A Drop in the Ocean
Review by Karen Larson
Jasna Tuta and her partner, Rick Page, are self-described sea gypsies, members of the water tribe who cruise the world’s oceans. Their first book, Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever, describes how they adopted the cruising lifestyle, what liveaboard techniques work for them, what you must have, what you can do without, and what to look for when buying a boat for your own cruising adventure. Get Real, Get Gone is a liveaboard how-to book and a good one.
This new book, written by Jasna, is a “why-to” book centered around a single long passage. Why work so hard preparing in the boatyard? (To make sure your stout little home is as dependable as possible.) Why suffer the worst a month-long passage has to offer? (To experience the best a month-long passage can offer.) Why fall in love with the cruising lifestyle at all? (Because of the wonderful people you’ll meet, new and challenging experiences you’ll have, and the deep inner sense of accomplishment and pride that will be yours.)
This book is also a love story. Jasna and Rick have developed a deep relationship that allows them to work together and balance each other through the rough times and the magical moments. Furthermore, they share a love of their lifestyle and their boat, Calypso (a Robert Perry-designed Union Polaris 36 cutter).
Prior to their South Pacific crossing, Jasna and Rick lived aboard for years, working part of that time to prepare Calypso for whatever that passage might bring. But they had never voyaged so far. As this is Jasna’s first major crossing, she revels in the adventure and shares her sense of wonder. She delights in the simplicity of their lives, the daily sunrises, and each milestone reached, while also dealing with occasional seasickness, the doldrums, and the inevitable equipment breakdowns.
English is a second language for Jasna, who grew up in Slovenia, near the Italian border. There is no indication in Jasna’s book, however, that she is not a native English speaker. I’m impressed anytime someone can pull that off! Granted, Rick served as editor for her book, and as a sailor from Great Britain, he introduces the occasional Briticism, such as whilst and amongst.
I don’t expect that these two will stay in the South Pacific for long. Their travels will lead them onward and more of Jasna’s accounts will surely follow. I’m guessing their trail will eventually take them to the Mediterranean, Slovenia more specifically, where Jasna will make a grand homecoming by sailboat. Before that, she will share many more adventures. I’m counting on it. Keep an eye on jasnatuta.com (choose the English version).
Karen Larson is an avid reader of multiple genres and co-founder and former editor of Good Old Boat magazine. Now retired, Karen and her husband, Jerry Powlas, haven’t slowed down, but shifted gears and now spend more time sailing their two boats than they ever have.