So many of us, from one time or another, have imagined an adventurous life abroad. To see new sights and experience cultures entirely unfamiliar to our own epitomizes a dream so many of us carry inside ourselves like a beacon locked away in the deep recesses of our minds. Yet, how many of us take the leap and pursue this supposedly insurmountable dream? Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire by Wendy Hinman follows the breathtaking excursion of one family’s travels around the world aboard Vela, their forty-foot sailboat. “Readers will become instantly enthralled as the book opens with the terrifying night of Vela’s shipwreck, a paralyzing night ordeal that would ultimately add another whole year to the family’s incredible journey.” Recounted in painstaking detail, Sea Trials chronicles the family’s departure from San Francisco and subsequent expeditions through the South Pacific, along the coast of Australia, up the Red Sea, and through the Caribbean, as well as their tumultuous interactions with newly established governments and the excruciatingly long final trek home over eighty-seven days.” “The Wilcoxes had set out to sail around the world in four years. Though it had taken them five, by sheer perseverance and hard work, they had done it though it had nearly broken them.” To travel such great distance over such a period of time, no one can return home unchanged. The narratives each Wilcox family member provides paint a graphic picture of the dramatic life-changing encounters the family experienced individually and as a whole. Readers’ witness the Wilcoxes struggle to process monumental events at home, such as the Watergate scandal, after being so far removed from United States culture. Those eager to recreate the excursion will find informative tips and words of warning on everything from dengue fever to scurvy among the pages of Sea Trials. However, those looking to merely travel in their minds to far off places will appreciate the graphic details of each new port and the vibrant culture bursting at the seams. “While sailing in the Mediterranean had been difficult, their efforts had been rewarded with multiple layers of history, from ancient civilizations to Medieval, Renaissance, and even twentieth-century periods.” A modern, swashbuckling adventure, Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire will quickly transport readers through a fascinating, light read out to sea aboard the Vela.
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