Thursday, January 24, 2008

#265 Cruises in the Sun

Cruises in the Sun was written by Kent Curtis, my uncle, and published in 1950.

What could be better for some shipboard reading? Cruises in the Sun is a collection of three novels - The Blushing Camel, Drumbeaters Island, and The Cameleers - all previously published separately. Since these are sailing adventure stories set in Florida and the Bahamas, I picked up my copy as I was heading out the door for Nassau.

Despite the fact that my reading time was limited to the flights to and from Nassau and despite the fact the weather in Nassau was mostly rainy and windy, I loved the stories about shipboard customs, sailing across the Great Bahama Bank, and life.

One of my favorite passages comes from another cruising adventure, the Cruise of the Nona...
"Indeed the cruising of a boat here and there is very much what happens to the soul of a man in a larger way. We set out for places which we do not reach, or reach too late; and, on the way, there befall us all manner of things which we could never have awaited. We are granted great vision, we suffer intolerable tediums, we come to no end of the business, we are lonely out of sight of England, we make astonishing landfalls - and the whole rigmarole leads us along no whither, and yet is alive with discovery, emotion, adventure, peril, and repose."

And another favorite passage from Cruises in the Sun...
"What wouldn't I do? I'd sail a boat like this to Africa, and climb mountains and then write books about my adventures. I'd like to learn to play the piano, I'd like to be an acrobat, I might even start a war if I was sure it wouldn't get too big for me to handle personally. I'd like to go down the Mississippi in a canoe and over the Andes on a horse. I'd like to do almost anything except go back to school and spend the next seven years of my life learning to be a credit to my family."

Yours in spending a little time on a ship, reading sailing stories, and pretending I'm an adventurer,


  1. I just loved reading those excerpts from your uncle's book, Mary. It gives a lot of insight to why you are the way you are. The piano, the voyages... Did he end up taking the respectable path and continue his education?

    ...Bridget :-)

  2. No. Kent took the unrespectable path and did as he pleased with his life. He did not finish college. But he learned to play the piano, wrote several books, floated down the Mississippi, raced his sailboat from St Petersburg to Havana, crossed the Atlantic dozens of times... Now that is unrespectable!