Friday, March 22, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: Seven at Sea by Erik & Emily Orton

Seven at Sea, by Erik & Emily Orton
2019, 352p, Non-Fiction, Memoir
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Working the night shift as a temp in a high-rise cubicle, Erik Orton knew something had to change. He felt the responsibility of providing for his wife and their five children—the youngest with Down syndrome—but craved a life that offered more than just surviving.

Watching the sailboats on the Hudson River during his sunset dinner breaks, Erik dared to dream. What would it be like to leave the hustle of the city and instead spend a year on a sailboat, somewhere beautiful, as a family? Despite having no sailing experience, his wife Emily’s phobia of deep water, and already stretching every dollar to pay rent and buy groceries, the family of seven turned their excuses into reasons and their fears into motivation. Sure, they would miss their friends, they could go broke, they could get injured or die. Worst of all, they could humiliate themselves by trying something audacious and failing. But the little time they still had together as a family, before their oldest daughter left for college, was drifting away. The Ortons cast off the life they knew to begin an uncertain journey of 5,000 miles between New York City and the Caribbean, ultimately arriving at a new place within themselves.

A portrait of a captivating and resilient family and a celebration of the courage it takes to head for something over the horizon, this is a deeply compelling story—told alternately by Erik and Emily—for all those who dream of leaving routine in their wake.

I'm fascinated with these types of stories and admire people that are willing to pack up all their belongings and hit the road (or the sea, in this case). Once the Orton's made the decision to spend a year on a sailboat, they were committed. This is an honest memoir of what happened during that time. Yes, it was tough to live in such close quarters with the same people and they got frustrated with each other. Yes, it was lonely at times. Yes, there were scary situations that occurred while they were sailing. They survived, though, and learned a lot about themselves in the process.

They met new friends who were able to give them great advice, they learned how to navigate different ports to get the supplied they needed, they learned how to handle emergencies, and they made lasting memories. I felt their shock and adjustment to "regular" life when they came home. I enjoyed spending time with the Orton's and learned so much from their life lessons and experiences!

ERIK ORTON writes plays, musicals and books. His work won an Emmy Award, Telly Award and CINE Golden Eagle. He has directed and produced events at Radio City Music Hall, Off-Broadway and regionally throughout the U.S. He managed Broadway shows and tours including Wicked, The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Fosse and many others. In 2018 he achieved a lifetime goal of climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. He enjoys rock climbing, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, writing and flying kites. He loves thinking and speaking about living deliberately. He blogs with his wife Emily at They live in New York City with their five children. For more information, please visit, or find him on Instagram @ErikOrton.

EMILY ORTON is not an adrenaline junkie. She’s just curious. A former English teacher turned homeschool mom, she is an avid journal keeper and blogger. Her writing is featured in "Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream," by Whitney Johnson. Emily speaks and writes about living with purpose. Emily’s curiosity has led her to become a sailor, scuba diver, rock climber, world traveler and most recently surfer. She explores the world, inner and outer, with her husband, Erik, and their five children. They blog together at and make their home in New York City. For more information, please visit, or find her on Instagram @EmilyOrton2020


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