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The Sand Clocker

The Sand Clocker (Spanish Armada Stowaway) was the last of Jack's books to be published by Wolfhound Press. It came out in 1996.

ISBN. 0 86327 531 1.

The Sand Clocker was launched in the Tower Museum by the Mayor of Derry. The launch was also part of the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration programme to honour the divers who found the armada wreck, La Trinidad Valencera in Kinnagoe Bay Co. Donegal in 1971. Jack was one of the divers.

The story was inspired by a small leather boot that was found on the wreck.

Tomas stared at his cousin. Diego's face was gaunt and almost as white as the flapping sails. His uniform, creased and stained with vomit, hung on him. He looked like a scarecrow. "Tomas," gasped Diego. "How?" He forced a smile. Tomas saw his teeth were yellow. He also saw the lice crawling through his hair. "I'm a Sand Clocker!" shouted Tomas, trying to make himself heard above the crashing waves.

Violent storms, seasickness, raging battles, cannon-fire, scurvy and lice- life on board the Trinidad Valencera is terrifying and dangerous. Will the two cousins reach the English coast alive? Who will win the final great sea battle? And can the Valencera ever hope to make it home again? When Diego says those words: "I'm going to join the Armada," both his and Tomas's lives are changed- forever. A historical adventure that will excite both children and adults.

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