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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Catamaran Crossing: A Sailing Adventure from La Coruña to Antigua is a nonfiction maritime adventure book written by Douglas Carl Fricke. The author seemed to be living, as so many others do, for the weekends when he’d be aboard his trimaran and riding the winds in the Gulf of Mexico. He would sometimes think of selling his house and worldly possessions, quitting his job, and heading toward the blue waters of the Caribbean. Sadly, the dream seemed destined to remain just that -- a dream. Then something almost approaching a radical departure from everyday life was placed before him. Joni and Ted had sold their sailboat and had ordered one made in England. He asked them if they would be sailing it themselves. Yes, they were -- if he agreed to crew along with them. How could he refuse? Three weeks aboard a new Shuttleworth catamaran with friends he’d enjoyed sailing with in the past; a trans-Atlantic trip that could not be anything but exciting and the grandest of adventures. As this took place in the 1980s, the first step for the three adventurers was trips to the local library and bookstores to get any and all literature and maps in preparation for their voyage. Plans for the trip began to solidify. Fricke would meet Joni and Ted on Tenerife in the Canary Islands; they’d sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, and then head homeward up to Florida. Several weeks after Joni and Ted left for England, Fricke boarded a plane that would be the start of his adventure.
Douglas Carl Fricke’s Catamaran Crossing is a well-written and enthralling account of the author’s voyage aboard the Toucan, a newly built catamaran just purchased by his friends, Captain Ted and Joni. Fricke gives the reader an insider’s view on what’s involved in a cross-Atlantic sailing voyage. His story flows wonderfully, making it easy for the reader to feel as though they were along for the ride. My only regret was finding that the author’s vacation time had more than run out and that he had to disembark in the Caribbean. I would have loved to witness, even if only vicariously, the homecoming of the Toucan. Anyone who’s ever wondered about an adventure at sea should seriously consider reading this book -- Fricke makes it so real. Catamaran Crossing: A Sailing Adventure from La Coruña to Antigua is most highly recommended.