This is a story of extreme courage and skill exhibited by a family of four. A little more nervousness would throw off balance and the inevitable-death would swallow everyone up. Along with the adults, the two children too are worth mentioning as they showed exemplary courage and understanding even in the face of death. Fear and fear factors are associated with death. The idea of losing one’s life can throw even the mightiest out of gear. Hence, natural calamities like Earthquake, tsunamis and floods strike us with fear. These are the things that cause immeasurable loss of life and property.
The author with his wife Mary and their two children-Jonathan and Suzanne-was the family of four. They tried to duplicate the round the world voyage in their professionally ship-The WAVEWALKER. They also picked up two crew men-American Vigil and Swiss Herb to tackle of the world’s roughest seas-The Southern Indian Ocean. The initial period of their voyage wasn’t worrying as strong gales and winds were conspicuous by their absence. The weather turned bad, yet they had a wonderful Christmas 3500 kilometers east of Cape Town. However, the following days were one of the worst faced by Mary’s family. High waves roared and lashed the ship on both sides of the ship. The WAVEWALKER shook and the author was thrown overboard. The ship was about to capsize when another gigantic wave hit it making it right side up again. The author was thrown back onto the deck, his head and ribs smashed against the walls and blood began to appear.
The author didn’t lose his temper. He tried to repair the leakage in the ships’ control of the wheel. No immediate help was available as they were in one of the remotest corner of the world. Suzanne too suffered a head injury, black eyes and a deep cut on her arms. She was extremely brave not to speak of her injury. She simply didn’t want to bother her parents when they were trying to save everybody on board. The family had survived for more than fifteen hours and was desperately looking for rescue. The ship was in a bad condition and would not last to reach Australia. The nearest would be to reach Ile Amsterdam, a French Scientific base. However, their respite was short-lived when the dark clouds began to appear again. It was commendable that John opined that they were not afraid to die if all of them stuck together. It was an example of unity and oneness. It also spoke of the trust and belief that the children had in each other. The children, even in the face of death, had the patience to gift a ‘thank-you’ card to their parents. It was a symbol of trust.
The author and his wife checked and rechecked their calculations. The westerly currents were calculated and they turned their ship by 185 degrees. They sailed on and found Amsterdam by evening. Their joy knew no bounds when they spotted the island. It was in fact, Suzanne, who spotted the island and announcing it to her father. They anchored off-shore for the night and struggled on to reach the island with the help of the inhabitants of the island. Finally, they had landed on their feet again. It was both the grace of God and their courage and patience, which actually helped them. The family lived on to tell their nightmarish story. In short, it is a story which brightly highlighted the fact that a small six year old boy was not afraid to die, if he was given the option to die with his family. In other words, we learn about courage, love and faith of a family of four.