by Herb Payson
"Anyone crazy enough to but a boat
deserves all the headaches he gets," said Chuck.
"What kind of boat are you looking for?"
At middle age, Herb and Nancy Payson decided to depart work ashore (in their case, the smoky nightclubs of Los Angeles) and take up the cruising life. In Sea Foam, a 36-foot ketch, the Paysons and their large brood of teenage children cruised the Pacific for six and a half years. They experienced a certain amount of stark terror, but their delights far outbalanced the drawbacks.
The result is Blown Away, a kind of Swiss Family Robinson with overtones of the Marx Brothers. The situation aboard Sea Foam may frequently be desperate but is seldom serious as Herb Payson takes his readers to Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand and dozens of other islands.
All those seriously dreaming of setting off to sea should read Blown Away. But even those who find their ordered existences good and fulfilling can hardly escape a twinge of envy while reading this amusing, instructive and wholly delightful adventure.
Herb and Nancy Payson sold Sea Foam and moved to Maine. After seven years of land life, they started cruising again. In 1987 they sold their house and acquired Red Shoes, a Crealock 34, on which they've lived and cruised ever since. They are regular contributors to SAIL Magazine.
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