by Suzanne Giesemann, 277 pages, $16.95, Aventine Press, San Diego, Calif., www.libertysails.com
Look past the cliche title and fuzzy cover design and you’ll find that Giesemann’s account of her first year of full-time cruising is one of those exceptional self-published cruising narratives that will keep you turning the pages well past midnight.
A retired naval commander and former aide to the joint chiefs of staff, Giesemann was at the Pentagon shortly after it was attacked on 9/11. The event propelled her and her husband Ty, a retired Navy destroyer captain, full speed toward their long-held dream of sailing away into the sunset. The book covers the period from 9/11 onward, and follows their first cruise from the Chesapeake up to Newfoundland and back south. Crisply written, the story unfolds quickly and with compelling honesty. Giesemann doesn’t gloss over the tough times, her fears or the tension that arises when husband and wife-two former Navy officers at that-are together around the clock. By the time she and Ty confront the difficult choice of giving up their dream for big-bucks jobs back in Washington D.C., you’ll find yourself rooting for them to make the right decision. If you’re curious about what cruising life in the 21st century is really like, Giesemann’s Living a Dream will be as informative as it is entertaining.