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 Note From the Publisher
“…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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.