ONLY A DAMN FOOL by Taylor & Carol Brooks Hancock Hancock


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A fizzle! ""Only a damn fool would venture across the mighty Pacific Ocean in a new sailboat, against the prevailing winds, at a time dangerously close to the typhoon season, with an amateur crew, none of whom had ever made the trip before--in fact, none of whom had ever made any long sailing voyage before."" As it turns out, only the amateurism involved supplies this book with some sort of theme, since any sense of adventure is submerged under the dense sailing detail--appealing only to those who like to talk nuts and bolts. Taylor, in his fifties, is over 20 years his wife's senior when they decide to make the Grand Cruise. Neither is an experienced mariner but they look over various sailboats and finally decide to have one built on the cheap in Taiwan; to save on other expenses they'll take delivery in Hong Kong. Once they've signed and paid up, they prepare for the big cruise against the winds, across the Pacific west to east, Hong Kong to California. This takes up half the book! En route to Hong Kong their ship, the Dagny Taggart, is waylaid by Chinese pirates in junks and arrives needing 30 major repairs and looking like a grease pit. Once at sea--and it's a long wait--the shakedown cruise deteriorates into a battle against equipment breakdowns and the failure of some crew members to measure up to their jobs. Taylor's young wife Carol is so bored that she appears one morning stark naked on deck, hoping he'll get the message about the lack of romance in her life. And that is the only memorable incident in the book.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1979
Publisher: McKay