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While the crew lacked real sailing experience, they had practical knowledge and a lot of common sense that pulled them through situations that otherwise might have proven fatal. Previously a naval


Although they were advised


aviator on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, Walt, a Tennessee native and mechanical engineer, had built a “hot rod,” a 1936 Roadster on the outside and a high-powered Buick V-8 engine on the inside. George, a Virginia native and Haverford College alum, was in the U.S. Navy. Steve, a New York native and Yale University alum, was an industrial engineer. Paul, a Palo Alto native of Azores heritage and San Jose State alum in Business Administration, had been drafted into the army at the end of WWII. Paul had never sailed in his life and didn’t even know how to swim. Not a problem, though, since the other crew members tied a rope around his waist and had him swim from stern to the bow in the South China Sea. In


that their trip was foolish, “one of the advantages of youth is that listening to sound advice has little meaning,” said Steve.


other words he was “drown proofed” on the job. Steve had joined the Royal Hong


Kong Yacht Club so they would be welcomed at yacht clubs around the world. That turned out to be unnecessary as they were shown friendship, courtesy and assistance throughout their trip. Although they were advised that their trip was foolish, “one of the advantages of youth is that listening to sound advice has little meaning,” said Steve. Perhaps the most important reason for the success of their voyage was


that they had each other to rely on when conditions became dangerous. They divided


responsibilities


into two teams: Walt and George, Steve and Paul, with individual specialties. Walt took charge of the engine and most mechanical duties; George and Steve acted as master sailors; and Paul as supply officer/food service provider/chef par excellence, he said. Once every four


days a crewmember had what was affectionately termed ”hell day,” when you had the responsibility to cook and clean the dishes all day. “Within a family, you can blow up


but still get along,” said Steve. “You learn to keep your cool - know each other’s quirks and live with it.” Gou was undoubtedly a part of the crew’s family and a huge part of the story. ”Chinese dogs instinctively do not urinate in front of people,” said George. “These dogs need privacy.” Gou, who initially lacked shipboard potty training, at the first port in Manila, peed on every tree


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