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|Paperback, Dec 2004||
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Andrew Gunson grew up in and around boats on the Great Lakes and always dreamed of following the paths of such intrepid sailors as Sir Francis Drake, Joshua Slocum and more recently, Eric and Susan Hiscock. A hearty sailor and a Canadian National sailing champion at the young age of fourteen, he went on to race aboard some of the fastest yachts then afloat, competing against the very best at the World Championship level. At the age of eighteen, he moved to the West Coast of Canada and discovered a completely new world of sailing; leaving the hi-tech racing yachts behind, he began to follow his dream of becoming a 'cruiser'. Together with his father, he purchased his first cruising sailboat, a Columbia 36' and never looked back.
Although a fourth generation mason trained by his Father, Andrew's adventurous spirit led him to attended The College of Oceaneering in Wilmington, California, where he graduated at age twenty. By age twenty-one, he was a Commercial Bell Diver working on oil-drilling ships in the Beaufort Sea; eventually becoming a co-pilot in the submersible program aboard a Norwegian drill ship engaged in exploratory drilling beneath the frigid waters of the Davis' Straight, between Labrador and Greenland. Shortly before his thirtieth birthday, he retired from commercial diving to focus on raising his young family.
With the goal of a better life and their dreams in mind, together with his wife Janet, they purchased and for three years operated a convenience store. After selling the store, Andrew obtained his securities license and became a personal financial analyst and tax consultant.
Andrew's love affair with the sea continued as he and his family explored the West Coast of British Columbia, all the while voraciously reading the stories of all the great and sometimes infamous world cruisers that came before him. He continued to dream, just waiting for his own chance to sail off.
After surviving a brush with deadly skin cancer, a pair of automobile accidents, one of which almost claimed Andrew's life, not to mention being accidentally shot while bear hunting, the couple decided it was time to stop dreaming and start planning their escape. Hence, The Voyage of the Maiatla and the Naked Canadian began.