Small Boat To Freedom: A Journey of Conscience to a New Life in Americaby John Vigor
Small Boat to Freedom is the moving and inspiring story of one man's decision to leave the country he loved because of a political situation he abhorred. John Vigor had it all, a loving family, a secure and well-deserved reputation as a syndicated South African newspaper columnist, and a lovely home in one of South Africa's most beautiful cities, Durban. But an apartheid-regime clampdown on freedom of expression forced Vigor to make the wrenching decision to abandon his idyllic life - and financial security - and leave South Africa on a thirty-one-foot sloop with his wife and seventeen-year-old son for a precarious voyage to a new but uncertain life in America.
At age fifty, Vigor had been a popular news-paper columnist for eighteen years, and a journalist for thirty years, working for anti-apartheid newspapers, raising a family of three sons with his wife, June, also a journalist. But in 1987 the South African government and its once untouchable apartheid policy was crumbling. In an attempt to clamp down on dissident opinion, the government began restricting writers. The Vigors knew it was time to leave, but to do so meant losing most of their savings, the scant remainder of which they used to purchase a boat for the dangerous voyage from Durban, past the treacherous Cape of Storms, around the Cape of Good Hope, and across the South Atlantic to Florida.
Small Boat to Freedom is an emotional and colorful account of two journeys - one of conscience, the other of courage - each inspired by the author's strength and that of his family.
- Sheridan House, Incorporated
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- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
John Vigor was born in Plymouth, England, a stone's throw away from the Mayflower Steps. He lived in England until he was thirteen, when his family emigrated to South Africa. A longtime newspaperman and a former South African sailing champion, he began a new life in America in 1987. He now lives in Washington State, where he sails on Puget Sound and writes.
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An extraordinary tour de force. This is a memoir cum travel-adventure story of unexpected depth and intriguing texture. Several critics have already forecast it will become a classic, and I agree. It's the work of a man who has been a professional writer all his working life and it shows. It throbs with simple honesty. The author admits he shanghaied his wife and teenage son to crew for him on the tiny 30-foot sailboat in which they fled from restrictive apartheid regime of South Africa to the freedom of America. There are moments of terror here, times of bliss, keen insights into nature, and episodes of pure humor, all presented in a refreshingly humble fashion. Small Boat to Freedom has been introduced to the American market with surprisingly little fanfare but it will surely earn the recognition it deserves as an important contribution to the genre. Read it. See if you don't agree.