Countless people have kept travel diaries over the course of their lives, documenting experiences both in the wilderness and in sprawling global cities. The popularity of keeping logs, blogs, and journals increases as electronic technology advances our ability to transmit meticulous descriptions and photographs to family and acquaintances via the Internet. Only a few will publish the details of their escapades in a commercial format. Ethan L. Welch has accomplished this milestone with LaTrappe Creek Chronicles.
Welch’s first book is a log of the many week-long sailing adventures he has taken since the early 1970s when he first embarked with four friends. Today, the group is known as the LaTrappe Creek Historical and Ecological Society International and has swelled its ranks to include more than one hundred members and ten boats. This book is a detailed account of sailing expeditions in various milieus throughout the world on organized excursions from 1972 to 2006. These yearly events have taken the adventurers from waters as familiar as Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, to exotic locales such as the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. The thirty-six trips discussed here depict the sailors and their journeys in a straightforward and often comical manner, interspersed with historical information about the destinations.
Though sections of this well-organized text are entertaining, the slant is too personal to be of interest to mainstream readers. The photographs appear to be extracted from family photo albums, with notebook-style sketches and maps that enhance the text. Like the elite memory books put out by college alumni, those who participated in the events will best appreciate this work. One exception to this rule may be sailing enthusiasts who read everything on the topic to improve their own performance, even though this oversized softcover is not classified as a how-to book per se.
Dr. Ethan L. Welch is a retired vascular surgeon who resides in Rochester, New York. He graduated from Harvard University in 1953 and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1957. Welch has penned numerous magazine articles on safety at sea and founded the Medical Sea Pak Company, which promotes marine first-aid preparation and education.
This exclusive sailing saga may hold appeal for newcomers to the field. Its pages contain behind-the-scenes details that will be helpful for anyone about to embark on a voyage.