||Slack Water Press
||Jan 15, 2008
"The Cruise of the Jest" is the story of a 16-year-old boy who sails a 35-foot boat alone around the world. Although fiction, the story is based on the author's experience.
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Slack Water Press
His father told him to sail "Jest," a 35-foot boat, from San Francisco to Hawaii. No, he thought. No, he couldn’t imagine himself doing that. He couldn’t imagine spending days at sea and sailing thousands of miles with nothing but an empty horizon before him. But he knew his father would be after him. So he took "Jest" out of her slip in Sausalito and tried to hide in a small, out-of-the-way harbor. When that didn’t work, he tried to run away by sailing down the coast to Mexico. But that wasn’t enough either. He had to keep running by sailing across the ocean to the South Seas. He sailed farther than he planned, farther than he even thought possible, until eventually, after thousands of miles, he sailed alone around the world.
[from the back cover]
This month we’re reading "The Cruise of the Jest"
The content page. Wow.
San Francisco Bay 3
Half Moon Bay 10
Cabo San Lucas 27
Tres Marias 49
Nuku Hiva 62
There are a lot more. In fact, the destinations lead all the way around the world. Well, of course. "The Cruise of the Jest."
On to the first page:
He was waiting to find out what Jack wanted him to do next. Jack told him to be on Jest at ten that morning. He didn’t want to be early, so he was lying in his bed, listening to the radio. He was thinking that ten was an odd time. Usually when Jack wanted him to do something, it was more like six in the morning or eight in the evening, dawn or dusk. Back in the summer, the last time Jack told him to be on Jest, it had been eight in the evening. That was when Jack told him to sail Jest down to Half Moon Bay. Jack said he would be there, at the harbor in half Moon Bay, waiting for him when he came in. But it hadn’t happened that way.
Nothing quite happens the way you expect it to, except when it does. And what happens the second time he sails to Half Moon Bay is completely different than what happens the first time.
"The Cruise of the Jest" is a completely extraordinary piece of classic coming-of-age literature. It is so outstanding that I’m shocked, dismayed, scandalized that no publisher independent or otherwise would look at it. Please, do more than look at it. Read it. And give it to your kids to read. And give it to your dads. And your grandfathers.
Foreword Magazine, February 2008
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