The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow

An aussie school teacher in England sets out on a sailing/rowing adventure, leaving the border near Wales and like Dr Dolittle, who set sail and bumped into Africa, kept going until he bashed into the Black Sea.

   In this travel memoir, A.J Mackinnon (Sandy) rows, sails, struggles, hauls, wades and drags his way for a year and 12 countries along canals, up and down locks, rivers and creeks. He writes beautiful prose about his         many adventures on board his tiny boat, Jack de Crow, sometimes too poetically and verbosely that it hurt to continually conjure up the images of the people and places he describes so vividly and often so humorously.

I    often had to stop reading until I knew I had the time to focus and concentrate. I have attempted to learn to sail (see below) and probably in a boat the size of the Mirror (a style of boat for the non nautical minded), so I often felt inspired to take a small sailing vessel and emulate his extraordinary feats. Though sometimes I really didn’t as well. My husband and I have discussed, (to be fair usually with wine), the idea of sailing for months on end once the 5 children have finished school. It’s pertinent to note, that I don’t know how to sail nor do we have a boat, but Sandy’s personal account has given this idea more wind. It’s an enjoyable read for landlubbers and hard-core sailors alike, and for those who enjoy a travel memoir, probably a nice deviation from those that involve home renovations in Italy.

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