"The core of the book is Best’s never-quite-resolved lifelong conflicts with his father, but the bulk of the story is his recollections of the escape sailing solo provided his thoughts while under way and alone. It’s the boat and sailing and the lure of the sea — and his daughter Emily — that clearly comes across as Best’s greatest loves."
"Into My Father's Wake" records the 5000-mile solo sail of journalist Eric Best as he struggles to come to terms with a recent divorce, solitude at sea and the impact of his powerful father in his life.
This personal adventure is a beautifully written and often poetic journey of a man sailing a 40-foot-ketch from San Francisco to Hawaii and back for the first time, testing his competence as a small-boat sailor and his tolerance for fear and physical exhaustion while issues in his life continue to dog him.
While Mr. Best's realistic account of solo navigation should appeal to sailors everywhere – particularly those contemplating such an adventure at sea – his accompanying story of self-discovery will lend valuable insight to anyone trying to understand family origins and the influence of powerful individuals in our lives.
Feo was constructed of steel by Meta Shipyards in Tarare, France in 1969, a sistership to the famous “Joshua” that Jean Knocker designed for (and with) Bernard Moitessier, who sailed in the first single-handed “Golden Globe” round-the-world race in 1968. Feo is 47-feet overall in length (39-feet 11-inches stem-to-stern on the deck), with a draft (depth below the waterline) of 5.5 feet and a beam (width) of 12.5 feet. Ketch-rigged (with a second, smaller mast located ahead of the tiller), Feo weighs 13 gross tons and with a full keel is known for relative stability in heavy weather, or “sea-kindliness.” Her hull and deck are steel, mast and booms are wood. She is designed for single-handed sailing, with a small, self-bailing cockpit and lines that lead into the helmsman’s area. With a full galley and refrigeration, one head (toilet) and shower, she sleeps two aft, two forward and two amidships. She is powered by a single inboard diesel engine.