It Took Him on a Personal Search for the Meaning of His Life That Soon Turned Into A Struggle for His Very Survival. Matching Young Muscles to an Old Sea, and a Young Mind to Old Sources of Madness, Survival Will Be the Least Victory He Will Gain From This Quest.A young man finds his dreams at a dead end, his life going nowhere near where he’d planned they would be by now. Finally, the death of a beloved grandfather spins his world in a tighter and tighter circle, until he is driven to a pinprick of light that he grasps and weaves into a plan for a singular, spectacular, survival driven quest. This quest will become his path to redirecting his life, his values, his spiritual beliefs, and his will to go it alone – if he lives through it.With the purchase of an eighteen foot kayak, twenty four year old Ben Wade and his equally young friend Christian begin to plan for his needs that will sustain him on a voyage of six thousand miles – beginning at the head of the Sea of Cortez, Baja California, and finishing, hopefully finishing, on the shores of Colombia, South America. Naiveté and youthful exuberance rule the effort. Mistakes are made; assumptions are wildly off their marks. But that won’t be known until it is too late.Ben Wade struggled between a bravado based defense of his plan, and the nearly unanimous doubt and fear expressed by those he cared for. But there was no turning back for Ben. No one could fully understand the depth of the need that was rooted in his soul. Superficial fear was not enough to deter his single focus on his quest.Further complicating his singular purpose is a beautiful young lady that burst into his life only a few weeks before he waded into the sea – and his destiny.Six Months after he faced the Sea of Cortez, not looking back to those who prayed on the sandy shore, his hand written, stained and tattered journals were found at the head of a steep slope overlooking the Pacific Ocean – in Colombia. . . .
TOM gives an overview of the book:
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.Unknown A Beach near San FelipeBaja California, MexicoSeptember 13th, 1996 The tall, tanned, and fit twenty-four year old, stood holding the rudder lines of his one man kayak firmly in his left hand, looking out over the Sea of Cortez. While he gazed intently, he wasn’t focused on the scene before him. Deep in thought, he wondered just what it was that had enticed and possessed him to attempt what he was about to do.Wondering without questioning, anticipating without fearing, he let the prospects of his near future slosh around in his mind, imitating the water around his feet. His next step would launch him into shark infested waters, a sea passage known for its lawless drug smugglers, dangerous surf, and rocky coasts. Launching his tiny craft would start the journey. A journey that would not end before six thousand miles had passed beneath its keel.Or perhaps, much, much, sooner. Some thought him crazy to plan his departure date to coincide with the hurricane season in Mexico. Just as inexplicable, his planned arrival in a few months will coincide with the monsoon season in the Southern Hemisphere. But today, standing at the edge of his future, this was not on his mind. These were decisions he would live to regret. But first he had to live – before he could regret. The young man’s mind swirled with every thought imaginable, all pointed at excitement and a burning desire to succeed. With emotions running high, his body grew tense and rigid. Raw anticipation clutched at his throat. His breath was coming in short, ragged gasps. Drawn to this ocean, and the real dangers it promised, he saw this moment as what he’d been waiting for, and preparing for, for the past six months. Indeed, he felt like this was the time he’d been waiting for his whole life.A few feet behind him, up on the dry hot sand, were the few people who came to see him off. People who loved him, and people who hated his decision to follow his dream. They were the same people. In front of the rest, his father stood, quietly resigned to the scene that unfolded around his son. His own last words to his son rolled around in his head, “Ben, you’re going off half cocked. You don't know what you’re getting into. People get killed out there on the ocean. It’s a very dangerous place and you don't know the first thing about it.” In the classic struggle of the ages between fathers and sons, he feared that his attempt to discourage may have only driven the stake for success higher and deeper into his son’s soul. Quietly, silently, the father prayed for the son, God speed, my boy, God speed.Standing apart from the small group on the shore stood a young lady. She was tall and beautiful with golden hair that shone in the desert sun as it fell halfway down her back. Her name was Heather, and Ben had known her only two weeks. But it was an intense two weeks, that found them emotionally entwined, and sweetly conflicted. Her arms hung limp and helpless at her sides, the expression on her face a mixture of admiration, sorrow, and fear.All eyes were on the young man. At 6’1” tall, with piercing brown eyes, his shaved head showing pale contrast to his tanned, broad shouldered body, Benjamin Wade stood waist deep in the blue green waters of Baja California’s Sea of Cortez. His heavily laden kayak floated faithfully at his side. The sun beat down hard on his brow. He squinted against its glare, and peered out across the sea to a world that seemed to open its mouth and swallow him whole. He stood there, pitiful like, in a valiant attempt to look confident, chest puffed out and jaw set tight. Slowly, his mind calmed, working its way through the pall of a feeling of complete and utter loneliness that had begun to shallow his breathing. Now he drew a deep breath. This is it! It’s time! Now we put all the words to rest. I’ll live up to my expectations – or damn well die trying. They may not believe, but I do – and that’s what counts now!This is it! With a final push, and a yell that was harsher, more primal, than he or anyone expected, Benjamin Wade shoved the kayak into the waves. He climbed nimbly into the cockpit, thrust his paddle deep into the blue-green water, and began his journey. On the beach, people who cared watched him grow smaller and smaller, as the distance and the sea swallow him into his future.On the sea, Ben did not look back.
For fans of the CBS series, SURVIVOR - this is the true-life, validated story of the exploits of "Coach" Ben Wade. It is written as a novel to allow for dialog and a context (lead and conclusion) of adventure with unpredictable results. The style is unusual as the author writes in third person, but inserts the journaled thoughts of Wade in first person. Handling of this style earned the book an award for literary fiction from Writers Digest in 2009.