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The Story of Sir Peter Blake


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About the Author

Tessa Duder is one of New Zealand's most celebrated children's authors, and has written widely in genres from junior fiction to adult history. Among her best-known works are the Alex quartet and her biography of Margaret Mahy. A keen sailor and advocate for young New Zealanders, Tessa lives in Auckland.


This is a fascinating book with riveting black and white photos of the hero from New Zealand. He was a noted sailor, adventurer and excellent captain and sailing racer, who won the America Cup for his country. He built boats, learned navigation, studied the history of famous navigators. He clocked the most miles of any sailor in history navigating and often racing in the world's most dangerous waters. When he reached his fifties he decided to cast his career in a different sailing direction, away from racing and into saving the environment, using his fame and fortune to spur the goal. His career was his dedication and passion, often taking him far away from his beloved wife and children, but they encouraged him and were proud of his accomplishment. He was to team up with Jacques Cousteau in their efforts for the environment with shows to be broadcast worldwide, but Cousteau died and the Peter proceeded to do the noble work on his own with his carefully selected ship and crew. The crew loved him because he never assigned a job he didn't do himself, rotating through even the toilet and bilge cleaning onboard. He congratulated them on each job well done and at the end of every day had a humorous review of each person's work. But tragedy struck when he was only 53 when a group of armed bandits boarded his ship in Macaba port in Rio Negro and as he tried valiantly to protect his crew, the pirates shot and killed Blake just before he was to meet his family for Christmas. His wife bravely met with crowds who wanted to honor the seaman posthumously, and his environmental impact continues today. Excellent and fascinating read!

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