A rediscovered list of dreams, unceremoniously stashed in an Abnormal Psych book, takes Kim and Mike Petersen on the journey of a lifetime - to live on a boat. After the devastating loss of their daughter, that journey also introduces Kim to Fear, a larger-than-life woman in a Donna Karan suit who holds all the power and calls all the shots.
Determined to overcome Fear, Kim moves aboard their homemade boat, Chrysalis, with Mike and their two teenaged kids, in spite of the fact that their boating experience consists of a week on a Carnival Cruise Ship. Their time on board brings them together as a crew and as a family.
As they venture into 4,000 miles of open water while crossing the Atlantic, Kim navigates the uncharted waters of her own soul for a final showdown with Fear. Kim's story is a humorous, poignant, and thought-provoking celebration of life and spirit.
Reviews and Accolades
Winner 2010 USA Book News Literary Award
Charting the Unknown shows what is possible when you are
prepared to step out of the imagined security of a suburban existence.
Confronting her fears to sail the Atlantic, Kim Peterson enriches her
life with the spirit of adventure and discovers that an ordinary existence
can be made extraordinary. Along the way, she reconnects with her family
and her innermost self. This is not only a journey of the oceans, but
a journey of the heart.
"Kim Petersen's Charting the Unknown tells a story that has been told
many times before-a tale of loss, grief, and the slow, uncertain mysteries
of healing. What sets it apart is that, like all the best memoirs, it
grounds that story in the lives of particular people the reader comes
to care about and root for. There is also plenty of adventure in this
tale, but perhaps the most daring feat of all is that behind every word
we feel the sustained force of Petersen's intrepid honesty and unflagging
It's not very often in life that you meet a family with a dream. Even
less frequently you meet a family that will take a big risk to follow
their dreams! This is that family and there is an important message for
all of us in the story of their adventure, risk and reward!
A joyful and heartfelt account of getting into the cruising life! Enchanting
stories and reminiscences of all aspects of the process of getting out
and living your dream. We get to know the whole family and live with them
as they master the cruising life. A great read for anyone who is a little
hesitant about getting out there! "
This is so much more than the surface story of a couple and their two
teenagers who spend several years facing the challenges of living together
aboard a 65-foot catamaran. The book begins with the author's inner journey
as she copes with the loss of a child. Once we have lived with her through
the worst, we are caught in her vivid and colorful images of the following
years. As the challenges come her way, she brings us again and again into
her inner search for meaning and connectedness. Right from the start we
care about this family and its journey. The intimacy--and the camaraderie--of
the book and the family are captivating.
About the Author
Kim Petersen has been published in Living Aboard magazine and has kept a consistent and well visited blog for the four years Kim and her family have been traveling (www.thewanderingobserver.com).
Kim remains aboard the Chrysalis with her family in Florida where Kim is working on a second book about their pilgrimage as a family through the Mediterranean, including Morocco, Spain, Italy, Israel, Egypt and the Red Sea.
For tips and advice on living on a boat with your family, click here.
Read a wonderful interview of Kim over at Write on Water