Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea

Paperback: $19.99
ISBN-13: 9780824839819
Published: August 2014

Additional Information

336 pages
  • About the Book
  • Writer and marine biologist Susan Scott had an enviable existence—a home in Hawai‘i, a prized 37-foot sailboat and exciting international adventures, all shared with her physician husband Craig in a marriage so intimate they called it the “Twinship.” Yet, when her menopausal hormones raged and Craig grew preoccupied with Ironman triathlon training, this perfect life ended. Once blessed with well-being, love, humor, and sharing, the Twinship exploded with fights, silence, accusations, and failed counseling.

    Shell-shocked, Susan sought solace in the one thing that always gave her joy: marine wildlife. She overhauled the couple’s neglected boat and, with a male friend nearly half her age, sailed away. Except it wasn’t that easy; Susan had always relied on Craig to make the sailing decisions and Alex, her young first mate, was a sailing novice. Call Me Captain follows Susan as she leaves everything behind—or tries to— and sails to spectacular but isolated Palmyra Atoll to work as a volunteer biologist. Susan helps rescue baby sea turtles, bands seabirds, and corrals ten-pound coconut crabs that look like Godzillas with knife-blade claws. She determinedly repairs her sailboat, skippers it through terrifying storms, and to her surprise, finds she and Craig are falling in love all over again. This time the two rediscover one another via satellite phone—Susan calling from her tiny floating speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Craig in his hospital emergency room on Oahu.

    Susan writes with passion about swimming with manta rays, kayaking with sharks, and sailing with whales and dolphins. In those passages, she shows ways these magnificent animals guided her through the journey of a lifetime. Her memoir of self-discovery is a romance, a rousing sea tale, and a personal account of nature’s power to put life in perspective.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Susan Scott, Author

      A former registered nurse, Susan Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Hawai‘i in 1985 and is a graduate of the university’s Marine Option Program, where she specialized in marine science journalism. Since 1987, Susan has written the weekly “Ocean Watch” column for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has worked as a volunteer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1989.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Scott is an excellent storyteller and the pain of her unraveling union with husband Craig is tangible. The stories of her exploits as a novice sailor and captain navigating a 1,000-mile stretch of open water are exciting and exhausting. . . . [an] honest and well-told memoir.
      Library Journal
    • The very best stories give us well-rounded characters who surprise us as they fight through seemingly impossible situations, showing along they way what they're really made of. Few memoirs are able to pull this off, focusing as they often do on "Me!" more than story, but Susan Scott's Call Me Captain does. Scott gives us a deep and compelling character in a tiny pitching yacht on twenty-foot open seas, her mast broken by the howling winds--a fitting metaphor for her life as she deals with the physical shift of the biological clock and the emotional rift of an evolving marriage. Whether or not you have ever set foot upon a sailboat, you'll find yourself rooting for Scott at every turn, smiling at her every revelation. This is storytelling at its finest.
      Mark Panek, award-winning author of Hawai'i: a novel and Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior
  • Supporting Resources