Book by Medina native details epic sailing adventures

Staff Reports Posted 6 July 2018 at 2:14 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Susan Schultz, a library clerk at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina, holds an autobiographical book by her parents, Tom and Jo Forrestel. The book was recently published and is available at Lee-Whedon.

MEDINA – A Medina native has written an autobiography of her sailing adventures with her husband, including his tragic death and the family’s courageous trip back to the United States.

Jo Forrestel, 90, has written “An American Thread.” The book includes many photos of her and her husband, Tom, in their sailing trips around the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Forrestel went sailing across the ocean without the help of GPS or cell phones.

Forrestel now lives in Savannah, Ga. She spends part of the year at Cuba Lake. She and her husband had 10 children – all daughters.

Jo Forrestel wrote the book, drawing on her dairy and recollections from sailing adventures that started on Lake Ontario with the boat, Sunfish. Mr. Forrestel was owner and partner in Coldspring Construction Company. He later graduated to sailing a 41-foot Morgan out of Point Breeze.

Jo and Tom would sail across the ocean aboard a 51-foot sailboat named Liberty. They sailed the high seas on wit and wisdom.

“An American Thread” is told by both Tom and Jo Forrestel, with Tom’s words posthumously from letters home and a daily diary he kept during their journey.

The story shares the couple’s love, endurance, loss and triumph.

The book is available on and and also at The Book Shoppe, 519 Main Street, Medina, NY.

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