"Beating the Blowfish" (Sheridan House, 2010, $19.95) is an autobiography by Emma Pontin, a young Londoner who rides the subways each day to a career in banking and seeks to quench a thirst for bluewater sailing. At age 32, Pontin completed her first ocean crossing and spent the next four years racing professionally in Europe and the Caribbean.
Just hours before departing on another trans-Atlantic yacht race in 2006, she received a phone call that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She missed that sailrace, but sailed as hard as she could through a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Throughout the ordeal, her focus was simple: If she could still sail, then she was still alive.
"Blowfish," a reference to her unpredictable ailment, is written with humor and optimism by a young woman determined to live a full life and a young sailor not ready to give up the helm. www.sheridanhouse.com
This article originally appeared in Home Waters Sections of the March 2011 issue.