“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”~ Ben Franklin

I am so fortunate to have followed Benjamin Franklin’s advice: My husband Günter and I have sailed around the world—that was certainly worth doing; afterwards, I wrote the first of three books about our adventures.

In these days of fast-paced communication via E-mail, Facebook, Twitter and more, it seems that snail mail is relegated to advertising, bills, and pleas for contributions.  Imagine my joy when I receive fan mail—by mail! These letters are an unexpected reward for my efforts.  Many of them are handwritten.

I gave a video/slide presentation and talk at the Pt. Loma Optimist Club last summer, where retired Navy Chaplain Jack Wartes bought my book, “In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: MAIDEN VOYAGE.” At 93, Jack is the oldest member of the club.  I have received permission from him to post excerpts from his letters here:

“I have been entirely consumed and excited as I have been reading your great book…I could hardly wait to put it down.  I’m on page 132, just halfway through….I try to imagine being on Pacific Bliss with you.  Your writing and competent descriptions of your long journey are so vivid and interesting.  Now, having scanned ahead to Cabo and then to San Diego, I wonder if you are writing Vol. II that will tell ‘the rest of the story’ of your Pacific crossing and through the Suez and back to France? Our eldest son Greg hopes to buy a Cat.  He has studied them extensively and said he knew about the Catana boats.”

Of course, I wrote back and said that I am diligently working on the second of the trilogy, to be called SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC.   Then Jack wrote again:

“My main reaction was that it was so exciting and well written that I could not put it down until I finished the 263 pages, much while competing with the Padres game on TV…I read it in ten days…now I feel like you two are like younger siblings to me after feeling like I was a deck hand while going along with you as I read.  I WAS a deck hand, “CAPTAIN OF THE MUD SCOWS” when I was 20 years old and worked on a dredge in Puget Sound while attending the Univ. of Washington.  I have visited many cities and ports, but not near as many as you two have, but I am still curious to know if, by chance, I have been to one area of this old earth that you may have not yet been able to visit: The Arctic Ocean…Sorry I am so wordy but you have blessed me more than I can express…I believe the best evidence of our God are the splendors and details of His Creation which you have described so completely in your MAIDEN VOYAGE…”

This correspondence has resulted in an invitation to Jack’s home, where I will also meet his 90-year-old wife.  Jack says he plans to try out his umlaut on Günter.