The Voyage of the Northern Magic

A Family Odyssey

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Ever dream of selling up and running away to sea? Diane Stuemer and her husband, Herbert, were once a typical suburban couple entering middle age, with a comfortable home and three boys under twelve. A year later they had sold their business, rented out their house, and were setting out to circumnavigate the globe in a 40-year-old yacht. Their entire sailing experience consisted of six afternoons on the Ottawa River.

Over the next four years, squeezed into quarters no bigger than the Stuemers’ old bedroom, the family of five would become seasoned mariners. They would battle deadly storms at sea and evade real-life pirates. Dodge waterspouts and lightning strikes and witness the bombing of the USS Cole. See the staggering beauty of Borneo’s rainforest, and its destruction from logging. Be arrested at gunpoint and entertained like visiting royalty. In all, they would visit 34 countries and cover 35,000 nautical miles.

Almost everywhere they went, the family made lasting friendships. They learned to trust each other and embrace opportunity, and in Kenya they learned the true meaning of humanity. As Northern Magic pushed onward, many thousands followed the family’s progress in Diane’s dispatches to the Ottawa Citizen, and thousands more turned out to cheer when the amazing Stuemers came home.

From the Hardcover edition.


“After reading The Voyage Of The Northern Magic, I wish they’d asked me along.”
Toronto Star

“For anyone who has dreamed of leaving a life in the Canadian suburbs to sail around the world…this is the book that will either persuade you to do it…or bring you to your senses. Either way, it is not to be missed.…What a trip! Thirty-four countries and more than 65,000 kilometres, some of them in Force 10 storms. It’s a nicely told tale, alternating between descriptions of idyllic moments in exotic places and moments of sheer terror.”
Montreal Gazette

From the Hardcover edition.