Sailing with Carol just received a good review in the international sailing magazine, Latitudes & Attitudes. It is available at www.amazon.com
Sailing with Carol is a story about sailing, passion and the deep intimate love I shared with Carol, my late wife and lifelong friend. It is an exciting true life narrative spanning fifty years, beginning with a childhood romance that ended after her parents moved to New Jersey. We found each other two decades later and shared more than twenty-one years of life and sailing adventures.
The story begins in Brooklyn where we were first playmates, then adolescent lovers. Her parents tolerated me but as our bond developed, they grew ever more concerned until upon moving to New Jersey, we were prevented from seeing each other. We secretly continued our romance for several years but during time in the Navy and Maine Maritime Academy we slowly drifted apart, until in the turmoil of the sixties, our struggling romance dissolved and we followed different paths.
Nineteen years later, our marriages to others ended in divorce and we sought out and found each other. Reunited, and still deeply in love, we sailed and lived out our childhood dreams, including a storybook military wedding with crossed swords, exactly as Carol wished for at the age of fifteen. We lived an enchanted existence as we traveled around the world and sailed our two boats from New England to the Florida Keys, always dreaming of the day we could retire and go cruising. It was during those many voyages that Carol mastered her fears and honed the resolve that she would so desperately need in the final years of her short life.
The story highlights Carol’s development from novice boater to skilled sailor and how she experienced and dealt with life's extremes. It also reveals how sailing became a metaphor for all other aspects of her growth as a woman and for our relationship.
During two decades of humorous and always emotional voyaging, she became a good sailor and as I grew more confident in her skills, she became more self-assured and assertive in her seamanship and in her everyday life. We were as passionate and inseparable as adults as we were when we were teens. We became shipmates and best friends in the truest sense of the phrase and we became ever more symbiotic, especially when sailing our boat, Lastdance.
Along the way, Carol shed inhibitions and became increasingly comfortable with her sexuality but she also stood by my side to fight off thugs at South Street Seaport in New York while on a sailing voyage. She steered our boats in nasty storms including once for a whole day while I was incapacitated with seasickness as we sailed along the coast of southeast Florida.
As we shared sailing experiences, she could be angelically innocent and full of wonder and curiosity one moment, and then shamelessly seductive the next. She was intelligent, attractive, practical and feminine and as the reader will discover, she was all any man could ever want in a woman and first mate.
Carol was totally unconditional in all that she did but she was also fiercely independent, something that was especially evident during the last five years of her life as she fought the battle with the glioblastoma tumor in her head that took her from us. Even then, it never diminished her desire to sail, “just one more time.” From her first battle to her last two voyages just months before she died, she proved to be a hero among heroes. The brain tumor took her life, but it never took her identity, it never robbed her of her sexuality, wanderlust, or her desire for fun and adventure or her love of sailing. This is a must read for anyone who sails or has loved.