MY THOUGHTS: A friend of mine, not long ago, was talking to me about his hero - a man by the name of Quen Cultra - who built a ship and sailed it around the world. He had no sailing experience, but woke up one day and knew that sailing was what he needed to do. Quen Cultra was born in north-eastern Illinois, actually only about 20 miles from where I'm from, and dreamed of the far seas. In the early 1970's, he gathered a plan, some building supplies, and a couple friends and built his trimaran and sailed it around the world. This is his story, written about his high seas adventure - who he met, where he went, and the struggles he endured.
From the back cover:
"Quen Cultra built Queequeg in a barnyard, motored down the Mississippi - and sailed around the world. His previous experience was limited to rowboats. The total cost of his boat, a trimaran, was $6,000. His expenses at sea were less than three dollars a day. The pay-off? Three years of high adventure, fascinating sights, and a communion with nature that no amount of money could buy the conventional traveler.
Cultra sailed with friends and took his time, staying long enough at each port to really sample the local cultures and sights. These ranged from the Small Nambas of Malakula (naked tribesmen who had never before seen a white man) to the socialites at the Cape Town Yacht Club. But there was also danger. Their first storm at sea was a hurricane; they were rammed by a freighter off Madagascar; becalmed and out of fresh water in the doldrums; attacked by sharks inside the Great Barrier Reef; washed up on a deserted coast. The book is must reading for anyone considering such an adventure, or for the adventurous armchair reader."
I was absolutely amazed by this story. And moreso amazed that is was written (and lived) by a man who grew up in a small town right down the road from where I grew up. I would highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. I'm glad to have friends who have read books like this and can recommend them to me.
In late January of this year, Quen Cultra's boat, Queequeg II capsized in the Indian Ocean. Of the three crewmen, only one has been found. Quen Cultra is feared to have been taken by the sea. I'm hoping that he and his fellow crewman have somehow made it to some exotic land and are living their next great adventure. To read more about this story, visit this link.