Honeymoon at Sea: A Memoir
In November 1989, six months after their wedding, Jennifer and Russel Redmond set off from San Diego for Baja California on their twenty-six-foot sloop, Watchfire, heading for Cabo San Lucas, the Sea of Cortez, and eventually, New York City via the Panama Canal. The trip was intended to be an extended honeymoon, a chance to properly get to know each other and settle into married life, but over the months and then years, it morphed into something much more.
In fact, they never properly stopped living on the boat, although they did eventually upgrade to the thirty-five-foot Watchfire 2. All aspects of their epic voyage are evocatively described in Honeymoon at Sea: How I Found Myself Living on a Small Boat, from the scenery to the weather to the marine life to the eccentric folk they met along the way. It’s impossible to read about their adventures and not want to set out on a journey, even though Redmond doesn’t shy away from the complications of life at sea (ranging from a blocked toilet to partying seals to the possibility of pirate attacks).
Redmond’s record of her and Russel’s life aboard ship is interspersed with biographical passages recounting her life prior to their marriage, which proves to have been every bit as interesting as the time spent at sea. From growing up in Venice Beach, California in the 1960s, with parents who were devoted followers of the Beat Generation and who fully embraced the “flower power” credo, to spending the 1970s traveling around Europe and then the United States, to launching the acting career that would eventually lead her to meet Russel.
In addition to being a memoir and a travelogue, Honeymoon at Sea is also very much a love story, chronicling the ups and downs of a relationship that has blossomed and developed against an extraordinary backdrop. On that subject, Redmond offers an excellent observation: “If you are in love and like spending a great deal of time together, then a small boat has room to spare. If you aren’t thrilled to be with your partner 24 hours a day, then no yacht in the world is big enough.” Similar to their epic voyage, their relationship hasn’t been all plain sailing, although it has been deep, enriching, and rewarding.
Honeymoon at Sea is an immersive record of a life well lived. From escapades at sea to hilarity with friends and family, the colossal highs of finding place and self to the terrible lows of a lost pregnancy, Redmond has truly embraced the opportunities that have come to her in life and tackled head-on the difficulties that have arisen. Her story is an inspiring reflection on the importance of following both heart and mind.
|Author||Jennifer Silva Redmond|
|Page Count||240 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|