I finished reading Bumfuzzle – Just Out Looking for Pirates a couple weeks ago however it took a while to percolate my opinion of the book. It’s a tale of a young couple deciding to give up their careers to buy a catamaran and sail around the world, with only 1/2 day of sailing course and essentially no boating experience whatsoever. On the one hand, it was amazing how this couple managed to be clever enough survive some of the situations at sea with so little experience, and on the other I kept thinking they must have been completely insane to attempt some of their voyages. It’s one thing to sail between islands in the Caribbean and as they discovered, it’s quite another ‘kettle of fish’ to sail across massive oceans.
The book is an easy read if you don’t mind the rants, which I actually found rather amusing. It is certainly a great cautionary tale for anyone considering venturing out for an offshore cruise without being prepared. Their lack of preparation and detest for cooking were truly remarkable – I enjoy good food too much to ever consider heading out without a well-stocked cupboard. After reading Living a Dream about two retired Navy officers who were extremely knowledgeable and super-prepared for each voyage, Bumfuzzle became a stark comparison of how to sail without any fuss…but with all the hassles and risks that come with such lack of prepared-ness.
Throughout the book, I enjoyed their tales of the warmth and welcoming nature of peoples in the far corners of the globe, except of course other cruisers. Oh my, there wasn’t much tolerance for hanging out with old fuddy-duddy folks who worried about the weather and enquired where you were heading. I know when John & I head out on our boat (someday) and I meet other cruisers, I’ll do my best not to ask them “So how long have you been out” or to tell them what I think of their pace.
I must say I appreciated the couple’s personal courage to just give up their “normal” lives and head off to sea, as well as their approach to just deciding to “get on with it” whenever they were tired of a location. I do hope that others who are considering an offshore adventure will be encouraged by the Bumfuzzle tale, and not hesitate to just go for it….with the appropriate amount of preparation of course.
Here is what John thought.