Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor
Publication Date: 11 May 2022
Long Lost Log by Michael Chapman Pincher
AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE: SEE BELOW
In 1974, 22-year-old virgin sailor Mick escapes unemployment, family and 3-day-week London to become a deckhand on a small yacht, Gay Gander, setting out to sail the Atlantic from England’s West Country, via the Canaries, to Antigua in the Caribbean.
Under the eye of an unfathomable skipper, John Francis Kearney, and his formidable sailing companion Carola (both escaping from a rain-sodden Ireland and broken marriages), Mick has to learn sailing, table manners, bridging the generation gap and getting along with Stryder, the Russian Blue ship’s cat.
Set in a time when the oceans were plastic-free, and a compass, clock and sextant the only tools of navigation, then Mick finds love, gets marooned, almost drowns and jumps ship to escape mortal danger in the Caribbean.
Long Lost Log should be fiction but is the true story of a voyage of discovery that Mick – against all odds – survived to tell this remarkable and hilarious tale. In charting his adventure of a lifetime, the author lost his log book – until fifty years later the diary surfaces out of the blue during an old girlfriend’s attic clearout. This witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of freshness, sexual impulse and a clash of values. The addition of ’70s hippiedom at the many ports-of-call catches the history of the day. Long Lost Log is a voyage of discovery into the price of being free.
His inner and outer journey combines danger with the unexpected, the erotic and the comic. This resonantly related rite of passage leaps from the page like the curious whale that once disturbed the narrator’s watch.
‘Long Lost Log is an entertaining account of crossing the Atlantic in 1974. Those who have ever been young, muddled and gullible will enjoy this book.’ Julia Jones, Yachting Monthly
‘… laced with some witty exchanges amongst the crew and some ribald adventures ashore by the writer … in early September 1974, Mick finds himself literally up the creek without a paddle.’ Tom O’Sullivan, Irish Examiner
‘Chapman Pincher has an ease with words, crafting his memories of sailing across the Atlantic into a thrilling page turner, peppered with humour, insight, beauty and the eager hope of a youth finding his way in the 70s. As well as the physical book, I was also able to listen to the audiobook recorded by the author … Chapman Pincher has a way of telling a story with not only the written word, but a method of delivery which leaves you chuckling away out loud on the bus much to the mystery of your fellow traveller. Each character is deftly spun and each encounter and vignette in this adventure of a first-time sailor is expertly told.’ Rose Hall, Goodreads
‘A vivid, spellbinding account of a true-life adventure, packed with insights into the human condition – this witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of freshness, sexual impulse and a clash of values. It is a rollicking tale written with verve, keen observations and sparkling with wry humour. Long Lost Log is a period piece for the nostalgic traveller and the armchair adventurer of any age.’ Kevin Cannon, Kevin’s Book Reviews
‘a book for those who have ever been young, muddled or wanting adventure … Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor is witty, charming, and proof that some risks are worth taking … a rollicking page-turner written with verve, keen observations and sparkling with wry humour. A beautifully crafted book, multi-layered and bravely written, Long Lost Log has many interesting insights into the skills and craft of sailing and the broader history of the day.’ Shire Times
‘…this is the 1970s, a time of cultural revolution, the anti-Establishment movement, the new-age-thinkers – and Michael Pincher, details with colorful and well-written prose, his thoughts and feelings and encounters as they sail down the European coast, eventually setting out across the Atlantic. This is a romping adventure; salted with sexual escapades, weed, and all the things that a young man who is still coming of age, might encounter. It’s an excellent read – fun – casual – and simply enticing. Recommended.’ International Writers Inspring Change
‘It’s really quite something. A wonderful read.’ William M Nixon, Afloat
‘Well written and genuinely funny; already a bestseller for us!’ Coach House Books
‘It’s an excellent read – fun – casual – and simply enticing.’ Book-blip.com
‘This is a rite of passage tale worth publishing.’ Yachting Monthly
‘The vivacity is all in the quick phrasing of extraordinary things…’ Prof of Literature at Galway University
‘One of the best books I’ve read this year.’ Jakereadsbooks, TikTok Influencer
‘Chapman Pincher is a natural penman. I was gripped.’ Ed Maggs
‘A hilarious look back at the misspent youth I wished I’d had.’ Adrian Bracken, Film producer
‘It’s a perfect gem of a book and I don’t like boats.’ Jeananne Crowley
‘Written in a nice easy style … ideal for anyone who likes a good adventure story.’ Reedsy Discovery
‘This beautifully descriptive seafaring tale is well-wrought by Michael Chapman Pincher … a hilarious ‘manuscript-in-a-bottle’’ Lorna Siggins, Irish Times
‘A gem’ Claddagh Records
‘Interesting, remarkably frank, wonderfully unafraid’ Sam Llewellyn, The Marine Quartetly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Chapman Pincher became an environmentalist, insect inspector and IT journalist following his exploits at sea. He lives in England’s Pershore with his large family. His father was the late historian and journalist Henry Chapman Pincher, celebrated for his writing on espionage.
