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20 October 2018

Saturday Spotlight | "The Essence" By Deb Akey

In addition to the usual blog posts on Mondays and Wednesdays (and the occasional Friday) about life on a sailboat and other oddities, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

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Today, I'm featuring Deb Akey's wonderful book, >>The Essence: Short Vignettes on Moments that Define my Life with the Sea<<.

I found The Essence to be a really unique book full of beautiful photographs accompanied by short vignettes about the author's reflections of her life living on a boat and her relationship with the sea. Deb has a lovely way with words - her honesty, sense of adventure, and wonder and curiosity about the world shine through.

Deb dreamed of escaping a life of unsatisfying work by selling everything and sailing off into the sunset. It's the kind of dream many people have, but few actually achieve. This book explores the "why" behind that decision - what compelled her to live a meaningful life with the sea.

Perhaps one of my favorite vignettes was the one which described the parade of boats that heads down the Intracoastal Waterway each year to Florida and beyond. I loved Deb's curiosity as she passed each boat, trying to imagine everyone's backstories and what led them to this life on the water.
"As we pass each boat, I like to imagine the story of the person manning the helm who waves. Was she a corporate manager? Was he an accountant? Do they have eleven grand kids like we do that makes it hard to leave? Did someone break his heart and he's seeking solace in the quiet of the water? Did she suddenly realize, while doing a load of laundry, that life was passing her by?"

As I turned each page, gazed at the next photograph, and absorbed Deb's words that the image sparked for her, I found myself reflecting on my own life choices and search for meaning. And that's what makes this book so special from my perspective. Deb shares her thoughts, but they're just a springboard for your own contemplation and meditations.

You don't need to be interested in sailing or cruising for this book to resonate. It's about common human experiences - major life changes and their consequences, the importance of family, fear of the unknown, chasing your dreams, and our connection to nature.

You can pick up a copy of >>The Essence<< on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format. I think that it would make a wonderful gift for someone who is thinking about the cruising lifestyle, for friends and family of cruisers to give them an insight into what life on the water is like, or for anyone who is curious about one woman's experiences living a life connected to the sea.


ABOUT DEB

Deb Akey is a former pilot, motorcyclist, and computer guru. In 2013 she and her husband T.J. sold everything, moved onto their 42-ft sailboat and left to cruise the East Coast and Caribbean waters.

Deb also writes children's books under the pen name Dema, a name given to her affectionately by her nine grandchildren. She is currently working on book two of the Maryssa Mayberry series, a series of children's books which deal with the ocean and how we can all help to sustain its viability for many centuries to come.

Deb and her husband spend much of their time writing about their experiences on their blog, The Retirement Project. They have also written a indispensable guide for anyone thinking about buying a cruising boat, >>How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat<<, in order to help others with the dream of cruising succeed.

NOTE: I was given an advance reader's copy (ARC) of The Essence by the author and voluntarily chose to write an honest review.

When you think about the sea, what comes to mind? Are you going to pick up a copy of Deb's book?

14 comments:

  1. This landlubber loves to read about life on the water. It's not something i could do, but it's fun to dream.

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    1. There are a lot of things I'd much rather read about than do in real life. :-)

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  2. Oh how I miss the Ocean, and Cape Town too for that matter. The book that first intrigued me and seduced me into becoming a "Boaty" was a book published in 1959 by Double Day. The book's title is "The Frisbies of the south seas" written by Johnny Frisbie. The story of her family life in the South Pacific being raised and cared for by her widowed father by the same name. This book is well worth a perusal and is available at Amazon. But be warned, it's a very touching story and will definitely influence you. Blessings from Geoff in Johannesburg.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out :-)

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  3. This gives me hope it's not too late to do something interesting with my life. ~grin~ Happy Sailing!

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    1. From what I can tell, you lead a pretty interesting life. After all it has cats in it :-)

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  4. I admire you folks who are brave enough to follow your dreams out to sea. Short-term life on a boat would be more to my liking, because our beloved pool table just wouldn't fit on a boat!

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    1. Now you have me thinking about how we can fit a pool table on our our boat.

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  5. I've always dreamed of selling everything, getting a trailer, and driving all across the States. Maybe I'll do it some day. :)

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    1. That sounds like a great adventure - hope you get to do it one day.

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  6. Deb's last book sounds and looks like one that will be enjoyed by many. I congratulate her, putting words into actions (books) and not just hoping to publish them one day, as seems to be the case with me. I can see quite a few similarities here between the two of us, as I've played with the idea of writing and publishing a cruising photo book with poems and a book that will be called "How NOT to become an American." :-)

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    1. That would be a very interesting book - go for it :-)

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  7. This sounds like a book to sink into. I dream about a life at sea, but it will never be for me thanks motion sickness. Oh well.

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