Green Ghost, Blue Ocean: No Fixed Address

by Smith, Jennifer M.

(1 customer review)

CAD $21.95

Early in their careers, Smith and her husband Nik realized that rewards in the corporate world might grow but would essentially remain the same–more money for more things–and they would never provide time off for real self-discovery. The couple seized on the idea of long-distance sailing as their preferred road less travelled. This memoir chronicles the adventures that unfolded over 40,000 nautical miles and 17 years.

ISBN 10: 1989725058
ISBN 13: 9781989725054
Pages: 286
Published: 2020
Format: softcover
Category: .
Tags: , , .

1 review for Green Ghost, Blue Ocean: No Fixed Address

  1. Bruce Conron

    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky…I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life. Smith and her husband, Captain Nik, caught John Masefield’s sea fever in Vancouver and led the gypsy life aboard Green Ghost, their 42-foot cutter-rigged sloop, with no fixed address during a circumnavigation that extended over 17 years (2000-2017). It was to be the fulfillment of a dream, “a big, grand dream.” By the end of that world cruise into Lake Ontario, interspersed with flights back to Canada for family concerns and the replenishment of their bank account that in the latter case occupied their life over four years with the boat on the hard in Australia, Smith had her existential experience. As she said on the last page, “how liberating to decide who you’ll be,” an effect that seems to happen during extended offshore sailing. Perhaps it was a Moitessier moment. The couple’s lives afloat took them from their 30’s to their 50’s. Nik is the spontaneous, much more extroverted partner, making things happen in the spur. She is the more introspective and methodical one, planning ahead for eventualities. Yes, the sea could be lonely, but they were rarely lonely in this age of SSB radio, sailmail, a fleet of international sailing couples met and met again, and mixing with the people native to the shores of the three oceans they travelled. One of the fascinations in the reading is to notice how well this marriage worked in the confined space of a boat that inevitably had its fair share of breakdowns. Still, with 40,000 nautical miles logged, thanks to the TLC that Green Ghost received from stem to stern en route (foresail furling gear and autohelm disabled, then replaced), about the most critical incident affecting its seaworthiness was the engine transmission flooded with sea water. It was Nik’s ingenuity that saved the day in the middle of the Indian Ocean. There is much to enjoy in this engaging memoir. And Smith appends an excellent glossary of over 150 nautical terms for the uninitiated, most of them she has sourced from online lexicons and her own acquired knowledge. When I came across the following, “The farmers came zotting over in their tinny,” it was translated for me here.

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