The 300-page first volume of The Unexpected Circumnavigation by Christi Grab now is for sale at Lulu.com. Click on image for a larger view.
Expectations for success were low
Christi and Eric Grab fully expected to circumnavigate the world, even though they had moments of doubt. But family, friends and self-styled experts on the dock were convinced the young couple, with relatively little boating experience, had little chance for success.
Thus the name The Unexpected Circumnavigation for the four-volume account that Christi Grab has begun to produce, partially based on the detailed blog she and Eric maintained. The first volume now is for sale at Lulu.com.
If you’re not familiar with their story, here’s a feature in Circumnavigator magazine that will provide an introduction.
From the prologue to the book, here’s how the author describes the reaction of family, friends and others once they had ordered a Nordhavn 43 and announced their plans to circumnavigate:
We were in for a shock. Since almost all cruising boats are sailboats, the seminars were comprised primarily of sailors—and most of them were unsupportive of our plans. First of all, they seemed to think that we didn’t have enough experience to be “entitled” to try an undertaking as huge as a circumnavigation. As far as they were concerned, the lack of hands on experience meant we were doomed to fail. We explained that we were devoting four full years to preparing for this adventure, but they didn’t think that was anywhere close to enough.
When we told them which route we were planning to take, they would become even more discouraging, telling us there is absolutely no way we could do a twenty day ocean crossing for our first leg. Apparently, you're supposed to build up to long ocean passages by doing progressively longer hops. So, for example, you do an overnight trip, then a three day trip, then a five day, and so on until you build up to twenty. Starting with twenty was a no no.
When we told these sailors what boat we had chosen, most of them had the same response. “You guys are so ignorant about boating that you don’t even know that it is absolutely impossible to cross an ocean on a small powerboat! See! We told you that you weren’t experienced enough for this.”
They all assumed the boat had no keel and would flip over in big waves. They assumed it would have a fast engine that burned a ton of fuel, more fuel than we could physically carry with us to make it across an entire ocean. They assumed the engine had many design weaknesses that would make it vulnerable to a failure, and when that inevitable failure occurred, we would be in dire straits without a sail. When we tried to tell them about the capabilities of our boat, they brushed us off as too boorish to be worth listening to. We couldn’t believe how many sailors had no idea that certain powerboats are made for long sea passages, and were even more incredulous at how resistant they were to the concept.
Some of our non-boater friends, family, and co-workers were equally unsupportive. Conversations tended to go like this: “You’ll probably get attacked by pirates and be killed! Don’t you know how dangerous foreign countries are?” Or, “What about your careers? After a two year gap in employment, you’ll never get another job.” Or even, “You’ll never be happy living in such a tiny space, being in motion all the time, and being together all the time! You’re going to be miserable!” Fortunately, we did have some supportive people in our lives that kept us from getting discouraged.
The rest is history, as they did indeed circumnavigate the world in two years, just as they had promised, visiting 30 countries and territories and covering a total of 28,930 nautical miles with Kosmos.