Grab a cold one. You’re gonna need it.

What People are Saying:

“If you are interested in learning what life in the Merchant Marine is really like, or just want to escape your cubicle, then I can highly recommend Escaping From Reality Without Really Trying.” – Chris Gerrib, POD People blog 

A “welcome relief after a long day at the office when the idea of throwing it all up and running off to sea suddenly seems like the most brilliant idea in the world.” – B. Morrison, poet and author

“…flabbergasting and delightful in equal turns.” – Jason Pettus, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

“This is definitely the kind of book that can be read with a beer in hand, as Jacoby states in his author’s note ‘Now, go grab a cold one. You’re gonna need it.’” – San Francisco Book Review


Based on nearly 40 hours of interviews, Escaping from Reality Without Really Trying: 40 Years of High Seas Travels and Lowbrow Tales is the memoir of a 61-year-old, life-long merchant seaman—Ronnie—re-counting his fantastic, hilarious, and politically incorrect exploits. He’s a sailor-scholar and an individualist anarchist; he’s read Voltaire and The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Ronnie admits to working at his hobby, sailing, to keep up his real occupation, drinking. He’s lived 40 years of adventures around the world, including an incursion into Cambodia during the Vietnam War; a prison break from a Ceylon jail; a dockside fistfight in the Philippines in 1977; a 2-week stowaway run on a British merchant ship sailing around South Africa; meeting Omar Sharif in Aqaba, Jordan; an around-the-world trip (with Greg Cousins, the third mate on the Exxon Valdez, and we learn what really happened!) that ends in Alang, India and the beaching of the ship to be cut up for scrap metal; seeing the rise and fall of communism and capitalism in Africa and the newly independent states after the Soviet Union’s collapse and division; and an ammunition delivery to Kuwait on the eve of the 2003 American-lead invasion of Iraq. Ship out with Ronnie. You may not want to come back.