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A Sea-going Hitchhiker's Journey
Through Memory and Myth

Review by Joe Ditler

click here Everyone's got a little secret, a little skeleton in their closet, a little something the neighbors know nothing about. For Neva Sullaway it was an inner demon driving her to escape. But it wasn't something she was running from, as much it was something she was running towards.

Sullaway has just released a new book about her real-life travels across the Pacific, "Chasing Dreamtime: A Sea-going Hitchhiker's Journey Through Memory and Myth."

Sullaway lived the stories of "Chasing Dreamtime" well before her 25th birthday. Now, after thirty years, she lays out her wild adventures and personal journey for all to read.

The introductory chapters create the backdrop for the story -- an innocent voyage across the South Pacific. It is the post Vietnam era of the mid-seventies; a time well before cruising became the popular lifestyle it is today; a time before GPS and on-board electronics, when sea gypsies roamed the oceans.

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Neva Sullaway
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Having failed in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around the world, Neva Sullaway arrives in Tahiti, where after only a few days she is placed in jail for a visa violation.

With her dreams of a solo passage dashed even before they begin, she embarks on another sea-going journey that takes her from one life-threatening adventure to another.

From sailing with island royalty, to meeting the legendary recluse and beachcomber, Tom Neale -- who lived alone on Suvarov Atoll for nearly twenty years -- Sullaway takes us back to the raw adventure and pristine beauty of the South Pacific.

Even after being entangled in a drug-smuggling scheme and facing death several times at sea, Sullaway continues her journey from New Zealand to Australia.

The story reaches a climax when Sullaway mistakenly gets a job on a prawn trawler in the far northern waters of Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria, the stark and forbidding Never-Never.

Held captive at sea and unable to leave the boat, Sullaway must rely on her own wits to escape back to land. It is there, on a desolate island in the remotest region of northern Australia that she reclaims her freedom and finds redemption in the "Dreamtime" journey.

Neva Sullaway is the former Australian Women's Sailboarding Champion, a title she successfully defended for four consecutive years.

She built a career as a writer and photojournalist, covering sailboarding events in Australia, Europe and the U.S., and wrote "One with the Wind: A Guide to Sailboarding in Australia." During this time she also created a magazine for sailors, "Freesail Australia," which became Australia's top-selling sailboarding magazine.

Sullaway also wrote "Sailing in San Diego: A Pictorial History for the 1992/1995 America's Cup." She continues to write, edit and shoot pictures with a maritime theme.

"Chasing Dreamtime --
A Sea-going Hitchhiker's Journey
through Memory and Myth"
By Neva Sullaway
Published by Brookview Press. ISBN: 0-9707649-2-8
336 pages, maps, Retail price: $15.95 (US)
First printing: 55,000