Out There by George Day and Herb McCormick
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George Day and Herb McCormick have written a man against nature adventure story that takes the reader along on one of the strangest events in the history of sailing.
OUT THERE follows the transformation of a tiny band of unlikely men who sought to spend nearly a year on the sea, each absolutely alone, out of touch, out of reach, and exposed to the rigors and terrors of the fiercest places on the planet.
Seventeen men started the BOC Challenge – a single-handed sailboat race. Ten finished the grueling course that circled the world. The man who had the longest to prepare failed miserably. The man who had the least time to prepare – a tough hard-hat deep sea diver from France – was the big winner. One of the most experienced sailors became a shipwreck. Another abandoned ship. A Czech who defected in order to participate, lived in constant agony about the fate of his family. There was a young English drifter, a Zen Buddist taxicab driver, a nuclear submarine commander, a vice-squad cop, an Australian businessman, a humble New Jersey grandfather and a retired editor-in-chief of the LA Times.
Unknown to each other before the race, this band of strange men was slowly bonded into a tight knit family, talking an odd language known only to themselves. OUT THERE takes the reader brilliantly along.
The next hour was the longest of Lush’s life. He removed the floorboards that masked his boat’s open wound. Then, like a Buddha, he curved his large frame around his considerable middle and sat cross-legged on his haunches to study the keel.
He immediately realized that, even in the light conditions, the damage had worsened. What, he asked himself, would happen if he began sailing and did lose the keel? His life raft was mounted in a canister on his afterdeck. If and when the keel fell off, the result would be like a dam bursting. The boat would immediately list and he would have to crawl out of his skewed companionway onto a deck half underwater, then scramble to a near-vertical afterdeck before he could even begin inflating the raft. It would be a mean obstacle course for an Olympic decathlon champion; for Lush, it would be impossible.
Lush thought about the people who had worked hard hours and spent plenty of good money to get him to sea. His death, though he was somewhat indifferent to the subject in personal terms, was not going to help his friends or sponsors or the race organizers. He figured he had a responsibility greater than himself.