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My Old Man and the Sea by David Hays
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My Old Man and the Sea (1995)

by David Hays, Daniel Hays

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Showing 5 of 5
My Old Man and the Sea by David and Daniel Hays is about a father and son (respectively) and the growth of their love and respect for each other, and perhaps not inconsistently, the flowering of their independence. That in itself is not so unusual, but most fathers and sons don't build 25 ft sailing yachts to sail around Cape Horn.
The tip of South America has probably the worst weather for any kind of sea vessel of any place on earth. It can take months to beat and tack back and forth against the howling winds that sweep unhindered by any land mass around the bottom of the globe. They were not so foolish as to sail from east to west, so they took a short cut through the Canal on to Easter Island then back around from the west via the Horn. Their voyage covered 17,000 miles and lasted 317 days.

They had an interesting system of reefing the sails for various kinds of weather. It was color-coded with a mnemonic system that related to fear levels. "Red for the first reef stands for 'mere general fear.' [fifteen knot wind] If it blows over twenty, one turns green with nauseating terror, and secures the green line, which is the second reef. Next if it's blowing over thirty knots and shock has set in (the blood has left your extremities), you pull the blue line for the third reef. If the wind picks up more than that, you're scared to death. White is appropriate. That makes the sail tiny."

The voyage continues as father and son explore their past and prior relationship. David remembers Dan's constant pranks at boarding school that necessitated a plea to the headmaster for reinstatement. Dan fears his father's age and other inadequacies - cooking is a jointly recognized incompetence of his, only half-jokingly referred to as "time spent in the galley area, after which, the food scraped out of the utensils and off the walls is served."

David speculates why small boat voyages became a British specialty after the war: " ... the cold and damp and bad food on a tiny boat were indistinguishable from home; they didn't realize that they weren't in their living rooms."
( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Read this a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Couldn't put it down and read it in one afternoon! ( )
  andrearules | May 13, 2013 |
This is the story of a trip around The Horn, the end of South America. It is the only way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific without going through the Panama Canal. It is more than that though. The sailors are father and son and take turns writing so that we have a picture of what both of them feel about the boat, the sea and each other. The whole story is told - the idea, buying the hull and outfitting the boat, sailing through the Caribibean, the Canal and then around the Horn back to home.

This is an easy read, I finished it in a few days. I was not overwhelmed with the descriptions of the outfitting nor of the trip itself. Maybe I needed to be there to appreciate what they did. Compared to the SAIL OF THE GYPSY - the one man trip around the world by Sir Chichester this book did not tell how the sailors felt about their choice of sailing nor the difficulties of the sail itself which was well covered in the GYPSY.

I would give this book 2 1/2 stars. An okay beach read, but not worth re-reading. ( )
  oldman | Aug 13, 2009 |
3977. My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail around Cape Horn, by David Hays and Daniel Hays (read 22 Jan 2005) The authors of this book sailed a 27-foot long boat around Cape Horn in 1984-1985. At first some of the sailing talk was off-putting but the book soon caught me up and was extremely exciting. Their only companion on the trip around the Horn was their cat, Tiger. This is the best sailing book of its kind I've ever read. Dove, by Robin Lee Graham, (read 14 Sept 1998) which tells of a sailing trip around the world, alone, by its young author, is a far less interesting account, I thought. The book was published in 1995 and I thought it a sleeper and a real winner. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Oct 14, 2007 |
Great adventure of a Father and Son trip around Cape Horn. ( )
  finchky | Jul 27, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Haysprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hays, Danielmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060976969, Paperback)

David and Daniel Hays, father and son, designed and built a small boat together, then set out to sail it around the tip of South America, a journey that David had dreamed of ever since childhood. Along the way they fought and swore and sweated and shared triumphs large and small.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:12 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A father and son recall their unforgettable seventeen-thousand-mile journey around South America in the small boat that they had build together.

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