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Cork Boat: 01/30/07

Cork Boat

The summer that Sean was born John Pollack and a crew of friends sailed a self built cork boat up a river in Portugal. Some of the event was covered on NPR but I completely missed it. I came across the story through BookCrossing when the memoir of the ship's construction was offered up at one of last year's meetings.

The book is an interesting glimpse at the way things were in the 1990s and early 2000s. Now by 2007 things have already so changed since the time that Pollack decided to finally follow his childhood dream and actually build Cork Boat. He started it while Clinton was in office (and worked for him as a speech writer in his second term). Like so many young professionals then he tried to break free of the traditional job scene to do his own thing (in this case, building a ship). Companies were willing to sponsor just about anything and Pollack found a willing sponsor (and provider of corks) with Cork Supply USA.

The ship was finished in the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center and Bush's presidency (which continues to stagnate). The ship was finished with grim determination and without the naivety under which it was started.

It's only until near the end of the book that any diagrams are included to explain how the cork boat was built. Most of the book covers the collection process of the project and his other side jobs (like working for Clinton). I know that it wasn't until late in the process did he and his friends have a schematic for building Cork Boat but the book could have provided more illustration in the form of photographs or maps or perhaps even diagrams of the different types of corks.

I enjoyed reading the book. It was nonfiction fluff and a nice mental vacation from the classics I've been reading.

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