04 August 2007

13. Caught by the Sea by Gary Paulsen

Although it is very short, at 100 pages of large font, I'm counting it.

You may know Paulsen from his most popular kid book, Hatchet.

This one is about his history of sailing. It's told in a I-don't-know-how-I-didn't-get-killed style. And if everything that he told us in his book did happen, I don't know how he didn't get killed either.

He buys a 23' boat (the same size as Persuasion), buy a couple of cans of Spaghetti-O's and tries to go for a sail in the harbor. No experience, no sailing lessons, no trips out with someone who knows what they are doing. Naturally, it goes badly and he has to get towed back to his slip.

That night he sleeps over on the boat and is awakened by some weird boat-noice (there are many) and he sees how beautiful the moon looks on the water, and so on, so (get this) he decides to go sailing.

Out the harbor he goes. No weather report. Still no useful skills despite his brief experience. No idea what condition the boat is in, is rellay in, I mean.

Then, of course, there is a squall (a short, gusty storm) - he gets knocked down, beat up. The boat doesn't sink, but it gets the worst end of the storm. I think the main sail blows out, but I'm not sure. Then he is becalmed for four days. He's got a couple of cans of food and a few gallons of water in his water tank.

Mind you, he has supposedly done no maintenance to the boat. He's owned it for two days.

Finally the wind comes up and he can sail home. Along the way he meets some lady on a wooden sailboat who shows him what to do. 400 miles out in the Pacific.

Not so much recommended, but if you are into Paulsen or into rookie sailing stories, I guess you might find this interesting.

1 comment:

Crumbolst said...

Rookie sailing stories. No there's a neglected niche.