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Publisher's Summary

Erik and Emily skillfully reveal that it is possible to live big on a shoestring budget while giving their family an astonishing education in adventure, creativity, purpose, and grit.

Working the night shift as a temp in a high-rise cubicle, Erik Orton knew something had to change. He felt the responsibility of providing for his wife and their five children, the youngest with Down syndrome, but craved a life that offered more than just surviving.

Watching the sailboats on the Hudson River during his sunset dinner breaks, Erik dared to dream. What would it be like to leave the hustle of the city and instead spend a year on a sailboat, somewhere beautiful, as a family? Despite having no sailing experience, his wife Emily's phobia of deep water, and already stretching every dollar to pay rent and buy groceries, the family of seven turned their excuses into reasons and their fears into motivation. Sure, they would miss their friends, they could go broke, they could get injured or die. Worst of all, they could humiliate themselves by trying something audacious and failing. But the little time they still had together as a family, before their oldest daughter left for college, was drifting away. The Ortons cast off the life they knew to begin an uncertain journey of 5,000 miles between New York City and the Caribbean, ultimately arriving at a new place within themselves.

A portrait of a captivating and resilient family and a celebration of the courage it takes to head for something over the horizon, this is a deeply compelling story, told alternately by Erik and Emily, for all those who dream of leaving routine in their wake.

©2019 Erik Orton and Emily Orton (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Megan M.
  • 20-10-20

Interesting story, good narration, annoying characters

I really like the premise of this book... saving money, following a dream and making it happen. However, I found the first hand accounts to be grating to the point of turning the book off in irritation. The husband seems like a narcissistic dictator, and everyone is expected to fall in line with his every whim. But the most frustrating story line was the mom- who seems to cave to every desire of her husband, even when it goes against her better judgement. I could overlook this, but it seems like a CONSTANT attempt to out-Christian everyone else in the world. At one point in the book, she tells us she didn’t pack raincoats for her and her husband, so she stays out in the cockpit in the freezing rain because, as she states “this is my penance for not packing my husband a raincoat”... what?!? A grown man doesn’t know to pack his own raincoat for a year long journey at sea? And why would you need to self inflict punishment for such a ridiculous mistake? There are many, many examples of her making excuses for her husband very unkind and selfish behavior. Overall, it was hard to listen to a story of someone so completely without self respect. It turned me off to the overall story of a family going on a journey together.

2 people found this helpful

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  • M. Miller
  • 08-04-21

Great story of a family adventure

Great story about not waiting to live your dreams. While not everyone is going to be able to spend a year on a boat, we can all live more in the moment and not wait to do what makes us happy. Not everything is always perfect, and the Ortons are a normal family that get mad and get frustrated, but it just shows that you don't need to have it all together to be all together.

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  • Hannah Stu
  • 22-01-21

Trials & errors & a whole lot of adventures & love

This book demonstrates that following your dreams takes courage, determination, learning new skills, excepting uncomfortableness, hard work, personal growth, a deeper connection with those who matter, and create memories that will mold their future. This true story makes an aspiring goal come to life, many wish they could try, but might not ever do. Our family is plotting a planning a long term sailing lifestyle, so this is very inspirational! Thank you for writing this!

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  • KRB
  • 05-11-20

Felt like I was there and part of the adventure

Inspirational story from a brave and adventurous family. You won't learn how to sail reading this book but you really get to see what the experience could be like.

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  • Patrick E. McKnight
  • 05-10-20

Great adventure

Wonderful storytelling with first rate narration. I found myself dreaming every day after restricting myself to no more than 30 minutes each sitting. Thanks for sharing your story Ortons.

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  • Justin Robinson
  • 01-09-20

Wow

A very heart warming story about family and adventure. I can’t wait to make my very own sailing adventure.

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  • javi
  • 27-08-20

Well done.

I really enjoyed how this book took you from the family having no idea how to sail to sailing on their own in some pretty hairy situations. I do wish they would have stayed on the water as a family though. I still did enjoy reading about their adventures and their ups and downs. They didn't sugar coat it either; they weren't and aren't perfect people or sailors, and I appreciated that. At times I felt like I was learning with them.

I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about packing it up and heading off on a sailboat.

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  • Ivy
  • 08-05-20

Awesome

Awesome story. I’ve read lots of real life sailing adventures, and had many myself. This book doesn’t disappoint and is a great read with some unique lessons.

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  • harbormaster85
  • 14-04-20

Good story, brave family

Frankly I'm a bit jealous that I can't follow their lead. I'm constantly dreaming and planning for living aboard once my children are further along. Being a blended family prevents me from being able to load them up and go sailing for months or years at a time. They would rather hang out with their friends anyway. Regardless I enjoyed this book and liked the details where they admitted mistakes and learned from them.

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  • AJay
  • 05-02-20

Interesting journey but distracting performance

This family discovered many things while en route between concept and action. Probably the most relevant thing to the reader would be the Orton’s introduction to the kindness and generosity of the sailing community. The reader’s performance (his more than hers) was disingenuous and complicated by frequent mispronunciations. If you can get by that and you can relate to the family’s personal ideals, you’ll probably enjoy most of the book.

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  • sinbad4england
  • 16-02-21

fairly enjoyable 'listen'

I couldn't take to Eric Orton (husband and father) or maybe the person who narrated Eric's word ? Eric came across as self centred and it was usually someone else's fault when something went wrong. Emily (wife and mum) worked hard ,did the lions share with the kids and 'housekeeping' and managed to still love an oft grumpy Eric. The whole adventure was worth a listen and I'm glad it all seemed to work out (especially when the marriage hit choppy seas as well as the boat). The kids were lovely and obviously close. A family that had an adventure !