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

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Thorndike Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 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


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Cape Horn

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About the author (1995)

David Hays is 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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