'Daddy's a sailor, why don't we sail around the world?' On board their 43-foot schooner Lucette, the Robertson family set sail from the south of England in January 1971 - and in June 1972 Lucette was holed by killer whales and sank in the Pacific Ocean. Four adults and two children survived the next 38 days adrift, first in a rubber life raft and then crammed into a 9-foot fibreglass dinghy, before being rescued by a passing Japanese fishing vessel. This is the story of how they survived, but it also tells of the 18-month voyage of the Lucette, across the Atlantic, around the Caribbean, through the panama Canal and out into the Pacific. It is a vivid and candid account of the delights and hardships, the excitements and the dangers, the emotional highs and lows experienced by the family both before and after the shipwreck.. Douglas Robertson has taken his father's classic book Survive the Savage Sea as his starting point, and has drawn upon a wealth of other sources, not least his own memories of a life-changing experience, to bring us this true story of adventure, of relationships strained to bursting point, of conflict and resolution - ultimately a very human and humbling tale.
Douglas Robertson, eldest son of Linda and Dougal Robertson born 1954 and raised as a farmer's son before sailing with the family on the Lucette when he was 16. He went into the British Merchant Navy as a cadet, finally serving as Chief Officer. He left the sea in 1980 for a career in accountancy and lives with his family in London where he is also a qualified Tai Chi instructor.