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

David Hays and Daniel Hays (1995)

This book was a wonderful surprise, one I heartily recommend to sailors and land-lovers with equal enthusiasm. This father and son team became the first Americans to sail around Cape Horn in a boat under 30 feet in length. The thrill of their 17,000-mile, 317-day journey, made even more perilous by the tiny size of their boat, is an exciting and entertaining adventure, recorded each step of the way in a jointly kept journal.

Each man has a definite perspective on the trip, and their evolving relationship is as interesting as the ports of call, which include the Panama Canal, the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. Cramped together in a confined space, virtually exposed to the elements and at sea for weeks at a time, a kind of role reversal takes place on board–David recognizes he is not in charge and his son will be the one responsible for taking them safely around the Horn, while Daniel grapples with a realization that comes to all children, that his father is only human.


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