- Hardcover: 186 pages
- Publisher: International Marine Publishing (February 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0070450897
- ISBN-13: 978-0070450899
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,936,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Voyages of the Damn Foole Hardcover – February 1, 1997
"... the works of sailor Tom McGrath-thinly fictionalized, profusely illustrated, darkly satrical-are great favorites." -- The Boston Globe Magazine
From the Back Cover
Voyages of the Damn Foole
We jibed away and made for the Misery Islands off the shores of Pride's Crossing. When we arrived I drove the boat up on the beach of Great Misery on the run. The sails held it on shore as I ran the anchor line up the beach to a stout piece of driftwood. The boat banged around a while on the rocky beach until the tide receded and left it alone. The island was mine! I took off my shoes and perched them on a prominent rock, officially taking possession. "I'm going to explore the island," I told the boat.
"To find plunder and slaves," the boat added.
Of course I'll Christianize the poor devils, and the plunder will be used to advance civilization." I marched inland over the rocks and rolling hills, through the groves of trees and past the dense underbrush. "Everything here is mine," I kept reminding myself greedily. The birds sang cheerfully. The flowers breathed their fragrances. The vegetation reflected the sun's heat. I was ignored and left to ponder why it was called Misery Island.
I returned to the boat and was immediately asked "Where's the plunder? Where are the slaves?"
"There aren't any," I told the boat. "All the slaves have gone ashore long ago into the towns to sell the plunder in the stores and specialty shops."
"You're a fine example of humanity, can't even pillage and plunder properly," the boat said. "Let's get afloat, it's too fine a day to spend on land."
--From "The Townie and the Damn Foole"
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Doesn't sound too promising, and yet this book, first published as a series of mimeographed pages tacked to the wall of a marina, gets closer to the spirit of sailing than anything you'll ever read.
Since I first purchased the book, I have done a lot of sailing. This summer I sailed my sloop solo north from NJ. Upon returning home, I reread McGrath's book and was absolutely delighted to see that my voyage overlapped much of his. The book is a marvel and worth reading. His opinions about the damage inflicted on creation by human beings are very much a word in season. His pacifism is fierce and right on. His cranky and grumpy ways are a hoot, and we can thank his sweet, leaky, wayward boat for calling him to task from time to time. The illustrations are unique and creative, and the way he depicts himself in them - a dark hulking spectre, makes you ask, is that really how he is shaped?
I will pay the book what could be highest compliment that can be paid to a sailing yarn - it made we want to get back aboard, slip free of the mooring and let my own dreamboat take me out for adventure.