Sea Trials

Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire

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Pub Date 01 Apr 2017 | Archive Date 15 Aug 2017

Description

A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family.


In 1973, the Wilcox family sets off to sail around the world aboard the 40-foot sailboat, Vela. Thirteen months later, they are shipwrecked on a coral reef, with surf tearing a huge hole in the side of their boat.


After years invested in saving money, preparing the boat, and learning to navigate by the stars, parents Chuck and Dawn refuse to give up. Fourteen-year-old Garth is determined to continue, while eleven-year-old Linda never wanted to go in the first place. Can they overcome the emotional, physical and financial challenges to transform from castaways into circumnavigators?


To triumph, these pioneers must rebuild their boat on a remote Pacific island. Damage sustained on the reef and a lack of resources haunt them the rest of the way around the world as they face  daunting obstacles, including wild weather, pirates, gun boats, mines and thieves plus pesky bureaucrats and cockroaches as stubborn as this family. Without a working engine and no way to communicate with the outside world, they struggle to reach home before their broken rig comes crashing down and they run out of food on a trial that tests them to their limits.


A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family.


In 1973, the Wilcox family sets off to sail around the world aboard the 40-foot sailboat, Vela...


A Note From the Publisher

More pre-arranged reviews and author blurbs are still coming in. Author is a comfortable speaker and happy to do interviews. This story generated broad media coverage in 1978. An excerpt from the shipwreck that opens the book is available for publication upon mutually agreeable arrangement. Contact to discuss. wendyhinman@gmail.com An eBook is planned, as well as an audio book.

More pre-arranged reviews and author blurbs are still coming in. Author is a comfortable speaker and happy to do interviews. This story generated broad media coverage in 1978. An excerpt from the...


Advance Praise

“…The author’s expressive writing captures the wonder of being at sea in all its glory … her engaging narrative succeeds in capturing the thrills and frustrations of this intrepid family. Taking in remarkably far-flung destinations such as Christmas Island and the New Hebrides, this exhilarating book should appeal to any would-be explorer who has stood at the prow of a ship and dreamed of the possibilities. Highly readable and sufficiently evocative to sense the scent of sea air in the pages.—Kirkus Reviews (starred review).  Selected as a Kirkus Book of the Month.

“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.”Seattle Book Review

"A gripping tale of a family's harrowing journey to sail around the world against seemingly insurmountable and deadly odds." Robert Dugoni, the #1 Amazon and #1 Wall Street Journal author of the bestselling Tracy Crosswhite series

Sea Trials is a skillfully told story of perseverance, ingenuity and grit.” — Janna Cawrse Esarey, author of Motion of the Ocean

“This true story of the Wilcox family is completely riveting and simultaneously insanely frustrating – which means it's a great book! Hinman's attention to little details like family squabbles and disagreements or stop-gap repairs make the whole trip vivid and real and their concerns intense. . . . you are intensely caught up in the family's decisions and dilemmas while they are facing them and can sympathize with their recurrent optimism and desire to achieve their goal. Sea Trials immerses you in the Wilcox's world as you share their great adventure, for good and ill. It is an adventure that, for readers, is well worth the trip.” —San Francisco Book Review

“What a tale! The Wilcox family’s epic round-tripper had me turning pages at flank speed. Wendy Hinman crafts a true-life adventure story as outlandish and memorable as The Swiss Family Robinson, with shipwreck, reefs, dengue fever, gun-toting soldiers, and teenagers who won’t do their homework.” — Bruce Barcott, author of Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, Measure of a Mountain and Weed the People and a contributor to Outside and National Geographic magazines among others


“In a time before cell phones and laptops, the Wilcox family set out to sail around the world, but after a shipwreck, their adventure takes a dramatic detour. Thrilling, poignant, and hilarious moments surface as this family struggles to cope with each other, repair the wreck and most of all, to keep going. The only thing missing are recipes for their extreme-budget meals!” —Debra Daniels-Zeller author of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook

"A satisfying read about the costs and rewards of human endeavor and the effects they have on a family." —Jan Burak Schwert, author of Geezers' Guide to the Galaxy: A Lifetime of Travel Encounters

“A nail-biting adventure story with thought-provoking lessons for today's sailors.” —Elsie Hulsizer, author of Voyages to Windward and Glaciers, Bears and Totems

“A captivating narrative, full of suspense and colorful descriptions … Readers of all ages will enjoy this story and the skill with which it is told.” Sailing Magazine

"Even armchair sailors will feel their hearts race with the Wilcox family in the cockpit of their 40’ Maine pinky, VELA. Hinman delivers another book to let you sail away." — Wooden Boat Magazine


More reviews to come.

“…The author’s expressive writing captures the wonder of being at sea in all its glory … her engaging narrative succeeds in capturing the thrills and frustrations of this intrepid family...


Marketing Plan

Of special note to the media:


The Wilcoxes returned home to San Francisco to media fanfare in July 1978 after a five-year trial, during which they were shipwrecked, rebuilt the boat, and faced daunting obstacles, from wild weather to threats from pirates, gun boats, mines and thieves, a broken rig, scurvy and starvation. This story generated big press coverage at the time of the shipwreck (Sept 1974) and again upon the family’s return after completing their voyage around the world (in July 1978). The story went out over the AP and UPI news wire services and was picked up in various publications around the world, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and newspapers in Toronto and Geneva, among others, and a television interview with Maury Povich.

