My Old Man and the Sea

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Apr 26, 1996 - Travel - 227 pages
4 Reviews
Some fathers and sons go fishing together. Some play ball. David Hays and Daniel Hays sailed 17,000 miles through the world's most feared and fabled waters in a little boat they built together. This is their story.

Alone with nothing but the mammoth waves of the Southern Ocean, the unceasing wind, a compass, a sextant and a pet cat, they voyage down the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, past the Galapagos Islands, beyond Easter Island and around their destination--Cape Horn. Father and son narrate in alternating fashion, their voices weaving together an engrossing story of travel, exploration and difficult, dangerous sailing.

But more than a tale of adventure, this is a touching account of a father and son's rite of passage as they assess their complex and evolving relationship. Daniel, out of college and unsure of what he wants in his life, sees his father getting older, more forgetful. David deals with unresolved issues he had with his own father, fearful that he'll make the same mistakes with his son, yet frustrated that Daniel treats him like an old man.

Moving, often hilarious, often poignant, My Old Man and the Sea is a rich and profound chronicle of their voyage of discovery. Every reader will identify with this uplifting story of a father and son who go down to the sea and find each other.


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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

MY OLD MAN AND THE SEA: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In an account combining elements of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and a sensitivity training group, a father and son courageously voyage around the tip of South America, challenging the elements ... Read full review


The Idea
Cape Horn
Jamaica to Panama
In the Pacific
The Galapagos
The Perfect Passage
Easter Island
Fortytwo Days
Looking Seaward
Sail Plan
Sample Log Entry
Interior of Sparrow

To the Horn
The Tenthousandth Mile

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About the author (1996)

David Hays is the Founding Artistic Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf. He is a graduate of Harvard, with a long career in the theatre in England and America, who holds honorary doctorates at Connecticut College, Gallaudet University, and Wesleyan University. He is the author of a book on stage lighting and is a lifelong sailor. He lives in Connecticut.

Hays has worked as a field supervisor at a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled teenagers, holds a 2nd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, has a master's degree in environmental science, and has a captain's license for boats rated up to 25 tons. He and his father were the first Americans to sail around Cape Horn in a boat under 30 feet in length.

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