The Boy Behind the Gate

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


The Boy Behind the Gate
by Larry Jacobson
Buoy Press

This book might appear to be one for yachties only. But The Boy Behind the Gate, about sailing around the world, also focuses on relationships. As Larry Jacobson says, one year equals seven if you're on a boat, where you can't help but live on top of each other. And he confirms that sailing around the world is 30 days of boredom, followed by 30 minutes of terror. Composed of personal journal entries and e-mailed snippets, the volume threatens to read like a diary. But Jacobson - who reads his book enthusiastically - elevates it above the mundane, weaving travellers' experiences with sailing nous and intimate reflections. Referred to as the 'gay boat with the guys from San Francisco', Julia (a 1986 Stevens 50 cutter-rigged sloop) allows Jacobson a break from a 20-year relationship, and the chance to forge something new with a computer engineer called Ken. There's also Patrik, who answered the ad reading, 'Gay skipper looking for crew'. Encounters with wildlife are recounted alongside mechanical problems and practical tips such as how to stop a boat at sea to rest.