This first mate lacks basic sailing, seamanship, and swimming skills but agrees to a two-year voyage aboard a forty-four-foot, schooner-rigged sailboat to impress her new boy friend, a competent but difficult captain. The trip begins in California, continues down the west coast of Mexico and Central America, through the Panama Canal, to Colombia, Venezuela and through the Caribbean to Florida. They fight sea-sickness and equipment failures while they negotiate their budding relationship. They make three difficult passages, including the perilous northwest coast of Colombia to Aruba. While trapped in an unwelcoming country by a storm, they must pay huge bribes to port officials who hate Americans. They defend their sailboat against drug runners, paddle-boaters, and music video producers. They watch dolphins, sea lions, boobies, rays and other animals in the wild. Whether they are trading toothpaste and pasta for needlework with the Kuna Indians or bringing coleslaw to a Christmas potluck aboard a mega yacht in the Caribbean, life aboard is never dull.
Expanded edition, E-book and paperback.