Apr 6, 2009

My Old Man and the Sea

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


  1. This sounds interesting to me since I love memoirs.

  2. I am recently the biggest memoir addict of all time - every time I see one, I MUST HAVE IT. So this is going on the list! :)

  3. I'll have to tell hubby about this one. He recently took a few sailing lessons and is convinced that he's going to sail around the world. :) Silly boys...

    Anyway, sounds like an interesting read! I think my cat would freak out on a sailboat as well.

  4. I'll be checking the county library catalogue for this as I love the sound of it.

  5. Bermudaonion, Jenny- It's like no other memoir I've read. Lots of adventure! Hope you like it!

    Trish- I'd love to take a sailing lesson, or even just go along. Cats on board- it sounds like a bad idea, unless they were born there.

    Cath- Hope your library has it! Wonderful book.


Comments are screened due to spam.