Ocean of Time: The Making of a Mariner (Paperback)
Dreams are harmless (even beneficial) until you try to make them your reality. Having realized a fragment of his dream-to see the world from the deck of his own boat-pushed Robert Duke to the precipice of a life-altering decision. He leased his home, stored a few coveted possessions, persuaded his wife to forfeit her career, and turned his back on a lucrative consulting business, then set sail to Baja, Mexico, for a year. He treasured the experience, though it had nearly bankrupted him, but he was determined to keep "boating."
Compromising a dream, he found, didn't ruin it; it was adjusting it to reality, he told himself. With his wife Shearlean's collaboration, they embarked on a forty-five year adventure of managing a time-versus-subsistence lifestyle that proved ultimately prescient and fulfilling: Shearlean exited conventional journalism before newspapers failed and Robert found he could spend more time with people's boats than if he owned one. After forty-five years, the lifestyle they eventually crafted was more satisfying, Robert found, than if his original dream had been granted.
Ocean of Time recounts the couple's passage from dream through fruition, across the oceans of the world, as dedicated, but part time voyagers, rich with time, and trusting in serendipity. The memoir summarizes the couple's course through the risky shoals and secure anchorages of lives lived on the edge of convention ending with the final adventure of Shearlean's calamitous eighteen-month struggle with terminal brain cancer.
Robert reflects on how the lifestyle he and Shearlean embraced endowed them with the fortitude and means to fully live everyday of her last eighteen months, until her painless death upon awakening in bed together one morning in February 2011.