Fair Winds and Far Places
by Mann, Zane B. 1924-
pub. by Dillon Press, 500 S. Third St Minneapolis, MN USA 55415 , 1978     isbn - 0-87518-159-7 (LCCN = 78-543 - - 272 p. - autobiographical sailing story - index. color photos
Mr. Zane Mann, after working in investment banking for the better part of a lifetime, and after his children have graduated college and began their own lives, convinces his wife to sell off their posessions, buy a sailboat, and head off to the Caribbean. He lives the good life, which is not without difficulties. After a particularly rough stormy bit his wife decides to chuck it all and go home to mom. Good luck and careful mending on his part salvage the relationship and the lifestyle. In the long run Mrs. Mann comes around and in the end thoroughly enjoys living the cruising life. All the major islands of the Windward and Leeward groups are visited and experienced. Some very interesting stories about Don Street are related, from when he had already established himself as the great authority sailing in this area, but was not so well financed. In the text he mentions that he was sailing in 1972 when President Nixon was elected, giving this book a time stamp, and allows the reader to understand that the descriptions of the places visited were as of that time period. This may be especially helpful when considering the description of Grenada (where we fought a mini-war during the Reagan administration) and the visit to Venezuela, which is now a much different place.
After the first few chapters I was minorly irritated at this -rich guy- living the life of ease, and constant partying while -honest people- struggled. That wore off with the realization that this is the description of a time and place which no longer exist, and is well chronicled in this book. The last chapter gives pointers and lists complications that anyone considering the cruising lifestyle need to surmount. The events in this book cover some 3 years. The back dustjacket of the book mention that the Manns, following the time described in this book toured the canals of Europe and are -now (1978) sailing the Mediterranean Sea.

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