THE WALKABOUTS by Mike Saunders


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When an Australian aborigine suddenly throws up his job and takes to the bush for anything from a few weeks to several years, people say he has 'gone walkabout.'"" And Saunders did just this--on water, not land. A Rhodesian with four kids, a handsome job as a consulting engineer, and a nicely mortgaged suburban house--Saunders took his family and went walkabout. Selling his home, he bought a ketch 500 miles away, began fitting it out long-distance and planned to sail to a new life in England. His story soon begins to remind us of the adventure and homely detail of Robinson Crusoe. A third of the book is filled with agonizing preparations and a monsoon, and at last the family's at sea--but only after sawing loose the anchor chain when the anchor gets stuck at the last moment. It's a very small boat with only one cabin for the six of them in all their stages of seasickness. But their days are filled with winds and waves, long doldrums, cold and heat, studies, cooking, plenty of rueful humor and endless sailstitching. Their Walkabout becomes a symbol of the tight seaworthiness of the family as they round the Cape, cross the South Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro, pass through the Caribbean to the Azores and on to England. Ail in all, a shore to ship account of a likable, unsinkable troupe.

Pub Date: July 25th, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day