This evening I’ve been invited to join Lisa Goodwin and Women Who Sail New England who will be discussing Surgeon’s Mate; the second novel in Patricia MacPherson’s Nautical Adventures.

Looking back on the historical nautical trilogy, it feels like a past life I lived — a life that first made itself known to me during the fall of 1999, in the middle of the North Pacific aboard H.M. Bark Endeavour. This Endeavour is the seaworthy Australian-built replica of the 18th century, three masted former collier commanded by James Cook. Signing on as voyage crew, my husband Bob and I found ourselves among forty-some newbies, counted on to learn the ropes. We were to hand, reef, steer — and more — on our three week passage from Vancouver to Hawaii, part of HM Bark Endeavour‘s circumnavigation that year.

The shipboard experience launched me on a personal, interior voyage back into time to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to deeply imagine a particular life. Since that passage on Endeavour, I have sailed many thousands of nautical miles with my husband, aboard a 36-foot sailboat, I read dozens of books, went back to college and got a degree in history, and wrote four novels set at sea, and several articles.

These days I’m ashore, still reading and writing about history,not always nautical. Currently, I’m working on a documentary film project about the evolution of sport skydiving in America, and beyond. Like water, the air connects us all.

Original cover of Surgeon’s Mate