An Ocean to Cross: Daring the Atlantic, Claiming a New Life

 
9780071355049: An Ocean to Cross: Daring the Atlantic, Claiming a New Life

Premanently crippled in a fall from a horse, Liz Fordred refused to accept the limitations assumed for her in the Rhodesia of the late 1970s. She met and eventually married an equally (if more quietly determined) accident survivor named Pete Fordred, and together they hatched an audacious plan to build a boat and sail around the world. That they lived more than 1000 miles from the ocean and had never sailed before did not stop them. Neither would their lack of money or the fact that basic boat equipment was impossible to obtain in Rhodesia. Fabricating metal parts, learning carpentry, and resolutely tackling one seemingly insoluble problem after another, they built their boat in three years, trucked it to the South African coast, rigged it, learned to sail and ultimately sailed the boat to America, where they forged a new life in Florida.

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From the Back Cover:

Paralyzed from the chest down when she was thrown from a horse at age eighteen, Liz might have sunk into a twilight of self-pity but for her indomitable spirit. She met and married Pete Fordred, who had been paralyzed in a car accident, and together they fought to regain the independence and self-sufficiency they had known before their accidents. Eventually, they formed a seemingly impossible plan: to build a sailboat, and in it, see the world. They were disabled, intermittently broke, had never sailed, and lived in landlocked Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), a country embroiled in civil war and subject to global trade sanctions in the 1970s. But none of that would stop them.

Pete and Liz dedicated four years to building a livable, seaworthy boat from a bare hull. They constructed decks and cabins. They installed plumbing and wiring. They fabricated metal parts they couldn't buy, designed and built hydraulic lifts to get them on deck and below, and resolutely tackled one seemingly insoluble problem after another. At last, they trucked their boat 1,200 miles to Durban, South Africa, where they rigged it, learned to sail and navigate, and set forth into the vast Atlantic.

Whether battling bureaucrats, fighting seasickness and homesickness, fixing broken gear, or dragging themselves over slippery decks in a three-day storm, Liz and Pete never exhausted their reserves of fortitude. They endured and transcended every difficulty, countering frustration with laughter and developing an uncanny sense of when and how to lift each other's spirits. One driving force that carried them across an ocean and into a new life was their determination to spread a message of hope and empowerment to other people with disabilities. Their pioneering journey did just that, while demonstrating to the world that physically disabled doesn't mean physically incompetent. An Ocean to Cross is an inspiring story of courage, self-empowerment, and ultimate triumph.

About the Author:

Liz Fordred and her husband, Pete, reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with their daughter, Jane. They own and operate a thriving small-engine repair business, keep in close contact with their extended families, and still miss their homeland. Susie Blackmun is a freelance nonfiction and medical writer. A one-time ocean voyager, she has sailed 50,000 miles and was on the first all-female yacht racing team in Asia. Susie lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and daughter.

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