybe hundreds. I don’t read many of them. Some sit on my shelf for years. Salt of a Sailor sat on the shelf for almost a year. So why did I read it among all those I get? The answer, oddly enough, is in the cover photo. They say you can’t tell a book by its cover, but this one gives you a clue—just look at the photo of author Annie Dike on the cover. If that doesn’t make you smile and wonder, then you need a vacation. Ever since I got the book, I kept looking at the cover and smiling. Eventually, I gave up and read it. By then, though, I’d met Annie at a boat show. Like the cover, Annie has an “engaging” personality. How could I resist? I really can’t describe Annie’s cover photo in a few words. But the book does the job. Once I started reading, I had trouble putting it down. Hard to believe, as only mystery novels and unique non-fiction do that for me. In some places, this book reads like a mystery novel and you wonder what’s going to happen next. Annie has her own unique style and it is captivating. Of course there is serious content to it—it is non-fiction—and a lot to learn from this book about what sailing is all about. Especially when you are starting from knowing nothing. Annie’s a lawyer who, after several years, leaves the practice of law in hopes of becoming a writer. She meets a guy (who’s also a lawyer) who’s into sailing, they look for a

sailboat, they find one, they deliver it to their homeport. That’s the story. But it’s more entertaining than just that. Annie let’s it all hang out, which makes the story. She knows nothing about sailboats—nothing. And that’s the charm of the book. If you are out there wondering what it’s going to be like going from knowing nothing to getting into sailing and buying a cruising sailboat, this is the book for you, because you will want to go out and buy a boat and learn. Annie has fun doing it from page one to the end of the book. Plus, her boyfriend’s a lawyer. Two lawyers go sailing. That’s got to create a ruckus. Basically, this is a fun book to read and it’s wellwritten and you learn a lot about learning about sailing. If you already know a lot about sailing, you will love it. If you know nothing about sailing and want to, you need to read it. It will take the fear out, keep the adventure and bring in the fun. If you have a friend who you want to introduce to sailing to, tell your friend to read this book. It’ll take the tension out and make him or her want to go buy a boat. And you don’t even need to be into sailing to enjoy this book. Salt of a Sailor is available at and

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February 2016