SAILING BLUE WATER MYSTIQUE SOLO: SAILING THE EXUMAS ALONE, written by retired educator and sailing instructor H. Downing Lane, takes the reader on a fascinating journey of the self. Lane sets sail alone through the Exumas, a section of the Bahamas consisting of 365 islands and cays. His decision to reconnect with himself and nature is partly inspired by the end of a romantic relationship and a basic need to rediscover what makes him happy.
“Eternity begins and ends with the ocean’s tides” is a quote Lane would undoubtedly understand as he makes a conscious decision to “go with the Flow.” Flow, or energy coursing through the universe that can neither be created nor destroyed, is a constant theme in the book. As Lane increasingly uses Flow as his guide, he finds a new appreciation for himself and the ocean beneath him. When he tries to fight the sea and therefore the natural world, things go wrong. When he relaxes, trusts his gut and allows nature to guide him, everything falls into place. Lane embraces the sea for all it is: beautiful and terrible, life and death, everything and nothing. Nature is not something to be controlled by humans, rather humans are one facet of nature and therefore part of the larger Flow.
Lane encourages readers to turn inward without directly saying so, imploring them to consider how they react to situations and what they can do differently to achieve inner serenity and become a conscious tool of the universe. There’s no need to go sailing alone through the Caribbean to reflect, though Lane’s vivid descriptions of glittering waters and pristine beaches can make an aspiring sailor out of anyone. The oneness he enjoys during his adventure reminds the reader that humans are here to learn, help each other, and accept their “perfectly imperfect” selves. Humans need nature to survive, but nature doesn’t need humans to continue. It is an independent thing that does not judge, hate, or persecute. It simply exists.
In SAILING BLUE WATER MYSTIQUE SOLO: SAILING THE EXUMAS ALONE, H. Downing Lane’s personal insights and observations of both the self and the blue world around him create an engrossing tale that readers will find hard to put down.
~Kent Page McGroarty for IndieReader