Tuesday, February 24, 2015

winter reading

"Racundra's First Cruise" by Arthur Ransome, yes, the Arthur Ransome of "Swallows and Amazon's" fame, seems to be a not very well known earlier work of Ransomes and it is hard to understand why.  It was a great read for anybody who cruises in a small boat.  In it are lines that seems as though they are perfectly fit to quote and the first page of the book is just the thing to make a small boat cruising sailor forget any appointments he might have had and instead just sit, read, and turn pages.
I purposefully took my time reading this book, a chapter at a time, as it is a small book and I know enough to be wary of consuming the entire thing in one sitting and then wondering what I was going to do about the anticlimactic nature of still being snow bound for another few months of winter.
I highly recommend this book, if you can find it.  The worn 60 year old paperback copy I found was not inexpensive, but it is one that I suspect I will keep on my shelf and return to each winter for many years.
The book is a log of his cruise, just as advertised, not with any great plot line or moral, but it is more like what most of us experience when cruising, we leave a port, venture to many others experiencing weather, people, meals, the suns rise and set, changing winds and then eventually a return to the port from which we began.  For a cruiser being able to be there, if in mind only, with Ransome, all those years ago, is a pleasure in the middle of a winter when he may not be able to be out on his own cruise.

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