Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary by Liesbet Collaert is one of those rare finds. More than just a sailing memoir, the author pulls us into a physical as well as a psychological journey. Her voice is honest, compelling, and direct and her decision to set the book in the present tense invites us to – literally – come along for the ride, never knowing what to expect next.
As the title indicates, the author and her companions dive into each adventure head first, taking the consequences in stride. The book begins in California, where Liesbet faces a decision that defines her thirties. Never having sailed before and prone to seasickness, she somehow ends up on a sailboat and from then on, stumbles into lifestyle changes as they present themselves, far beyond the United States.
Without wanting to give too much away about this fascinating, page-turning, and unique account of life afloat and cruising the oceans, themes that are touched upon are her relationship, being together in a small space for 24/7, sailing with dogs, starting a business in the middle of nowhere, incredible wildlife encounters and cultural immersions, dealing with scary health issues, love, loss, and living in the moment at sea.
Reading Plunge is almost as good as taking the plunge to go sailing yourself, with the added benefit that you won’t get wet, seasick, or risk your life, relationship, and sanity. Armchair travel at its best!
This debut travel memoir of this author, photographer, translator, editor, sailor, adventurer, and long-term nomad had me on the edge of my seat and stirred up a variety of emotions as I followed along on her less than ordinary journey. Plunge is a well-written book that I highly recommend for sailors, cruisers, travelers, would-be adventurers, and people who are curious about the path less traveled.