of the Schooner Lusty 1
book came direct from author Mike Williams in northern Thailand. The
Chronicles of the Schooner Lusty 1 (ISBN 974-94170-9-7, Craftsman Press,
printed in Thailand 2007) is a report on the lives of several young men and
women who sailed around the world in an old wooden schooner called Lusty 1.
Mike Williams writes that the impetus came from his university mate Terry
Anderson who posed the question, “Michael, why don’t we buy a boat and sail
around the world?” Both almost footloose and fancy free, the answer had to
be “Why not?” and so they began a six year adventure.
Very quickly, author Mike Williams introduces you to the escapade, as by P
13 they had had a collision with a bridge and broke one of their masts, and
by P 29, almost lost a man overboard. But they persevered.
Many of the chapters relate not just to the sailing, but also to the
problems encountered entering national boundaries, and leaving them. The
book shows that dropping anchor in some tropical bay is not so simple or
idyllic. There might be wahines for pleasure, but there are always petty
officials ready for displeasure. More than once, the Lusty 1 had to do a
midnight cruise, never to return.
I enjoyed the fact that the author Mike Williams gave us much more than just
a ship’s log of places visited. You do get a clear picture of life in
foreign lands (or should that be seas?) as it was then - 30 years ago. It
has changed I believe, but haven’t we all?
What was even more interesting for this landlubber were the pen sketches of
the main protagonists in this fight against the accepted norms. People of
different backgrounds and abilities, but in reality held together, not by a
love of the sea, but by a love of individuality, something I can relate to.
The Chronicles of the Schooner Lusty 1 certainly chronicles the activities
of some lusty lads over six years of sailing, plus a catch-up towards the
end of the book, where the author mentions what happened to some of them.
For those with a sense of adventure, it will probably be a disappointment to
find that most of them settled down into the humdrum of the 9-5, wife and
2.4 children, despite the free and easy time before the mast. This was
because for many, that time was actually not so free, not so easy, and there
is always a price to pay for hedonism.
As a read, it is a lusty and enjoyable romp, and anyone who has ever
hankered after doing something totally different will enjoy it. I did, even
though I have never wanted to be a sailor (and still don’t), but I
recognized the need for personal expression that drove the young men (and
women) to becoming sailors. It did not then surprise me that author Mike
Williams eventually ended up in Thailand, “the land of the free”.
There is also a glossary of sailing terms at the back of the book, for the
land-bound! Good value at B. 695.