As a girl, Cheryl Trzasko’s dad had a crazy plan. He built a cement boat in his spare time and planned to take the entire family, including a newborn, on a voyage around the world. They would leave their adopted home on the eastern coast of Australia, sail through Indonesia to India, down around Africa, and over to the United States. They would visit relatives for a few months and then continue through the Panama Canal and back to Australia.
However, adventures rarely turn out as planned. A tropical cyclone — the Southern hemisphere’s version of a hurricane — and other lousy weather, terrible crews, a lemon of an engine and other perils of the sea jeopardized the voyage.
After two years, the dream to travel the world ended abruptly when Florida thieves stole equipment the family couldn’t afford to replace. Or perhaps the dream took a new turn when, years later, Trzasko left Florida for Asia and then on back to Australia.
Trzasko was a second grader when her family left Australia in the 39-foot craft. She later earned a degree in math from the University of Chicago and taught math, science and other subjects in Chicago, Florida and on an army base in South Korea. A co-founder of the Palm Beach County Freecycle groups, she now lives in Wellington, where she homeschools her children and runs a local homeschool support group.
Trzasko tells the tale of her youthful adventures in her new book Around the World in a Cement Boat, published in February 2013. It can be ordered from iUniverse at www.iUniverse.com or (800) 288-4677. For details, visit www.facebook.com/AroundtheWorldinaCementBoat.