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          Color                    B&W
Ballad of Calypso     Calypso
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Companion to the “Ballad of Calypso” is the stand alone poetry written prior to the conception of the the book. It is Calypso’s log book and the rhyme in “Rhyme of the Modern Mariner”. The reader may gain insight into the mind of the mariner living on the fringe on land, and at sea for months in the Doldrums, the Trade Winds and the stormy North Pacific Equinox.     DMc



"Now this soakin' wet mattress

feels real good

protected by this bundle

of nails, screws 'n wood

Thinkin' "this is gonna be one to remember

This Equinox storm of mid-September

Three days more weather stays foul

wind will simply not cease to howl

A relentless march of greybeard waves

reminders of Calypso's many close shaves"

        "Caught in the grip of this weather, there has been no opportunity  for sights on sun or stars.  Days spent struggling to either hold oneself in position in the bunk, moving about the cabin or preparing a hot meal take a toll.  Not only is this physically exhausting, the sense of time and space without navigation for this extended period has the crew in a netherworld with nothing but these tossing walls which surround them, keeping eternity at bay.   

       The crew are numb, weary in the extreme; their mood remains light, fiercely so.  They cling to their wit as if it were a fuzzy warm teddy bear; their barrel of wry humor is bottomless."

"On this fine mornin' of the sixth day
The greybeards have finally gone away
Wind's twenty knots outa the northwest
Calypso's survived her North Pacific test"


            B&W Edition
(Sub-Heading "Rhyme of
the  Modern Mariner")


       "Ballad of Calypso"
                     Color Edition
       (Sub-Heading "Rhyme of
        the  Modern Mariner")
                                                         e-pub is full color           


                   July 10, 2022
      Interview with Phil Andrus
"Cats in our Laps"

Dennis and Pat McGuire
00:00 / 35:47


                                        Publisher's Weekly "BookLife Review"
    The story in prose and verse of an epic real-life adventure, McGuire’s travelogoue recounts the trip of a lifetime, a sea voyage that in 1979 found Dennis and Pat McGuire (who illustrates this volume) departing Portsmouth, Rhode Island, heading south to the Panama Canal, then west across the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands, and then at last northeast to Neah Bay in Washington State, arriving in 1981. The vessel: The Calypso—“well balanced, handy at the helm and exceptionally sea kindly”—a 26-foot sailboat the McGuires picked up for just under six grand. Inspired by the likes of Jack London, and accompanied by a boat cat they named Woody, they set off in what fortunately turns out to be a “forgiving” vessel, they face the danger and majesty of the open ocean and many fascinating ports of call.

    Writing in clear, direct prose that emphasizes the engaging essentials, McGuire invites readers to imagine encountering wonders like the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (where they encounter a friend’s wrecked boat, and Woody comes face to face with a dying egret), or the power of a hurricane near the Bay Islands (the “crew” “[hollers] to carry on a conversation” in the downpour, despite being just a couple feet apart), or freighters and sea life as they drift for most of a month in the “doldrums” off the coast of Guatemala: “Absolutely nothin’ can be done/Calypso just sits frozen in the sun,” McGuire writes, in one of the bursts of rhyming couplets the stud most pages.

        Despite such travails, good humor abounds, as McGuire praises “Calypso’s patience with the ineptitudes of her crew” and recounts, in playful—sometimes comically strained, like dad jokes—light verse, their day-to-day habits: eating fish they’ve caught, tuning in NPR news on the shortwave. Like the poetry, the illustrations have a charmingly unpolished quality, sketches in ink and colors capturing high spirits, occasional terrors, and moments of comedy, like the time boobies took over the sailboat.

       Takeaway: A joyous memoir, in verse and sketch, of two years below the mast, sailing to Hawaii and back.

Great for fans of: Stuart Woods’s Blue Water, Green Skipper, Erik Orton and Emily Orton’s Seven at Sea.

Print Date: 03/28/2022

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