In Bed with the Atlanticis a travel memoir of a young woman, Kitiara Pascoe, as she goes from never having stepped on a yacht, to sailing over 18,000 miles – across the Atlantic, around the Caribbean and then back – in three years with her partner.
At first, she was dogged by doubt, a belief that she wasn’t a ‘sailor’, never would be and that she was in no way capable of such an undertaking. She believed that the ocean was out to get her, that weather needed to be battled with and that she would forever be ruled by anxieties that plagued her.
Woven into the narrative of the journey’s progression are stories from Kit’s childhood and life before the voyage, explaining her battles with anxiety and the feelings of being lost as a graduate in post-recession Britain. The book also relays her struggle with reconciling a life of travel with the expectations and experiences of those back home, at an age when most of her contemporaries were starting corporate careers and families.
In her courage to leave everything she knows behind, she learns the history of the islands and their people, swims with turtles, explores strange cave systems, and learns to forage for food straight from the sea. But she also encounters hardships like running out of food and water, battling against storms, trying not to be struck by lightning, and discovering the crippling loneliness of sailing an ocean for months on end.
Sailing back to the UK after three years Kit realises the colossal difference that sailing has made to her life and understanding of the world. She ponders how easy it is not to do something, to protect ourselves from risks and ridicule and everything that makes us uncomfortable. But now appreciates that it is only when we take the risk, that we get the reward and that we connect not just with the world at large, but also with ourselves.
“Pascoe is a fine travel writer, fascinated by all that she sees as well as by the changes she experiences in her understanding of the world. She is also a fearless risk taker who battles persistent anxiety with impressive success.” Yachting Monthly