A Child of the Sea is the true story of Jimmy Cornell's daughter
sailing around the world on the family's small yacht from the age
of 7 to 14, based on Doina's diaries, letters and memories. From
1975 to 1981 the Cornell family visited 54 countries, sailed more
than 68,000 miles, and travelled about the same distance overland.
The story is told from Doina's point of view, although the main
part of the book focuses on the family's three-year stay in the
Pacific when she is aged between 10 and 13. Child of the Sea is
unusual in that it gives a glimpse into a life that most young
children couldn't imagine, swimming, diving and playing the days
away in deserted anchorages; visiting some of the most beautiful
islands in the world; falling in love with the sea in all its
ever-changing moods, from balmy trade wind ocean passages to the
treacherous breakers that crash onto tropical reefs, and taking a
full part in sailing and handling the yacht on passage. The book
also tells the story of a girl's coming of age in the South
Pacific, understanding different cultures and values, and
experiencing at first-hand how people judge each other depending on
the colour of their skin - from the time on Easter Island when
tourists mistake Doina for a Polynesian girl, to her and her
brother's hostile prejudiced reception back in an English school at
the end of their journey. What do children need to grow up happy
and healthy? Security with their family; an element of risk;
freedom to explore the world; openness to other peoples and
cultures; closeness with nature and the elements and an
appreciation of the environment and our finite resources. The
sailing life offers all this and more, and this book captures it
Adlard Coles Nautical
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