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Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey

by Wendy Hinman

Everyone dreams of tropical escape. But what happens when you escape for too long? Imagine spending 24 hours a day with your spouse in 31 not-so-square feet...for years; crossing the Pacific Ocean on two gallons of fuel; and tossing spaghetti marinara around your living room, then cleaning it up while bouncing like ice in a martini shaker. "Tightwads on the Loose" tells the story of Wendy and Garth, lured to sea by the promise of adventure. They buy a 31-foot boat that fit their budget better than it fits Garth's large frame and set sail for an open-ended voyage, never imagining they'd be gone seven years, or cover 34,000 miles at the pace of a fast walk. They live without what many would consider necessities and learn that teamwork and a sense of humor matter most as they face endless "character-building opportunities." They make a long-anticipated visit to the island where Garth had been shipwrecked as a teenager, only to find it had become a penal colony. An electronic catastrophe in the Solomon Islands leaves them without navigation equipment, which forces them to trade their free-wheeling lifestyle for one that seems straight out of a '60s sitcom: jobs at a U. S. Army base in the Marshall Islands. In Asia, they dodge typhoons and ships that threaten to turn their home into kindling. Finally they endure a grueling 49-day nonstop ocean crossing. But none of this prepares them for their arrival "home" to a post-9/11 America which leaves them wondering what had changed more, them or the world.

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