If you know nothing about modern sailing, then get ready for The Sapphire Sea by David Andrews. Allan Shortland is a sailor in every sense of the word, and what he doesn’t know about ocean-going vessels probably isn’t worth mentioning. But this isn’t just a sailing book. Andrews has also crafted a beautiful character-driven romance around Shortland and his ex-wife, as well as telling the ups and downs of the lives of sailors.
Andrews’ story aptly describes the wonder of sailing coupled with the danger and safety measures that Allan has built up over a life-time experience. He introduces us to a slew of character who represent the newbie, the experienced sailors, and those who fight against depression, drugs and alcohol. The circle of these stories, revolving around Allan, culminates in the renewed romance between him and his ex-wife Sally.
The Sapphire Sea is an engaging story written by an author who definitely knows what he’s talking about. However, sometimes the minutia of the sailing and ocean-going vessels is so pronounced that it overtakes the rest of the story. The details are fascinating, but for readers unfamiliar with the world, it may be overpowering.
For all that, Andrews brings to life a wonderful cast of realistic characters, accurately expressing thoughts and emotions, as they interact with each other both on and off the sea. The tale of born-again romance between Allan and Sally is at once touching and realistic, and will have you rooting for the couple throughout. Andrews introduces the reader to a very real world, making this an easy read and almost impossible to put down. There is no doubt that he, like Allan Shortland, knows his stuff.