The Voyage of The Aegre

From Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland boat

By Nicholas Grainger

The Voyage of The AegreFrom Scotland to the South Seas. is a dramatic true account of how a plan to sail a little fishing boat from the Highlands of Scotland down the coast to England turned into a grand trans-Atlantic and Pacific life-changing adventure for Nick (23) and Julie Grainger (19).

The trans Atlantic and Pacific course of The Aegre
The trans Atlantic and Pacific course of The Aegre

It was the 1970s, and their simple wooden boat was equipped with none of the aids modern yachts enjoy. Navigation was by sextant and compass, food cooked on a Primus, and weather forecasting by guesswork. Diligent preparation before they set sail eventually saved their lives in the violent storms and dangers they encountered, vividly described in this absorbing narrative. Their capsize at night in a fierce storm south of Tahiti, and subsequent survival makes a gripping climax to the story.

The Voyage of The Aegre - From Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland boat

Brief mentions of this remarkable voyage have appeared in the sailing press over the years, but only now has Nicholas finally written the whole story, of their bold plan, their search for the boat, their detailed preparation, how the plan grew, their eventual voyage halfway round the world and its dramatic conclusion.

Launched in Lerwick, Shetland, in July 2023, 50 years to the day since their departure in 1973, the book tells the story of this long-ago adventure in modern terms, challenging the perspective and expectations of modern adventurers in a gripping, hard-to-put-down story of ambition, resilience, and courage.

Reviews of the book are available here.

The owner of any small boat who plans to sail, one day, beyond the far horizon, must wonder what they would do if the GPS fails and they don’t have a sextant, or a mast. The answer lies in the story of the Voyage of The Aegre. A terrific adventure. – John Ridgway, 1966 North Atlantic rower, Round the World sailor, Adventurer, Author

Listen to Shetland 60 North Radio broadcaster Tom Morton’s interview with Nick Grainger.

A video of Nick in conversation about The Aegre voyage, speaking with Peter Batchelor, President of the Wooden Boat Association of Victoria, Australia, is available here. Nick is available to speak to other organisations about The Aegre voyage and can be contacted at

Signed copies of the bookThe Voyage of The Aegre – From Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland Boat are available from this website here. It can also be purchased from Boat Books Australia, Boat Books New Zealand, in the UK from Central Books, the Shetland Times Bookshop and other good bookshops, and in the rest of the world from Amazon and other online booksellers.

An audiobook, narrated by the author is also available, see How to buy the book.

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