By Wendy Hinman, published by Salsa Press at $20 This tells the story of the San Franciscobased Wilcox family’s 1973-78 shoestring circumnavigation aboard Vela, a 40ft wooden Eastport Pinky cutter.
The book opens with a vivid description of Vela being pounded onto a Fijian reef a little over a year after leaving. She was salvaged and, as the cover shows, eight months of restorative, wallet-busting work began, much of it carried out by the family themselves.
This is an engagingly-told tale of storms, pirates, thieves, gunboats, scurvy and shipwreck, that ends in public acclaim for the Wilcox family, followed by disillusionment with a life afloat. It’s a rattling yarn of adversity overcome, and it would be ideal for anyone who has yet to acknowledge that living aboard is not all plain sailing and sunsets.