It’s often the sailing of our youth that seems later to be the most vital and exciting. We look back at the times of danger and treat them like trophy sails, safe now in the cabinet of experience, to be revisited as something rather marvelous.
This book by Peter Clutterbuck has more than its fair share of trophy sails, there are times when you find yourself on the edge of your seat as he describes how his Wayfarer Calypso coped with standing waves in the Alderney tidal race, or as his anchor drags and the boat is nearly wrecked on rocks in the Swedish archipelago.
The writing is seamanlike and events are told in a straightforward, but nonetheless captivating style. This is a tremendous book about cruising an open dinghy over a lifetime to many different places. There are passages on yacht sailing as well, but you can tell that Peter’s first and last love is Wayfarer 265 – and she’s the boat that kept him safe through a series of very challenging offshore passages.
A second half of the book concentrates on practical advice with lots of detail that would apply to a wide range of dinghy cruisers. So the book acts as inspiration and then manual, on how to get offshore and have the greatest adventures… in a small boat. DH
Pub Adlard Coles, 2018, £14.99, softback, 204pp