Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire
A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family.
In 1973, the Wilcox family sets off to sail around the world aboard the 40-foot sailboat, Vela. Thirteen months later, they are shipwrecked on a coral reef, with surf tearing a huge hole into the side of their boat.
With years invested in saving money, preparing the boat, and learning to navigate by the stars, parents Chuck and Dawn refuse to give up. Fourteen-year-old Garth is determined to continue, while eleven-year-old Linda never wanted to go in the first place. Can they overcome the emotional, physical and financial challenges to transform from castaways into circumnavigators?
To triumph, they must rebuild their boat on a remote Pacific island. Damage sustained on the reef and a lack of resources haunt them the rest of the way around the world as they face daunting obstacles, including wild weather, pirates, gun boats, mines and thieves, plus pesky bureaucrats and cockroaches as stubborn as the family. Without a working engine and no way to communicate with the outside world, they struggle to reach home before their broken rig comes crashing down and they run out of food on a trial that tests them to their limits.
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About the Author
..".The author's expressive writing captures the wonder of being at sea in all its glory ... her engaging narrative succeeds in capturing the thrills and frustrations of this intrepid family. Taking in remarkably far-flung destinations such as Christmas Island and the New Hebrides, this exhilarating book should appeal to any would-be explorer who has stood at the prow of a ship and dreamed of the possibilities. Highly readable and sufficiently evocative to sense the scent of sea air in the pages.--Kirkus Reviews (starred review). Selected Kirkus Book of the Month.
"What a tale! The Wilcox family's epic round-tripper had me turning pages at flank speed. Wendy Hinman crafts a true-life adventure story as outlandish and memorable as The Swiss Family Robinson, with shipwreck, reefs, dengue fever, gun-toting soldiers, and teenagers who won't do their homework." -- Bruce Barcott, author of Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, The Measure of a Mountain, and Weed the People and a contributor to Outside and National Geographic magazines
"A modern, swashbuckling adventure." -- Seattle Book Review
"A gripping tale of a family's harrowing journey to sail around the world against seemingly insurmountable and deadly odds." --Robert Dugoni, the #1 Amazon and #1 Wall Street Journal author of the bestselling Tracy Crosswhite series
"Sea Trials is a skillfully told story of perseverance, ingenuity, and grit. Wendy Hinman is back with another gripping sea saga, one that's vivid enough to make you feel you're aboard the 40-foot Vela...or shipwrecked on a reef in Fiji. Hinman's pacing keeps the story humming along and her eye for detail helps us savor the voyage. Brief, well-placed excerpts from the family's letters read like gems in a treasure hunt." -- Janna Cawrse Esarey, author of The Motion of the Ocean
"This true story of the Wilcox family is completely riveting and simultaneously insanely frustrating - which means it's a great book! Hinman's attention to little details like family squabbles and disagreements or stop-gap repairs make the whole trip vivid and real and their concerns intense. . . . you are intensely caught up in the family's decisions and dilemmas while they are facing them and can sympathize with their recurrent optimism and desire to achieve their goal. Sea Trials immerses you in the Wilcox's world as you share their great adventure, for good and ill. It is an adventure that, for readers, is well worth the trip." -- San Francisco Book Review
"In a time before cell phones and laptops, the Wilcox family set out to sail around the world, but after a shipwreck, their adventure takes a dramatic detour. Thrilling, poignant, and hilarious moments surface as this family struggles to cope with each other, repair the wreck and most of all, to keep going." -- Debra Daniels-Zeller author of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook
"A satisfying read about the costs and rewards of human endeavor and the effects they have on a family." -- Jan Burak Schwert, author of Geezers' Guide to the Galaxy: A Lifetime of Travel Encounters
"A nail-biting adventure story."-- Elsie Hulsizer, author of Voyages to Windward and Glaciers, Bears and Totems
"Hinman has written a compelling story of a family's quest to sail around the world, a trip that starts with equal parts of hope and hubris and becomes a survival tale as the family surmounts one obstacle after another to keep their ship afloat." -- Sharon L. Morris, Adventure Travel Writer