Sailing Away from Winter
A Cruise from Nova Scotia to Florida and Beyond
By Silver Donald Cameron
(Douglas Gibson Books, Paperback, 9780771018428, 376pp.)
Publication Date: December 11, 2007
List Price: $17.95*
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On July 21, 2004, Silver Donald Cameron and his wife, Marjorie Simmins, set sail from D'Escousse, in Cape Breton Island, toward the white sand beaches and palm trees of the nearest tropical islands. They were sailing an old Norwegian-built ketch named "Magnus." Accompanying them was their dog, Leo the Wonder Whippet.
Leo was thirteen. The skipper was an old-age pensioner. His youthful mate was new to the cruising life. Yet 236 days later, with more than 3,000 nautical miles behind them, this distinctly trepid crew rowed ashore in Little Harbour, in the Bahamas, heading for Pete's Pub, a palm-thatched tiki bar on the beach.
It had been quite a trip. All three had lost fat and gained muscle. They were not in debt. Friends had remarked that the skipper and mate looked ten years younger, and the ancient Leo was capering about like a puppy.
Mind you, there had been bad moments, as in Jonesport, Maine, when the skipper smashed the boat into a wharf and punched a hole in the bow, or the black night off the deadly coast of New Jersey, in a screeching gale with the boat rolling her side decks under.
But there had been plenty of thrills, too: fireworks over the Tall Ships in Halifax Harbour; careening down the East River at ten knots with Manhattan whizzing past to starboard; feasting on hush puppies and grits with chicken gravy in Georgia; enjoying the ancient streets of St. Augustine, and the dazzling opulence of Fort Lauderdale. And then, after crossing the Gulf Stream, the Bahamas, complete with coral reefs crowded with tropical fish, yellow and scarlet and black.
A long way from the snow and ice back home.
"From the Hardcover edition.
Silver Donald Cameron dreamed of this trip for thirty years before finding the thirty-three-year-old Magnus and turning her into the ideal boat for the voyage. He has written about the Atlantic coast in many books, including Schooner: Bluenose and Bluenose II; Sniffing the Coast: An Acadian Voyage; The Living Beach; and the bestselling Nova Scotia cruising classic Wind, Whales, and Whisky.
“Sailing Away From Winter might be the perfect tonic for this time of year. . . . A good book for all to enjoy curled up on the couch, in front of the fireplace, dreaming of lands far, far away.” — Halifax Daily News
“[Cameron] knows how to lace his story with a little history, interesting characters, with whimsy and a dose of good old self-deprecating Canadian humour. . . . A quiet pleasure to read.” — Globe and Mail