My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 227 pages
Some fathers and sons go fishing together. Some play baseball. David and Daniel Hays decided to sail a tiny boat 17,000 miles to the bottom of the world and back. This is their story. David is romantic, excitable, and reflective; Daniel is wry, comic, and down-to-earth. Together their alternating voices weave a story of travel, of adventure, and of difficult, dangerous blue-water sailing. The Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Cape Horn, the Falklands - these far-flung places spring vividly to life in My Old Man and the Sea. Father and son don't always get along, though. Daniel has been an uneasy and uneven student. Now, just out of college, he's unsure what to do next. He sees his father growing older, slower, more forgetful. David is haunted by memories of his own father, of the things they never said to each other, and the fear that he'll make the same mistakes with his son. But he gets angry when Daniel treats him like an old man. On this voyage, the son will become the captain, and the father will relinquish control. Before long they are at sea, headed for the huge waves and unceasing wind of the Southern Ocean with only their skill as sailors, a compass, a sextant, a ship's cat, and Sparrow, the 25-foot boat they've built together. Lovers of sailing and travel books will find this often hilarious, often moving tale of voyage and self-discovery to be in the tradition of Farley Mowat's The Boat Who Wouldn't Float, Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia, and Paul Theroux's The Happy Isles of Oceania. But more than that, it's the story of a father and son who go down to the sea to find each other, and of what they bring back.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hhornblower - LibraryThing

Not bad. It's a bit uneven, as the narrator bounces back forth between the father and son. Hasn't aged very well, seems to be a bit "of its time". All in all though, a quick enjoyable read. More of a ... Read full review

Review: My Old Man and the Sea

User Review  - Aysha - Goodreads

Excellent narrative art ,as critics suggest . Hemmingway weaves around his narration to arrive at a heart break , an irony , not dramatic but one that makes your head hang for a few seconds after you've read the last pages. Read full review


The Idea
Cape Horn
Jamaica to Panama

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About the author (1995)

David Hays was the set & lighting designer for more than fifty Broadway plays & musicals, thirty ballets for the legendary George Balanchine at the New York City Ballet, & many operas at the Metropolitan Opera. As a second career, he founded & led the National Theatre of the Deaf to appearances on seven continents. With his son Daniel, he is the author of "My Old Man & the Sea." Hays lives in Chester, Connecticut.

Daniel Hays is coauthor of My Old Man and the Sea, a best-selling memoir that chronicles his trip around Cape Horn with his father. Hays has a master's degree in enviromental science, holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and has a captain's license for piloting boats up to twenty-five tons.

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