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Publisher's Summary

Erik and Emily skillfully reveal that it is possible to live big on a shoestring budget while giving their family an astonishing education in adventure, creativity, purpose, and grit.

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.

©2019 Erik Orton and Emily Orton (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Seven at Sea

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Interesting story, good narration, annoying characters

I really like the premise of this book... saving money, following a dream and making it happen. However, I found the first hand accounts to be grating to the point of turning the book off in irritation. The husband seems like a narcissistic dictator, and everyone is expected to fall in line with his every whim. But the most frustrating story line was the mom- who seems to cave to every desire of her husband, even when it goes against her better judgement. I could overlook this, but it seems like a CONSTANT attempt to out-Christian everyone else in the world. At one point in the book, she tells us she didn’t pack raincoats for her and her husband, so she stays out in the cockpit in the freezing rain because, as she states “this is my penance for not packing my husband a raincoat”... what?!? A grown man doesn’t know to pack his own raincoat for a year long journey at sea? And why would you need to self inflict punishment for such a ridiculous mistake? There are many, many examples of her making excuses for her husband very unkind and selfish behavior. Overall, it was hard to listen to a story of someone so completely without self respect. It turned me off to the overall story of a family going on a journey together.

13 people found this helpful

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Sail Away

Fun listen. Better than expected, with pleasing and effective narration, with chapters set up for him & her alternating voices. Not too much depth with regards to the sailing details (maybe disappointing experienced sailors) but enough to keep general readers interested. This is more than a sailing story in any case, and that actually makes it a better book. Congrats on embarking on this voyage and telling your story.

2 people found this helpful

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Felt like I was there and part of the adventure

Inspirational story from a brave and adventurous family. You won't learn how to sail reading this book but you really get to see what the experience could be like.

1 person found this helpful

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Great adventure

Wonderful storytelling with first rate narration. I found myself dreaming every day after restricting myself to no more than 30 minutes each sitting. Thanks for sharing your story Ortons.

1 person found this helpful

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good book

easy to listen to, nice story, need 8 more words so you can see this

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Inspiring

This book made me want to take risks, seek adventure, and have fun! I especially loved hearing the epilogue, and all the adventures they had after fezzywig.

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Excellent

Excellent down to earth family entertainment. Emotions and stressful situations are expressed without the use of profanity and gory language and descriptions. In all a totally uplifting experience.

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Makes me want to adventure

Proving that travel doesn’t have to stop with kids. Their story is an inspiration. The audiobook flows nicely switching between narrators.

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Amazing Story

Loved the open, frank narrative. Very engaging story about an amazingly unconventional family! Loved every minute.

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Awesome adventure!

A true American dream. Family, ocean, sand, thank you Orton's for sharing this touching glimpse into your tight-knit clan. Loved it!

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  • yoke daams
  • 05-10-22

grreat adventure

love the the story of this family, but fouind Emily's reading hard to get used to, cos she read very fast.

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  • sinbad4england
  • 02-16-21

fairly enjoyable 'listen'

I couldn't take to Eric Orton (husband and father) or maybe the person who narrated Eric's word ? Eric came across as self centred and it was usually someone else's fault when something went wrong. Emily (wife and mum) worked hard ,did the lions share with the kids and 'housekeeping' and managed to still love an oft grumpy Eric. The whole adventure was worth a listen and I'm glad it all seemed to work out (especially when the marriage hit choppy seas as well as the boat). The kids were lovely and obviously close. A family that had an adventure !

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  • ANGELA GOODWIN
  • 12-10-21

Appealing and delightful

As an experienced sailor of 30 years + with 10’s of thousands of ocean miles logged, this story was immediately appealing particularly from perspective of listening to how contemporary inexperienced people prepare and enjoy their voyages today dependent entirely on modern tech . Absurdly green and ignorant of things maritime, this family miraculously persevere through their travels narrowly avoiding disaster with their tribe on board oblivious to potential of dangers. God was in their side in more ways than one. There were no heart stopping scenarios though, as they cruised through mostly sheltered waters of Central America beautifully describing natural anchorages and landscapes seemingly devoid of the rich culture existing there. Insights into their marriage and relationships were insightful kept the story going for me. Unmemorable but thoroughly enjoyable read for any armchair sailor.

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  • Bree
  • 10-17-21

Excellent

I so enjoyed this audio book. Adventure, family, faith, homeschooling, travel, & budgeting outside the box. Read by the authors (husband & wife). I felt like I was on the boat with them & that I've cruised through the Carribean isalnds. I'll listen to it again.