New book on cruIsing in a Bristol 40

Impunity-Front-Cover For Web (2) So you want to know what’s it’s like to cruise in a Bristol?

Mary Kimble has written a book about her 13,000-mile cruising adventure aboard the Bristol 40 Impunity. Called Sailing With Impunity, Adventure in the South Pacific, it is available for purchase in Kindle format and paperback on this page at You can also visit her web site at

Here’s the summary from the Amazon page:

“Sail with Mary and Bruce on a 13,000-mile adventure from Seattle to legendary South Pacific islands and home again. From magical sights and scents of their first tropical island landfall to the bustling, colorful Tahitian markets. From sudden midnight squalls and a cyclone in Samoa to pristine anchorages in the Kingdom of Tonga. Share the adventure as they fulfill their dream.”

Mary is an award-winning author who, in addition to sailing the South Pacific, served for two years in Africa with the Peace Corps and more recently retired from the American Red Cross after volunteering for 20 years.

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Mary sailing aboard Impunity.

Her experiences also include crewing on the tall ship M.S. Explorer as purser and ship’s diver, and she served as admission director for a professional deep-sea diving school. After obtaining a degree in computer science, she worked as a programmer/analyst at the corporate headquarters of a large insurance company.

Sailing with Impunity is Mary’s fifth book and second memoir. More than 400 of her articles have appeared in numerous publications. She and her husband, Bruce, enjoy rural life on Camano Island, Washington.

Mary has kindly allowed us to publish the prologue of her book to give you a sample of her writing:

The boat hummed with built-up pressure. We were going too fast. I hated to wake Bruce, so I waited until the change of watch to call him. Finally, at ten in the morning, I gently shook him awake. He’d only slept for an hour, but that was enough to hold him until two that afternoon when I’d again take the watch and he could sleep a bit more.

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Bruce taking a sight with a sextant.

Bruce’s eyes flew open and he was immediately awake. I doubted if he ever truly slept while we were at sea.

We were both exhausted. This 3,000-mile leg of the journey from Samoa to Hawaii would be the most difficult of our entire journey. We’d beat against the wind during the whole passage, making the boat climb each wave and then pound the ocean’s surface coming down. During the past three days, we had passed just west of a tropical depression, and the stormy weather tried our patience and made our lives even more difficult.

We need to shorten sail. We’re pushing the boat too hard.”

Bruce stood and reached for the overhead rail to steady himself against the boat’s crazy lunging. “Okay, I’ll be right up.”

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Picking a banana aboard the Bristol 40 Impunity.

Once on deck, he slipped on his life vest and harness, glanced at the compass to confirm our course, watched the raucous seas for a moment, noting streaking foam atop the 10- to 12-foot waves, and looked up to survey the already reduced mainsail. He stepped to the upper deck and eased the halyard.

Leaning against the boom to free both hands, he pulled the mainsail down, preparing to take in another reef.

I stayed in the cockpit to handle the coiled halyard. I heard a loud bang, a noise I hadn’t heard before, and looked up. “Bruce, what was that? Bruce!”

No answer. He wasn’t there. I let out a garbled scream. My worst nightmare! Bruce had fallen over-board! The boat surged ahead as my mind whirled with what I must do. I’d rehearsed it often enough. Forcing myself to think, I went through the steps.

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Mary enjoying a falls in Tahiti.

Reverse our direction. I always knew our reciprocal course—180 degrees from the direction we were headed. I had to start the engine. I had to drop the sails or they would work against me. I needed to throw the man-overboard pole, but I had to see him first so he could get to it. Wait a minute! Was there an electronic box on the pole that I was supposed to set? Oh, God, I can’t remember! My mind screamed with panic.

But where was he? I looked around—I’d lost him already! Had his lifeline failed? The waves were so high, he would be out of sight as soon as two or three swells came between the boat and him.

Truly, I had always thought that if one of us fell over-board, I hoped it would be me. I knew Bruce could find me, I seriously doubted I had the skills to find him.