During the off season I read to wile away the hours, days, weeks, and months until I can once again feel the deck moving under my feet, the spray on my face, and hear the wind and waves press against the boat. During the sailing season I read for motivation to pull away from the marina and head out for the horizon to see what’s on the other side. In MoonWind at Large: Sailing Hither and Yon, Constant Waterman has given me something for all seasons.
MoonWind, Waterman’s 26-foot Chris-Craft Pawnee, designed by Sparkman & Stephens, is probably similar to what many of the rest of us own — a simple, relatively small but sturdy vessel that helps us find our hidden Slocum or Magellan. His book is an account of some of his own adventures, and misadventures, as he plies the waters and ports of southern New England in search of his own hidden explorer. The stories can be read in the order they appear for a chronological record of his travels, or in no particular order at all, but it’s a pleasure and a treasure either way. In addition to his expertise as a raconteur, Waterman is an accomplished illustrator and the book is sprinkled with several dozen pen-and-ink sketches of places he’s visited (physically and in his mind’s eye), maps of his cruising territory, and vessels and critters he’s encountered.
I would imagine that many of us who do a lot of reading have probably thought about writing a book at some point. We think, “I can do that,” and some of us do, while many more of us are still wannabes. Waterman has done it several times with at least five books to his credit and, according to the bio page at the end of Moon Wind, works of “drama, poetry, comedy, and farce.” As of now my personal muse is still incubating, but if she ever wakes up, this is the kind of work I’d be proud to put on my list of accomplishments. In the meantime I’ll be content to read what others write, and keep this particular volume close at hand. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.