Author Amy Wood stated that she wanted to write a book that told the true story — not one with fluff — and she indeed accomplishes this feat with World Voyagers, an all-encompassing detailed account of a three-year circumnavigation aboard Iwalani.
Although this book is lengthy, it reads like a daily log or blog (which is where Amy and Phil originally posted the details of their trip online), and it allows the reader to ultimately become part of the crew, sailing right along with Phil, Amy and Stewart. It’s easy to forget you’re just “reading” about being places like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, the Marquesas, Australia and South Africa (just to name a few), as Amy unequivocally “takes you there.”
She shares all the joys, pitfalls, sights, smells, experiences, and enough of herself with us to make us feel like we really are encountering the adventure firsthand. You’ll feel the seasickness she hides from her husband Phil, find yourself waking up every four hours to do your watch, and even crying along with them when they lose their beloved pet at sea.
But you’ll also feel the warm sun on your skin as you sail naked in the tropics, see waters in multiple amazing shades of blue, meet interesting people from all corners of the world, and get up close and personal with lions and many other furred, feathered, and finned wildlife. Then, once in home port again, you’ll feel a true sense of accomplishment.
Well, actually, it’s Amy and Phil who succeed in doing something they had a burning desire in their hearts to do. “It was a goal we could not abandon,” Amy writes.
They see it through — and you are right there with them. And despite all the obstacles, from an ex-wife and family who need them at home, to health issues and uncooperative winds, weather, and currents, Amy and Phil not only chase the wind to fulfill their dream, but succeed in catching it and telling the tale.
Don’t expect a lot of flowery language and poetic descriptions of this three-year trek. What you will get, though, is a 100-percent, hands-on, authentic account of bluewater sailing.
Whether you are a coastal cruiser, bluewater cruiser, sailing novice, or just enjoy reading about a great adventure, you are guaranteed to enjoy sharing Amy, Phil, and Stewart’s journey across the deep blue sea.
World Voyagers, the True Story of a Veterinarian, a Renaissance man, and Stewart the Cat by Amy P. Wood, Philip J. Shelton and Stewart P. Wood (Book Orchard Press, Inc., 2007; 432 pages)