Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review: Rime of the Ancient Underwriter by Jim Salmon

Rime of the Ancient Underwriter: How I Stowed the Day Job and Went To Sea

Author:  Jim Salmon

Publisher: Hobblebush Books

Date: June 1, 2012

About the Author 
Jim Salmon was born in 1943 in Lima, Peru where his father worked as a civil engineer for the United States government. He worked in the insurance and financial planning field for 31 years. In 2000, Jim left his insurance job to follow his dream.

Around the World on a Square-Rigged Ship
Have you ever thought, "I wish I could just get away from it all?"

Jim Salmon did much more than think these words when he left his job as an insurance underwriter and embarked on a nineteen-month trip around the world.

"Rime of the Ancient Underwriter" is the personal account of Mr. Salmon's journey on board the Picton Castle, a three-masted barque sailing ship out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

This book is a detailed journal of all the ups and downs of this monumental world journey.

My Thoughts
A three-masted barque???

I know absolutely nothing about sailing. I have never been a passenger on a sailboat and I don't even care for seafood very much.

This book was a real challenge for me because of the huge learning curve that was required for me to understand the content of the text.

That said, I did read the entire book (277 pages) and I feel like I have learned a great deal from the experience. The book is very well written and organized by date and location. Even though I did not understand the technical details of the sailing ship operations, I found the following elements of the book quite fascinating;
  • The challenges overcome and sacrifices made by the crew members to travel on this ship and to be an active part of the staff/crew. The author gave up his job and paid a $35,000 "cost sharing" fee for the privilege of pursuing his lifelong dream.
  • The hard work that was required of each crew member to keep the ship in good shape and take care of the nutritional and health needs of each traveler.
  • The conflicts between the group of strangers who were confined in a small space for long periods of time.
  • The detailed descriptions of faraway places with strange sounding names. This book was an excellent lesson in world geography and culture.
  •  The love of nature that the author frequently spoke about during his trip.
I highly recommend this book for all sailing enthusiasts and all who are interested in learning more about the world around us. This book will inspire you to "dream the impossible dream and to run where the brave dare not go".

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI ~ The author's publicist sent me a complimentary text copy of this book to read and review.

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