Dreamers and Doers: Sailing the South Pacific

Arlene Galisky

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 363 Price: (paperback) $20.99 ISBN: 9781532051852 Reviewed: November, 2018 Author Website: Visit »

Wild ideas are common, but most people dismiss them as quickly as they hatch. Arlene Galisky and her friend Dave are exceptions who followed through on their dreams and lived to tell the tale, recounted here.

Although neither has sailed before, Dave, then 55, suggests buying a boat and piloting it to Australia from his home in British Columbia. Galisky, 48 is “exhausted and despondent” after an apparently unsuccessful five-year campaign to save a local river from a diversion project. She buys into the dream that will consume the next three years of their lives and inspire another 13 years aboard their boat, the Windy Lady.

Dreamers and Doers is Galisky’s engaging account of their project as it unfolds, from sailing lessons to the action-packed, 17-month voyage from Victoria to Hawaii, Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, and a slew of smaller islands on the way to Brisbane. Readers ride along as the pair locate a 40-foot fiberglass sloop, make it seaworthy, grow confident in their sailing skills, and thrust themselves into the dangers of the great unknown.

Galisky tells a compelling tale, weaving together details about 20-foot waves, equipment failures, sudden storms, and life-threatening situations that push her far beyond what she thought possible. She includes just enough personal information to reveal a middle-age woman facing very real fears and uncovering the strength to overcome them as she charts a course through the South Pacific.

Details of 110 dramatic days at sea are interspersed with stories about exotic cultures and the people they meet on far-flung islands. Her daily entries instruct readers about the art of sailing while engaging them in rip-roaring battles against the forces of nature.

The book is short on some details. Dave’s last name is never given, and their relationship, other than “friends,” is never explained. But in Galisky’s otherwise expert hands, their quest unfolds as an unselfconscious travelogue—a satisfying read that might inspire others to pursue their own wild ideas.

Also available as an ebook.

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