Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Old Man and The Sea by David Hays & Daniel Hays

DAY 82:   0300.    I check the horizon and am impressed with how clear it is.

0430.  Our motion changes - I'm halfway on deck before I've even opened my eyes, and when I stagger through the hatch I wish they were still closed.  My eyes, not the hatch.

I realize suddenly that we are but one week out of bringing our small craft into dock at Caribou Bay.  We are expected at 1900 hours, and by that time we need to have everything stowed below decks, all manuals read and digested, and get Tiger into a small set of white works for the ceremonial piping aboard of Adm Woods.  

I have used the sextant three times in the last hour, and still find that my GP appears to be somewhere in NE Albuquerque, which I have always thought of as land-locked.  But we have 7 days to straighten this out.  Unfortunately, we're undermanned.  Lt. Ferrell jumped ship somewhere near Baja on the Mexican coast, Boatswain's mate Genoni is still hanging from the highest yardarm, and Seaman 3/c Gillen is pulling ARPA duty on the Manzano Mesa.  The rest of us need to take a deck bath or two, and turn to.  30 March 2017 sounded so far away when we started this voyage, but it is upon us and I feel woefully unprepared.  All I can do is scramble and claw through the chaos.  

We will be running the dingy out of Four Hills Bay, pushing off at 1830 hours.  

Carry on.   Sparrow is landing.  Last Thursday expects every man to do his duty.

Charlie P:  B+   This was a travelogue-plus; not a great book but very entertaining.  B+
Keith:  I thought it was a singularly unique dual biography of Father and Son.  I would like to see the story with two siblings; with a husband and wife; with a husband and mistress.  No message here - they loved each other and got along great.  B+
Dick Arms:  I enjoyed it, a good read.  Somehow it was disappointing, as nothing exciting happened.  I expected some Epiphany.  It would have been better if they were on the outs, then bonded during the Cape passage.  The writing was OK,  not great:  B
Mike:  I liked the honesty and the private personal stories of father and son.  Having the story told by two narrators, one with the day-by-day journal, and the father more reflective, was special.  I was moved to tears when Tiger was lost overboard; and as the book moved on, I was moved by the special relationship between father and son.  A-
Rob:  I missed the boat, to coin a phrase.  Two weeks ago, I realized I needed to get the book, but from the web site, I ended up with The Shape of Water.  To try to catch up, last night I watched the movie, The Old Man and The Sea, which was excellent.   No score.
Dick J:  I kinda enjoyed it but there were real gaps.  Such as at the end of the book, when he was returning and all the press was waiting for him.  It bothered me that the Cape passage seemed anti-climatic.  "There's the Cape - now go get a prostitute."  The father and son relationship was imporant to me, as I wanted that in my life.  Not great book, but OK, B.
Tom G:  I was very impressed.  I liked it, a page turner - I wanted to know what happens.  Both of the authors were excellent writers.  You expect that from the Harvard educated father, but Dan was only partly educated.  He was too much of a loose cannon to want in your Life, but very impressive with what he accomplished.  Mike was right:  A-
Kenny G:  I had mixed emotions - to begin with there were too many naval terms to learn.  It was better as it went on.  I found the humor to be fantastic.  I expected something big to happen in the Cape.  B+
Bob W:  I enjoyed it very much.  It became obvious to me that I was involved in the story when the cat disappeared and I was almost in tears.  I give it an A.  I first read it several years ago.  Both father and son had an excellent control of the English language.

... and from way North of the Cape:

Sorry I won't be able to attend the LTBC meeting at your house next week.  We're enjoying the jacarandas, bouganvillas, and beautiful weather (and two-dollar beer) in the highlands of Mexico.

I enjoyed My Old Man and the Sea.  Perhaps most interesting to me was the two very different perspectives of the events and the two different outlooks on the adventure as a whole.  I certainly appreciated the diagrams in the appendix.  They gave me a more complete picture of how the boat was rigged, outfitted, and organized.  A 317-day journey covering 17,000 miles in a 25-foot boat through some of the most dangerous water in the world boggles my mind.  (I am challenged whenever I take my 25-foot motorhome on a 60-day journey on North American highways.)  By the way, my basic high-school geometry did not help me understand David's explanation of celestial navigation.  Nonetheless, overall I thought it was a fun read and I would give it an A-.

Warm regards,