Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea
336pp. October 2014
Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea
Author: Scott, Susan;
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.

A Latitude 20 Book
"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 (November 2014)

"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
Author: Scott, Susan;
Susan Scott writes a weekly column called "Ocean Watch" for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and is the author or coauthor of six previous books about nature in Hawai`i. A registered nurse, she is a frequent lecturer on subjects based on her marine biology work, as well as on her volunteer efforts at medical clinics in Bangladesh and in the Pacific.