Dark Wind: A Survivor's Tale of Love and Loss
by Gordon Chaplin
The author set out with his partner in a 36-foot motorsailer on an extended voyage across the Caribbean and Pacific. Disaster struck, and the woman he loved was killed. The true account Chaplin gives is eerie in its honesty, since he describes in detail many of the foolish decisions that led to the tragic accident. It's a sailor's horror story: the main characters were overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and complacency, and a string of seemingly benign events led to tragedy.
The basic lesson in Dark Wind that Chaplin was unprepared for the sea's wrath is worth some thought by anyone considering an extended voyage for the first time. On the other hand, reading this book might make one suddenly realize how fine the cruising is along one's home coast.
Atlantic Monthly Press, New York; 212-614-7934; 230 pages; $23.