How a city girl found happiness on the high seas

By Emma Bamford

Published by Adlard Coles Nautical, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing,  346 pages, paperback   $16

Casting Off by Emma BamfordAlthough she had aspired to become a journalist since age 16 and currently worked as a reporter and news editor at a national newspaper, Emma Bamford was feeling a growing sense of ennui. While her friends were getting married and having babies she was struggling to get to a fourth date, and a highlight of her career was asking Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button about his favorite toasted sandwich filling.

Resolving to reclaim her freedom and live life on her terms, Emma answered a “crew wanted” ad on the Internet. She soon found herself selling her car and packing her bags, bound for the jungles of Borneo to join a complete stranger (and his cat) on a boat. Her journey takes her from hidden jungle rivers to far-flung island beaches. With self-deprecating humor, she describes an encounter with pygmy elephants, a terrifying near-miss with pirates, meeting fun-loving folks from around the world, and fending off romantic propositions from a Moldovan pig farmer and a Sri Lankan village chief. In the author’s words, “It is possible to break free and find happiness – and love – in the most unlikely places.”

An author, journalist and sailor, Emma Bamford has worked at The Independent and the Daily Express. She lives in Derbyshire, England. You’ll find her entertaining blog at Casting Off is Emma’s first book. Whether you choose the paperback or the eBook, it’s a great read.