8 Men and a Duck

An Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island

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About The Book

Even with the wind on our side and all eight of us pulling, we had never yet managed to change the complex sails....Now we had to pull against the full force of the wind, in a storm, in the middle of the night....

So begins Nick Thorpe's unlikely journey to sail 2,500 miles from northern Chile to Easter Island on the Viracocha -- a boat made of reeds. Captain Phil Buck's desire to test the waters in this pre-Incan boat was twofold: to reopen the controversial migration theories of Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed his boat the Kon-Tiki from Peru to Polynesia in 1947, and to have one heck of a time in the process. With a crew that includes a tree surgeon, a jewelry salesman, and two ducks, Thorpe embarks on an unnerving Pacific voyage that is by turns fierce and farce: from the bungled phone call that triggered a naval rescue alert to the constant race against the inexorable sinking of the soggy hull. A story of high tides and even higher stakes, 8 Men and a Duck is a tale of friendship, fate, and the unlikely distances people will travel for true adventure.

About The Author

Nick Thorpe is an award-winning writer and journalist. A contributor to The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Scotsman, and BBC Radio 4, among others, he has covered stories ranging from Russian presidential elections to the coca wars of Bolivia, for which he was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Free Press (June 2, 2003)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743243094

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