|Dimensions||136 × 216 mm|
11 May 2022
Paperback with illustrations, 176pp
Elaine Jones –
A brave ‘warts and all’ account of the free-spirited, free-loving 1970’s. Although I’m not a sailor, I enjoyed the voyage experience, which is brought vividly to life by the author’s writing, and the on-shore adventures kept the pages turning. A life being lived – can’t wait for the next instalment!
Dr Neil Wheeler –
A truly terrific read. This evokes fab memories for anyone over sixty. Much that is recorded here is how so many of us felt at the time. Much is what we wish we had done.
The author has a very fine turn of phrase and writes in a most engaging manner.
Roll on the sequel.
Martin M –
Wit,raconteur and bon vivant. Speaking as a journalist and writer of hundreds qof true crime stories published in the last 25 years, this is a dangerously accurate and honest recoll of a life misspent . Superb
Kevin Cannon –
At a loose end and with his life going nowhere, Mick accepts an offer to be a deck hand on a small yacht bound for Spain and then the America’s. The only problem is that Mick has never sailed in his life.
With a crash course in the basics of knots, sails and navigation and armed with just his journal and his trusty banjo, Mick sets off on the adventure of his life with his skipper John and John’s girlfriend, the somewhat posh Carola.
Set during the 1970’s at a time when strikes have caused problems and the UK is gripped by an economic downturn leading to the 3 day working week, Mick decides enough is enough.
What follows is a travelogue and personal diary written nearly 50 years later following the return of
Mick’s lost journal from an old flame, discovered in an attic on the other side of the world.
The author combines his personal observations with colourful descriptions of the foreign locations he visits. He adds a witty chronicling of the people and situations that he encounters on his maiden voyage.
I’m not a sailor. My relationship with boats is limited to just a trip on the Dover to Calais ferry, ironically in the 1970’s, plus a river trip on a paddle steamer between Tilbury and Tower Bridge. Neither of these required any sailing knowledge from me so I was intrigued by the details on how to sail that Mick had to learn as his trip unfurled.
I like the way that the author doesn’t try to hide any of his failings and describes his adventures in a ‘walts and all’ way that strangely makes him more endearing.
Written in a nice easy style that makes for a fluid reading experience, this was fun to read whilst also being partly educational.
This book is Ideal for anyone who likes biography, travelogue, sailing, or just enjoys a good adventure story.
Adrian Bracken –
Michael Chapman Pincher’s tale weaves together a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and situations, with great humour and youthful insight. A hilarious look back at the misspent youth I wished I’d had.
keiran Fogarty –
A vivid, spellbinding account of a true-life adventure, packed with insights into the human condition – this witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of freshness, sexual impulse and a clash of values. It is a rollicking tale written with verve, keen observations and sparkling with wry humour. Long Lost Log is a period piece for the nostalgic traveller and the armchair adventurer of any age.
Lilliput Press –
‘The Long Lost Log is an entertaining account of crossing the Atlantic in 1974. Those who have ever been young, muddled and gullible will enjoy this book.’
– Julia Jones, Yachting Monthly