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About the Author
The author is a storyteller with the heart of an adventurer; he has the ability to infect others with his zeal for life and his love of the sea. Andrew Gunson grew up in and around boats on the Great Lakes and always dreamed of following the paths of such intrepid sailors as Joshua Slocum and Eric and Susan Hiscock. A Canadian National sailing champion at fourteen, he raced aboard some of the fastest yachts then aﬂoat, competing against the very best at the World Championship level. At the age of eighteen, he moved to the West Coast of Canada and discovered a completely new world of sailing; leaving the hi-tech racing yachts behind, he began to follow his dream of becoming a ‘cruiser’. Together with his father, he purchased his ﬁrst cruising sailboat, a Columbia 36’ and never looked back.
Although a fourth generation mason, Andrew’s adventurous spirit led him to attend the College of Oceaneering in Wilmington, California. By age twenty-one, he was a Commercial Bell Diver working on oil-drilling ships in the Beaufort Sea, eventually becoming a co-pilot in the submersible program aboard a Norwegian drill ship working beneath the frigid waters of the Davis Strait, off the coast of Labrador. Before his thirtieth birthday, he retired from commercial diving to focus on raising his young family. With his wife Janet, they purchased and operated a convenience store in Vernon, BC. After selling the business, Andrew obtained his securities license and became a personal ﬁnancial analyst and small business tax consultant.
Andrew’s love affair with the sea endured. He continued to dream, just waiting for his own chance to sail off. After surviving a brush with deadly skin cancer, a pair of automobile accidents, one of which almost claimed Andrew’s life, not to mention being accidentally shot while bear hunting, the couple decided it was time to stop dreaming and start planning their escape before it was too late. Hence, the saga of the sailing vessel Maiatla II and the Naked Canadian began.