Monday, December 04, 2017

Book Review: Sailing in Grandfather's Wake by Ian Tew

I initially had the wrong idea about this book. For some reason my expectation was that given the author was someone's grandson he must be young, but it turned out if anything he was older than the grandfather in question.

The author sailed round the world in the years 1998 - 2000 while the grandfather did his half-circumnavigation just before the start of the Second World War in 1938-39. Indeed, it was the start of the war that cut the voyage short in New Zealand.

It was an enjoyable read though not without flaws. The book is part written by Ian Tew and part the diary of his aunt who was crew of the first voyage. It must be said that the earlier writing is a lot better and the later rather full of exclamation marks.

Indeed the first voyage seemed to have numerous advantages, including:
- a more beautiful yacht, 30 foot gaff yawl called Caplin
- more sympathetic crew and master in Commander Graham and his daughter Marguerite plus Dopey the ship's cat (the author admits he's quick tempered and not the easiest person to get along with)
- more unspoilt locations, before the times of ubiquitous development and no doubt plastic in the oceans

If you read blogs or vlogs of those doing circumnavigations you'll know the sort of thing they encounter. Things break and they have to wait for replacement parts, there's confusions and tensions about paper work not being right, locations are idyllic apart from those that are over-developed, crews get sea-sick and argue....

An addition to the circumnavigator's bookcase rather than a classic like Hiscock's Around the World in Wanderer III or Liza Copeland's Just Cruising.

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