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Storms on the Atlantic
On the Pacific
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The Life at Sea Series

The three books of the Life at Sea Series is the story of a series of gales which tear at the edges of Sam's life. A teenager falling in love in Storms on the Atlantic he does not suspect that a squall is blowing up while he is distracted, and in Landlocked his opportunity to be a father and a career man is a storm sail put up too late to keep the bow turned into the wind. When he retires on the west coast in On the Pacific, he finally learns to relinquish control over the currents and the wind.

Life at Sea: Storms on the Atlantic

Sam felt like he lived in an aquarium. Like he was circling eastern Canada waiting for a bored child to tap on the glass. Under such scrutiny, his plans were a temptation to the fates instead of a way to define his possible future. He tried to keep his hand firmly on the tiller, but sudden rocks under the hull, treacherous currents, or cross breezes, constantly seemed to shift his course.

He decided he would change that when he began to fix an abandoned wreck of a boat near the marina. Once it was seaworthy, he would be Joshua Slocum sailing around the world, and the adventures he would wrote in his cramped journal would expand until all the books in his village library could not contain his endless travels. Months later, when the boat was marginally closer to righting, he met Jennie and like a rogue wave she turned him from his intended course.

A beautiful, clumsy, bespectacled mermaid of a girl, she was a confusing combination of rippled water and waves thrown up by a storm. The touch of her body suggested a horizon that no amount of sailing could have revealed, and he felt like the curse he'd been under since the day he was born had been lifted. Every tack has a reef, and with his fears thumping against the solid planks of his reality, he worried he would be cast adrift again, his hull leaking and not a ship in sight. He gripped the tiller and kept an eye on the water's surface.

Life at Sea: Landlocked

After washing up on the Winnipeg shore, the arid Midwestern soil kept Sam running in place. His old life behind him, he cleaned his apartment for coins as his girlfriend took away her rent-paying job. After she slammed the door, only his cousin's offer of work kept him from his parents' basement.

Hired without qualifications, and surrounded by suspicious and silent colleagues, Sam frantically fished through his desk and paperwork, trying to lift anything into the light which would explain where he was.

When Amy showed up at his door, his initial reluctance to take on crew softens. The mainsail could use an extra hand, and he could sail through the night. Before long he is working on parenting and keeping his head low for the storm that is sure to drive him onto the rocks.

Life at Sea: On the Pacific

With his retirement looming and the sea his only goal, Sam could finally buy a boat. He would combine his pension and his dream to sail around the world. But when he begins to troll through the boatyards and docks he begins to rethink his imagined future.

Perhaps his wish to disappear at sea is a result of his background of loss, for his past failures come roaring in upon him the more he tries to escape.

The boat life is not what he imagined, and he is once again casting around looking for another option. His life on the water leads him to others who live on the coast. Before long he is building a float home while attempting to fix the broken relationships in his life. Equally frightened by the world, Leen helps him lift the timbers and install the windows of this last chance at happiness.


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