Victor Joshua Walker’s father is an assistant manager of the local supermarket, obsessed with Russian composers and Captain Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail alone around the world 100 years earlier. Much to Victor’s dismay, his father has planned a similar journey for his family and is building a boat in the barn next door. After a neighbor’s trailer burns to the ground, he launches his boat and they move aboard. After nine years, it still isn’t finished; it’s the dead of winter; the marina’s deserted; the boat is the size of a school bus; and there’s no heat! No matter that Victor’s father has told everyone he will follow Slocum’s route across the northern Atlantic, for seemingly no reason at all, he suddenly decides to head south. No one is happy about spending three years away from home, especially Victor.
Chicken of the Sea is more than a story about dragging three cynical kids around the world. Along with wry humor, are the realistic aspects of living aboard a small sailing boat, the hardships of ocean voyages, storms at sea, fascinating foreign cultures, and exotic tropical islands. There are also clues to a past life; burns on Victor’s forearms, grandparents who died in a house fire, a missing uncle and aunt, rare Russian Christmas ornaments, first-edition books, a guitar once played by Segovia… If that’s not enough, people are following them.
On a desolate island in the southern Bahamas, an old man arrives just in time to save Victor and his younger brother when they encounter a Hammerhead shark. Victor soon discovers that the old man, while a good friend, launders money for a drug cartel, and is as dangerous as the shark. Like the men who have followed the Walkers from Norfolk, Virginia, he’s never far away.
In the midst of long days spent at sea, there is murder, kidnapping, a life-threatening appendix operation as the family rounds Cape Horn, and a thrilling conclusion when the Walkers arrive in the Marquesas Islands in the Pacific. Or is it the conclusion when there are so many unanswered questions? Chicken Too picks up the story, beginning two weeks later when disaster looms on the horizon…
More stuff is coming soon!