Youth is an impressionable age. Jon K Adams was sixteen when he left with his family on a world cruise. They sailed on the schooner Fairweather from San Francisco down the west coast of Mexico, and then by heading west: across the South Seas, the East Indies, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, and then back up the west coast of Mexico to San Francisco. The cruise lasted four years, from March 1961 to April 1965. During those four years, Fairweather sailed 35,566 miles, spent 349 days at sea, and visited 103 ports. Adams knows all this because his mother kept a journal of the cruise. Her journal, which Adams inherited, tells a story in which adventure is reduced to an everyday experience. The family was concerned mainly with food, fresh water showers, and the weather. Their lives were structured by the recurring alternation of port and sea, of arrival and departure, so that in the end, the schooner was the world they knew. From 1990 to 2011, Jon K Adamas, PhD, taught as Associate Professor of North American Studies at the University of Freiburg. His novel The Cruise of the Jest is a fictionalized account of his family’s sailing trip.
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