Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Travel Memoir
Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words
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“Dan Scheffler lives just outside Cape Town, South Africa with his wife and son.
He loves rough travelling, mountains, and the sea.
He is a doctor in general family practice, but tries not to let work interfere too much with his surfing.
When the Cape winters get cold or the Southeaster howls incessantly in summer, he escapes by writing about wild places and tropical trips.”
“A wild adventure through Sumatra’s jungles to the fabled Mentawai Islands in search of pristine beaches, undiscovered coral reefs, and perfect waves takes a group of surfers on a rollercoaster journey aboard the Island Explorer, a traditional Indonesian sailing ship. But the future becomes uncertain when the captain jumps ship and the stand-in skipper slowly becomes unhinged in the tropical heat.”
Even a land-locked couch potato like me is familiar with the surfer’s quest for the perfect wave and can get some vicarious thrill from this story of the author’s search through the islands of Indonesian on such a quest before many of the places he went became well known in the surfing world. As someone who likes to know a little bit about a lot of things, even things I’m unlikely to ever do, the surfing part of the story was interesting, entertaining, and even educational. Beyond the surfing adventure, there were plenty of lessons to be learned from Scheffler’s experience about life’s tradeoffs (sacrificing in one area of life to meet goals in another), the balance of work and play, and an inspiration for those of us who dream about quests of our own.
Uses South African (UK) spelling conventions. A small amount of adult language.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars