Sailing the Apocalypse

 A Misadventure at Sea

Terry Bailey is convinced America is doomed, and the last hope for his family is to escape to sea.

How far would you go to protect your family if you were convinced America was in imminent danger of collapse? Would you build an underground bunker and stockpile it with weapons and supplies? Buy a cabin in the woods and start growing all your own food? Sell everything off and move to a survivalist’s stronghold in the mountains of Idaho?

None of the above would be enough if you were obsessed with boats the way Terry Bailey is obsessed.Terry has an escape plan to sail to the very ends of the earth; the only real option left to survive what’s coming, according to him. Convincing his new wife, teen stepdaughter and preteen stepson that time is running out, he sells his recently-acquired family on the necessity to build a boat. Two years of hard labor later, Terry has his ship—a huge ocean-going catamaran sloppily cobbled together from plywood and epoxy in their backyard in north Mississippi.

When the ship is ready to launch, Terry christens her the Apocalypse, and the four of them move aboard for good, bidding farewell to life on land along with everything and everyone they had known before that day. There is no need to wait for a disaster to strike, because Terry Bailey has created his own. Now he is about to drag his entire family over the horizon with him. Sailing the Apocalypse is the story of a man who is about to go too far, and is told from the perspective of the twelve-year-old stepson who watches it all unfold as he is swept along for the ride.

Sailing the Apocalypse: A Misadventure at Sea, is the story of a somewhat dysfunctional family led by a man who is certain that the American way of life is coming to an end and that sailing away before it’s too late is their only hope. Terry Bailey knows just enough about boatbuilding and sailing to get him into trouble, while all of this is completely new to his wife and two stepchildren who are caught up in his obsession.

Readers either relate to and feel sorry for him, or completely hate Terry Bailey for his actions and mistakes, but it’s important to remember that he’s not really the main character. The story is told from the point of view of his 12-year-old stepson, Robbie, the real hero who endures Terry’s rants and the embarrassments and close calls brought about by his sometimes rash and impulsive decisions. This a not a novel of surviving an apocalyptic disaster in the way that my novels in The Pulse and The Darkness After series are, but it is a tale of high adventure and survival with a dose of humor mixed in. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I have been a sea kayaker and a sailor and boatbuilder for far longer than I have been writing books, and in the course of my travels and experiences, I have run across many characters like Terry Bailey who were more unbelievable than any a novelist could make up. The liveaboard sailing lifestyle, particularly the build-your-own-liveaboard-boat lifestyle, attracts a  higher than average number of eccentrics; most of them at odds with mainstream society to some degree. This story is my way of sharing some of what I’ve heard and seen out on the water and along the waterfront with those of you who might not have had the good fortune (or misfortune) of that opportunity.

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