My Voyage around Spray (with apologies to Captain Joshua Slocum) is not only about the author’s love of boats and sailing, it is a social commentary about the return of a native son and his re-discovery of Australia after an absence of nearly 40 years.
Val Wake describes himself as an itinerant journalist. He worked in Sydney, London, Toronto and Ottawa but spent a lot of time on the frontier learning about making life tolerable in difficult circumstances. He learnt how to survive when the odds were against him.
After settling in Port Macquarie, Val Wake found that he was part of a mass movement popularly known as the sea change movement. He was quoted as saying:
“When we first came to Port Macquarie there was one set of traffic lights. Today there are more than 10 and counting. I’m not saying that development is wrong but when it is forced on a community at the expense of the quality of life I think that something is wrong.”
Val Wake uses his forensic skills as a journalist to examine a small Australian coastal town. What he finds should provide some useful pointers for a better future for all Australians.