Monday, 22 December 2014

LIFE'S A DITCH by Charles Dougherty


Non Fiction, Memoir, Travel, Sailing

Originally posted on Amazon HERE on 22 March 2013

This is the tale of Charles and Leslie Dougherty's new life on board their boat, Play Actor, after giving up the the affluent, acquisitive, middle class, work and stress orientated lifestyle. I've read and reviewed 'Dungda de lslan', about their travels around the Caribbean; this is what happened before, describing their trip down the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, and on to the Bahamas.

I loved it, even more than Dungda de Islan'. Having always had fantasies about doing this sort of thing (me and a gazillion others!), I loved reading how Charles and Leslie's attitude to life changed so quickly; about how their focus altered, how their life became harder physically, yet more simple. The portrayal of this change in attitude isn't in any way cheesy, though; it's described in a practical, matter of fact and often amusing way. One bit that really struck me was Charles' realisation that this boat was now 'home' - if they had a problem with the boat they could no longer just go back to their nice comfortable house, and deal with the boat issue later...

Some parts of this book brought a tear to my eye, especially the bit about Willie, the Bahamian fisherman; I so enjoyed reading the bit about the Bahamas, but I think my favourite section of the book was when they were in Georgia, featuring Charles's recollections of his childhood, comparisons with modern times, and passages of historical interest. I'm ashamed to say that before I read this all I knew about Georgia was the impression given of it by the film 'Deliverance' - at least now I am better informed! Loved all the observations about the people Charles and Leslie came across, loved the domestic details, the descriptions of the wildlife and the scenery - I just loved it all. It's beautifully written, and I know I shall read parts of it again and again.

If you have an interest in sailing, love boats, or have ever wanted to pack in the 9-5 and live life according to your own rules, you will enjoy this book as much as I did!

Charles also writes fiction, and has a blog about his travels, which is fascinating; he's @clrdougherty on Twitter - follow him!

DUNGDA DE ISLAN' by the same author is reviewed HERE

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