a father and son sail around Cape Horn
by David and Daniel Hays
A man and his son went on a 17,000-mile sailing adventure around Cape Horn, in a 25-foot boat they built themselves. The dangerous route they chose had never before been completed by a boat under 3o feet. Instead of sticking to the safety of modern gadgets and technology, they used old-fashioned sailing methods. And they took along a cat (who seemed to always be either sick, or causing trouble). They visited many interesting and remote ports and faced ugly weather (including hurricanes), getting lost due to navigation errors, and the strain of keeping their relationship intact in the confines of the small boat for days on end at sea (lots of fights). The book is written in alternating voices, pulled from the Hays' journal entries. They're not always complimentary of each other, and I had to wonder sometimes what they thought, each seeing the others' opinion (often uncomplimentary) of himself in print. They made a lot of mistakes, and freely admitted their errors- some I didn't realize the gravity of, not having ever gone sailing myself- others hit me with the danger and I held my breath to see how they'd scrape out of it alive. My Old Man and the Sea is a blast of a read- full of adventure, humor and wry observations on the father-son relationship. I felt sorry for the poor cat. He was no sailor!
Rating: 3/5 ........ 223 pages, 1995