Charting the Unknown: Family, Fear, and One Long Boat Ride
By Kim Petersen
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.
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.
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.
Reviews and Accolades
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.
~Suzanna Clarke – author of A House in Fez
“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 compassion.”
~ Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image journal, founder and director of the Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University
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!
~Dave Phillips, coach for Canada’s national freestyle ski team, two World Records for Duration Skiing, and motivatioaln speaker and life/business mentor/coach.
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! “
~ Paul & Sheryl Shard, authors of Sail Away! A Guide to Outfitting and Provisioning for Cruising, hosts for “Distant Shores” Sailing TV Show
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.
~ Rita Golden Gelman, author Female Nomad and Friends, Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World