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Valdemar (Val) R Wake

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Member Since: Jan, 2008

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Reviewers Greet My Voyage as an Entertaining Read
Saturday, June 05, 2010  8:50:00 PM

by Valdemar (Val) R Wake

In a pre-launch market test two Australian book reviewers have welcomed the addition of My Voyage Around Spray to the Sid Harta publisher''s list.

Wendy O'Hanlon of Acres, Australia wrote:

Retired journalist Val Wake has led a colourful life and has rubbed shoulders with all manner of people around the world- dignitaries, spies, heroes and heroines, adventurers and more.

His story is brimming with these experiences and takes us from the ice expanse of the Canadian Arctic to the rolling grasses of the English West Country and the sparkling waters of Australia's Port Macquarie.

This is Wake's third book, the first being a biography of his father, Robert Wake, who was one of Australia's first spies and founder director of the spy agency ASIO, while the second book explored the native rights movement in Arctic Canada.

But this third book is about the author's love of sailing-his love of the grand blue beyond. In colourful detail, Wake remembers the first stirrings of his love for the maritime. In 1939 he was a four-year-old in Brisbane and was given a medal pedal car by his parents. He loved that car until the day he saw some boys in boats and marvelled at the way they could travel effortlessly without the need of exhaustive peddling.

One of Wake's great inspirations is the sailor called Captain Joshua Slocum who sailed solo around the world in a single-masted sloop named Spray. Slocum spent three years rebuilding the vessel before he set sail in 1895 at the age of 51.

When the author retired at Port Macquarie it wasn't long until he he had his own vessel, which he re-named Spray, and his adventures began. His tales are not all about his magnificient sailing and competitive adventures but also about the politics of regional communities and local groups. Wake does not care for ' big fish, small pond' characters and prefers to 'sail alone' when it comes to a retiring life.

There are many fascinating books yet in this storyteller and researcher.

John Morrow wrote:

Val Wake has lived the gypsy life that many of us would envy. Beginning his working life as a journalist, he has lived in Canada, England and in 1996, settled back in Australia. The Wakes' have travelled extensively and unsurprisingly, somehwere along the line Val developed a passion for sailing.

Val first discovered the magic of boats in 1939 when the Brisbane River broke its banks. Living in Auchenflower at the time, and after witnessing the appeal of a vessel gliding effortlessly over the brown waters, his pedal car suddenly lost its appeal.

When the Americans arrived in Brisbane during the war, the face of the river changed as well. With them came the battleships and submarines. Val can remember when his father arranged for him and his brother, Andrew, to take a tour of an American submarine.

Val's father was in charge of the Brisbane port, and as the war continued, his circle of friends grew. One friend took the three Wakes' on a fishing trip around Moreton Island. So began Val's love of the sea which would result in his world-travelling, once by sea and once by air.

After travelling to England at 19 years of age, Val's childhood dream of sailing was put on hold as his career took various turns. In 1971, however, he read a book by Captain Joshua Slocum titled Sailing Alone Around the World. This rekindled the childhood dream of sailing.

When looking for a place to retire in the 90s, the Wakes checked out Port Macquarie, a place which seemed to tick all the right boxes. In the intervening years, Val writes an entertaining account of his life which always seems to have some sort of affinity with the sea.

" A young boy's childhood dream endured to his retiring years-the sea, the salt and the spray- this book is an entertaining and interesting account of a life that has always seemed to have a boat lurking in the background."


 More News about Valdemar (Val) R Wake
Book Launch in Port Macquarie - 12/9/2010 2:36:00 PM

Retired Diplomat Describes New Novel as Brilliant - 12/3/2010 5:48:00 PM

December Launch of My Voyage - 11/16/2010 7:18:00 PM

Master Spy Panned on National TV - 11/8/2010 3:24:00 PM

Author's Website On Line - 9/3/2010 4:13:00 PM

September Launch for My Voyage - 8/2/2010 5:43:00 PM

Wake's Papers Made Available for Official Spy History - 6/5/2010 9:15:00 PM

Australian Publisher accepts new book - 11/11/2009 3:16:00 PM

Novel hailed as a rich and exciting read - 10/7/2009 2:41:00 PM

Author Attacks Academic Research Standards - 7/7/2009 4:18:00 PM

The Canadian Book Challenge Three - 7/6/2009 6:35:00 PM

Sprawling Saga about the Authentic North - 4/29/2009 2:41:00 PM

Author Featured on CBC Radio site - 4/21/2009 9:04:00 PM

No Ribbons or Medals on E Bay - 3/24/2009 7:51:00 PM

First Canada Outlet - 3/17/2009 7:44:00 PM

CBC North Anniversary - 1/30/2009 7:24:00 PM

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