Posted 20 hours ago


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To challenge them in the way that I [eventually] did in a world where I had no resources and I was on my own was very frightening. Within months of setting off, she almost did die, when Wavewalker hit a storm in the Indian Ocean and she was thrown against the roof of the cabin. The needs of various ragbag paying crew they took on along the way were similarly prioritised over those of the two young children.

We were hit by another cyclone, and saw places like Tanna Island in Vanuatu, with its live volcano, remote Tikopia Island in the Solomons, and Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Islands, with its swamps and wood carvings.Wavewalker is the incredible true story of how the adventure of a lifetime became one child’s worst nightmare – and how her determination to educate herself enabled her to escape. Fees paid by travellers joining the vessel as ‘crew’ (in the loosest sense) – eager to use it as a means of transport – became vital to the continuation of the voyage. Somehow, I managed my loneliness and focused on the only thing that might help – studying as hard as I possibly could, staring at my books out on the wooden veranda. Here she documents her struggle to live a normal childhood in which she can be educated while her parents hurtle around the globe on Wavewater. The story kind-of has those vibes at times - there is a road-trip element to the characters and places in the story as well as descriptions of dramatic experiences, exotic locations and wildlife.

The interior was unfinished, but bunks and cupboards were already taking shape, half-formed in the gloom. It's like having the author in the passenger seat of your car chatting to you as she walks you through her incredible story.

The main cabin was deserted, so I huddled by the table, holding Teddy, my small brown bear, and wondered if anyone else was hungry. I was 16 – and had been on Wavewalker for almost nine years – when Dad announced we were going to New Zealand. Especially by her mother, who seemed to nurse a special, bitter resentment for her daughter perhaps brought on by her own subconscious guilt at depriving her of a normal childhood. David Cameron, post-premiership, by then a highly paid advisor to Greensill Capital, had been able to lobby the Government intensely in an attempt to secure support for the firm during the pandemic. A few months into the voyage, cooped up with her family and small crew in their schooner Wavewalker, Suzanne's skull would be smashed when the boat was tipped over by a 40ft wave in the Indian Ocean, requiring seven operations without anaesthetic performed by a doctor on a tiny remote island.

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