Catamaran Crossing: A Sailing Adventure from La Coruña to Antigua - Book Review

Book Review of :  Catamaran Crossing: A Sailing Adventure from La Coruña to Antigua


Landlubbers, as well as boating enthusiasts, will be intrigued by Catamaran Crossing, by Douglas Carl Fricke. More than an adventure story or a travel log, this memoir reveals dreams that come true. The author had verbally retold his 1986 sailing adventure numerous times and now he preserves it in writing.

His “opportunity of a lifetime” came about when sailing friends asked him to help crew a new 42-foot catamaran sailboat, the Toucan, from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to Antigua in the West Indies.  A forty-year-old weekend sailor with extensive experience on smaller boats, Fricke was so excited by the opportunity that he was willing to quit his job if his boss would not grant him vacation time. His dedication to preparation and pre-trip planning is empowering for readers who desire adventure and the thrill of a challenge.

Fricke states, “May you find our adventure story entertaining and informative.” He successfully engages the reader in more than a destination voyage. His personality is reflected in first-person dialogue and self-talk. His narrative lets readers visualize what it is like to be a crew member on an ocean cruising catamaran, a combination of personal comfort and high performance. The sailing craft has berth space for the crew of four, modern navigational equipment, and is crewed by knowledgeable, experienced sailors. But unexpected storms, and then the mid-Atlantic doldrums add to the adrenalin spiking, sensual experiences. The trip was temporarily interrupted because one of the rudders was lost during a nasty storm in the Bay of Biscay. Once replaced, the trip continued but with a couple of new crew members. Sailing terminology and nautical terminology provide authenticity to the narrative.

With physical descriptions and facts, interesting nuggets of information of history and geography skillfully incorporated, the tale is much more than informational journalism. The author’s picturesque memory of characters is evident in his writing. He shows the reader a haughty doorman in a foreign yacht club who immediately labels him a “turista”, and peers down his nose at him. The man’s attitude and snappy blazer with the club emblem, challenges Fricke’s right to be admitted. Members-only! The author then reveals his frustration with the language barrier and wishes he could communicate better with the locals.

Fricke empowers his readers to recognize when opportunity meets dreams. He stresses how to plan for meeting goals, adequately prepare as much as possible, and the conviction to proceed in accomplishing a dream. He recommends that readers consider taking a trip into the wilderness, learn to appreciate and cherish planet earth.

Catamaran Crossing is more than just another narrative of long-distance voyaging under sail, this aptly named book includes in-depth discussions of preparations, both practical and mental. Fricke has penned an inspirational book for all sailing enthusiasts.

Reviewed by: Carole W

About Douglas Carl Fricke


Doug has been a family historian for years and has published genealogical works covering two of his European ancestral families. Recently, he has ventured into sharing some of his most daring sailing adventures through storytelling. He has sailed in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Aegean, the Gulf of Mexico and across the mid-Atlantic. He has a collection of passport visas from over forty foreign countries while traveling for pleasure, for the military, and for corporate America as a software engineer.


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