Many New Zealanders sail the South Pacific but not many do it with as little boating experience as 'uncoordinated, impractical, directionally challenged, desk-bound type' Anna Kirtlan, who says that until she met Captain Paddy and Wildflower II, her idea of rough sailing was 'taking the Cook Strait ferry with a hangover'. Not only does she have to learn to sail, and navigate, from scratch, she also has to overcome recurrences of the anxiety and panic attacks that plagued her teen and early adult years. Anna's story is told with humour and perceptive insight into herself and the adventures she shares with Paddy and those they meet along the way -- fellow sailors and islanders alike. She is upfront about living with mental illness, about fighting with it and being scared out of her mind at the thought of sailing the high seas, but somehow doing it anyway.
Anna Kirtlan grew up in Canterbury and has a background in journalism. She currently works as communications advisor and magazine editor for the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers Association, but was also once employed as a giant Lotto ball. She completed her Boatmasters certificate in 2010 but is still not sure which way starboard is. Anna lives between Wildflower, berthed at Chaffers Marina in Wellington, and a flat in Hataitai which she shares with her cat Ollie. Anna blogs about her experiences at seamunchkin.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Twitter as @SeaMunchkin. Which Way is Starboard Again? is Anna's first book.