About the author:

Wendy Hinman is the award-winning author of Tightwads on the Loose, the story of her 34,000-mile seven-year voyage aboard a 31-foot boat with her husband, Garth Wilcox, the teenage hero of her second book, Sea Trials. She is currently the Editor of the Writers Connection and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications.  She is an inspiring speaker on turning dreams into reality—or succumbing to delusions and the crazy adventures they provoke. Her presentations are filled with humor and hard-won lessons that amuse and encourage. As a president of Toastmasters, she is a polished presenter and storyteller, who has shared her stories across various media. She is working on her next book. For more information, visit www.wendyhinman.com.


Contact her to schedule a presentation or for an interview about her two riveting adventure stories at: wendyhinman@gmail.com.




Of special note to the media:


The Wilcoxes returned home to San Francisco to media fanfare in July 1978 after a five-year trial, during which they were shipwrecked, rebuilt the boat, and faced...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 978098WH35034
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 8 members


Featured Reviews

My 1st read, written by Wendy. I loved it. So creative and imaginative. I have often wondered what it would be like to take a boat around for traveling purposes? We are campers but never been on the seas for a long long time. Only for a short trip or journey to see a tour or what not. Of course I had to think of Gilligan's Island, the song and those silly tv shows. I can not imagine being shipwrecked and what you would do for food or water. Or what about "Castaway" with Tom Hanks. I can't wait to read more from Wendy very very soon. Well done, if you love ships, ship journey, sea travels, anything water related please check out this beauty. Great read!! ( ;

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An interesting, and sometimes humorous account of 4 member family trip sailing around the world. There was a lot of geography and history also that explained about the different parts of the world they sailed to.

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I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and Wendy Hinman for the ARC of "Sea Trials" by Wendy Hinman. The genres of this book are Nonfiction and Travel Wendy Hinman writes about the Wilcox family which is her husband's family . They planned to sail around the world in four years on a large Sailboat, "Vela". Due to unforeseen circumstances it took five years. This was around 1973. Chuck and Dawn Wilcox and their two children made preparation to sail, gathered their passports , money,important papers, schoolwork, and whatever would be needed to start and complete their journey. Dawn . a Nurse, tried to have medications on hand, if needed. She arranged for her children to be sent school work at various ports. They were able to cook, and use electricity when they first started the voyage. The author uses notes, transcripts photos, and media to describe the journey. Each time the Vela sailed to another port, or country, their passports and papers were checked. The family would have to get to land to go to a Post Office. Of course this was a wonderful experience for the family, especially the children to see various people, cultures and traditions,as well as the scenic countries. Of course, this journey could be dangerous. Medical issues , such as food poisoning, Scurvy, broken bones, fevers, and more had to be handled. The sea and Mother Nature could be problematic with hurricanes, storms, winds,heat and cold. The biggest upset is when the sailboat hit some reefers and was shipwrecked. The family was lucky to find a house to rent, and tried to get to repair the sailboat. In the close proximity to each other, there were arguments. At times getting food was difficult. Also everything cost money, and as much as the Wilcox family planned, many additional expenses came up. In the 1970's the political condition of the world was changing. Egypt and Israel didn't get along, Leadership of countries changed. In some waters there was the threat of pirates. I found this book fascinating and intriguing. I know I get seasick on the ferry, so I can appreciate how this family wanted to live their dream, even though there were dangers. It is hard to believe that this is a nonfiction book, and I would recommend this to read about a great adventure.

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This is a well written book. It's like you go on vacation with them. It's well worth your time and money.

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A real eye opener on how in sum ways things were easier when travelling years ago. On the other hand how much harder sailing was years ago without modern technology. A fascinating read. Give it a go.

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Thank you to Net Gallery. I love all things with a nautical theme. This was a story of a family picking up everything and sailing to several different ports without the use of modern technology. I found it humorous that the children's' homework had to be mailed at some ports. But, that is life on the sea . The story was well written and I recommend it to anyone looking for a true adventure at sea.

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At a time when we take GPS, mobile phones and internet for granted, it is a miracle that the Wilcox family survived this voyage! It was so nice to read a contemporary report of such a voyage, and to note, with interest, how organised and accessible the world was 40 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the book - despite being an avowed land-lubber, I felt totally immersed in the adventure, and felt I was in the cabin of Vela for the whole journey. Beautifully written with sparse prose weaving seamlessly with the contemporary account taken from logs and letters. The yachting terms are somewhat confusing for the lay person, but handily the book has a glossary at the back - which I singularly failed to notice whilst reading! However, the Kindle allows you to highlight and look up a word so it was not too much of an issue. A thoroughly engrossing, exciting read of one family's perilous journey with enough action and adventure to keep you on the tips of your deck shoes!

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This book,is about travel,boats and four people traveling,a very good read

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Very inspirational. A must read to those who love travelling. While reading, it made me feel like I was voyaging together with them. It’s a true story and I’m very awed by how a family of four has managed to successfully sail around the world despite the countless trials they faced while at sea. Their resilience and perseverance has been tested again and again in this unforgettable journey of the Wilcoxes. Highly recommended to those with wanderlust.

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