Adams, Sharon Sites and Karen J Coates. Pacific Lady: the First Woman to Sail Solo across the World’s Largest Ocean. University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Outdoor Lives. EBSCOhost.
Reason read: July is one of the best months to be on the water. Also, it is the month Ida B. Wells was born (7/16/1862). Ida embodied the spirit of empowerment for women.
In 1965 Sharon Adams became the first woman to sail from California to Hawaii in a 25′ Folkboat called the Sea Sharp. [Moment of honesty: I was unfamiliar with the term folkboat and had to look it up.] Adams had just learned to sail the year before at age thirty-four. Recently widowed she needed something to do; somewhere to channel her grief. Dentistry just didn’t cut it. What better place than the ocean? And then. Then, after that, she decided she needed to do more. Why not be the first woman to sail the entire Pacific ocean? Delivering a boat from Japan to San Diego, California in just under four months, Adams not only learned more about the natural environment around her but about herself as well.
Here’s the thing you need to know about Sharon Adams. She was just an ordinary woman looking for a hobby. she did something extraordinary not because she wanted fame but because she could. what I don’t think she realized is that she can write just as well as she sailed. Even though she had help from Karen Coates, every other sentence was begging to be a quote in my review.
Some of my favorite lines (and there were many). Here are two about loneliness: “Experience does not deaden the sting of loneliness at sea” (p 1) and “Some sailors simply couldn’t endure their own minds” (p 3).
Author fact: Adams was 78 when she published her memoir about her sailing adventures. I love her writing so much I wish she had written more.
Book trivia: the foreword was written by Randall Reeves and the preface was written by Karen Coates.
Nancy said: nothing special about Pacific Lady. It’s just in a list of books about the ocean. too bad Nancy didn’t have a chapter called “Women Doing Amazing Things!”
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the obvious chapter called “See the Sea” (p 202).