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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
They Call the Wind Maria is a historical collection of memoirs written by Allie Dodge. It was 2017, and the crew of the Espiritu Libre II had already weathered the ravages of Hurricane Irma less than a week prior. Allie and her husband, Chris, were experienced seamen whose lives were intimately connected with the sea. They prepared their vessel for the storm as they had done for Irma, lashing her tightly to the roots of a mangrove tree, but something was different about this storm.
Their friends alerted them that Maria had become a Category 5 monster and had changed direction. The 155-mph storm was heading directly for them. This would be their only chance to leave their vessel for shelter. The two hurriedly donned wetsuits and grabbed basic necessities. Chris called and was able to book the last room at the Marina de Salinas. Then they took off in their 9-foot dinghy for a six-mile ride through the storm. At times, they wondered if they should have brought life jackets after all.
Allie Dodge's maritime memoir, They Call the Wind Maria, is action-packed and thrilling, and it reads like a grand danger on the high seas novel -- but it's true. Anyone who's looked wistfully at sailors on their vessels and thought, maybe someday, should give this collection of memoirs a try. I especially loved reading about how the seafaring community pulled together during this crisis and the real hard work that goes into maintaining that lifestyle. They Call the Wind Maria is most highly recommended.