The Cure for Anything Is Salt Water

The Cure for Anything Is Salt Water

How I Threw My Life Overboard and Found Happiness at Sea

By Mary South

HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060747022, 224pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2007


At forty, Mary South seemed to have it all: a beautiful home in Pennsylvania, a group of close friends, the companionship of two loving Jack Russell terriers and a successful career in book publishing. But shuttling between the conference room at work and her couch in front of the TV at home, South couldn't help feeling that she was missing something intangible but essential. So she decided to go looking for it where so many have before: at sea.

Six months later, she had quit her job, sold the house, graduated seamanship school and was living aboard a 40-foot, 30-ton steel trawler. Despite South's total lack of experience, the maiden voyage of the rechristened Bossanova was to be a journey up the eastern seaboard. Along with her crew (the dogs and her buddy John--her odd-couple opposite in politics, lifestyle and pretty much everything except a love of the open ocean), she set off on a fifteen-hundred mile odyssey from Florida to Maine. But what began as the fulfillment of an idle wish became a crash course in navigating the byways of the self.

The Cure for Anything Is Salt Water traces South's voyage from the charming Americana of Florida's Intracoastal Waterway out into the often stormy waters of the Atlantic. As the trip progresses, South grapples not only with whatever Poseidon throws her way, but also with the ghosts of family and loves lost. For anyone with a secret dream that's gone unfulfilled, here is a reckoning--both funny and poignant--of what's really involved in casting off an old life and making a new one.

Praise For The Cure for Anything Is Salt Water

"Mary South's courage and amazing sense of adventure is proof that if you allow your strength to come out, nothing can stop you. Her book is a must for all women!"
-Diane Von Furstenberg, author of Diane: A Signature Life

"Engaging and lovable...Find a nice high chair and stand on it, applauding the existence of a writer and person like Mary South."
-George Saunders, author of In Persuastion Nation, Pastoralia, and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

"Mary South had the guts to do what many of us would love to do-throw one life overboard and see what happens next. Her story is brave and inspiring."
-Marianne Williamson, author of Illuminata

"Mary South's gutsy decision to follow her heart is truly inspiring. I admire her courageous spirit and the fortitude she exhibits in pursuing her own happiness."
-Linda Greenlaw, bestselling author of The Hungry Ocean and The Lobster Chronicles

"Even if your idea of the open waters is a swim-up bar at the Ritz-Carlton, South's uncluttered style and hopeful prose is charming enough to make you happy to simply float peacefully along in its wake."

"A worthwhile read for anyone stuck in the workaday rut."
-Publishers Weekly

"A fed-up publisher heads, via trawler, from Florida to Maine. It's fun going along for the ride."