4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever considered living on a boat? Do you think that you can raise your children while cruising different seas and oceans? In her memoirs, Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa, Tina Dreffin recounts her family's adventurous journey to South Africa and across the Atlantic Ocean. In South Africa, Tina, with her husband Peter and her two teenage sons, Adam and Warren, enjoyed the wildlife on a safari adventure in Kruger National Park. There, two other young pals, Sam and Gary, joined the family as crew members to go on another spectacular sea voyage. They set out from South Africa to the Caribbean on their newly acquired catamaran.
I had a great time reading this book. The book is undoubtedly full of interesting experiences. I had no idea that some people spent the majority of their lives on boats. That was how Tina and her family lived. Tina and Peter used to homeschool their sons while on different trips and adventures. That turned the whole family into experienced sailors. Their experience of homeschooling intrigued me. Their sons had experienced a loving upbringing free from bullying and violence.
Tina portrayed their safari excursion, the various wild creatures they encountered, and all of their other experiences in South Africa very well. I’ve learned a lot by reading this book. For instance, it was surprising to learn that hippos and buffalos kill more people than any other animal in Africa. I was enthralled by the vivid descriptions of their transoceanic journey and the various places they visited. They also experienced a lot of terrifying situations, such as encountering notorious gales at sea. In my opinion, this journey was a great opportunity for the whole family to acquire more geographical, geological, biological, and historical information.
The book was more than just a recounting of what transpired on that journey. Tina shared many of her thoughts, worries, and natural fears as a mother. She has also shared memories of events that took place prior to her marriage. The book included incidents of rape, sexual assault, and harassment that young women can face in the workplace. Additionally, Tina shared the tragic event of losing their first baby.
Perhaps the only negative aspect, in my opinion, was the use of many nautical terms and terminology that I was unfamiliar with. Many of the terms required me to look them up. I think that more explanation was needed for readers with no sailing experience. In addition, I would have appreciated more images in the book, such as the various animals, birds, and fish that they observed during their journey. The errors in the book were rare, so I can say that it was professionally edited.
Despite the minor drawbacks, I think this book deserves four out of four stars since it is a one-of-a-kind experience that deserves to be shared. I believe those who enjoy travel literature, adventures, wildlife, and the sea would find this book worth reading.
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