Notes on Chpt 13: Sailing the Grenadines and more

Notes on Chpt 13 of the Voyage of The Aegre are now available: Sailing the Grenadines; more photos; can you help? Plus the book ranked as Best Seller on Amazon.

Photo of The Aegre on the yacht club slipway near Georgetown, Grenada, January 1974
The Aegre on the yacht club slipway near Georgetown, Grenada, January 1974

Visit the Notes on Chapter 13 of The Voyage of The Aegre: From Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland boat. More background, links and photos. From Barbados to Grenada where we hauled the boat out for a bottom scrub and repaint. Then on, sailing north through the Grenadine islands to Bequia. Maybe you can help me trace an Ecuadorian yacht owner and the crew of a Canadian Navy ship who greatly helped us there?

Amazon ranking

Finally, Thank you for your support. On Amazon Australia The Voyage of The Aegre was ranked ‘#1 Best Seller‘ in the Sailing (Kindle) category, and #2 in Sailing (Books) on 11 June 2024.

Rankings on Amazon are based on a combination of sales, customer reviews/ratings, and other factors. Rankings are fluid and vary every day. The category a book is assigned to and its ranking varies in each country as it is set by the local Amazon business.

A higher ranking leads to greater promotion and more people seeing the book. So if you enjoyed The Aegre story and would like to share it, please rank and/or review it wherever you bought it. Thank you!

See Notes on Chapter 13: Sailing the Grenadines

See The Voyage of The Aegre homepage

The Aegre Voyage: Notes on Chapter 12: Barbados and more

Notes on Chapter 12: Barbados, are now available on the The Aegre Voyage website.

Boat at anchor
The Aegre anchored in Carlisle Bay, Barbados, December 1973

In the Notes to Chapter 12 there is more about how the purchase of a high quality inflatable dinghy in Barbados influenced our survival thinking. Also more about two other boats similar in size to The Aegre with solo skippers, who sailed into Carlisle Bay from the other side of the Atlantic and anchored near us, plus more photos that aren’t in the book.

Also new on The Aegre website are more pictures of the building in Glasgow of the yohl inspired by The Aegre, by Peter Matheson, aided (and hindered) by his two killer cats. Peter is now onto the 7th plank.

Wooden boat under construction
Plank No 7 is next

Meanwhile Fathers Day is fast approaching in the UK and US (16 June 2024). But there’s still time to send Dad a copy of The Voyage of The Aegre. Available in paperback, eBook and on Amazon Audible. With Chapter Notes coming out every few weeks, it’s much more than a once off read. See How to buy the book.

Thank you for your support,

Nick Grainger

Visit the home page of The Voyage of The Aegre

The Aegre Voyage: Notes on Chpts 10 & 11 + more

Notes on Chapter 10: On to the Canary Islands and Chapter 11: TransAtlantic passage, are now available on The Aegre Voyage website.

Boat at sea
The Aegre, mid-Atlantic, the NE Trade wind was gone, leaving the squaresail lifeless. I went for a swim to take this shot.

In Notes on Chapter 10 there’s more about the Sirocco wind that hurtled in off the Sahara one clear night, and the Selvagen Island gold that we decided to give a miss, plus pictures of Santa Cruz harbour long before the marina. Also the trial setting of the square sail we’d planned for the NE Trade Winds.

The Notes for Chapter 11 on the transAtlantic passage contain four additional photos not in the book. Plus the little-known story of another vessel that had passed this way in 1890, Il Leone Di Caprera.

Deck view of boat
Il Leone di Caprera

This 10 metre flush decked Italian schooner was sailed from Montevideo to Italy (well, nearly) by 3 Italian emigres living in Uruguay. Not a well known story outside Italy. I came across the story and photographed the boat in Milan in 2018 and have included it in the Notes on Chapter 11.

Also new on The Aegre website is an update with photos of the boat inspired by The Aegre being built in Glasgow by Peter Matheson and his volunteer helpers. Definitely worth a look.

And don’t miss this … Peter Matheson built the Orkney fishing boat Boy Peter which his daughter Lorraina uses for creel fishing for langoustine on Loch Fyne captured in a beautiful video – with views of Dunderave Castle, Inverary and Loch Fyne. The music is by Shetland fiddle sensation Steven Spence. For more of his music go to spenciestune.shop

Book availability: With a new agreement, The Voyage of The Aegre book can now be ordered easily through bookshops throughout North America, EU, Australia, New Zealand and more, in addition to bookshops in the UK, and of course Amazon. See how to buy the book.

Thank you for your support.

Nicholas Grainger

The Aegre Voyage: Notes on Chapter 9: Madeira sunshine

Notes on Chapter 9 of The Voyage of The Aegre are now available on The Aegre voyage website.

Chapter 9 is about our seven-week stay in Madeira in mid-1973, during which we waited for the optimal seasonal winds for our trans-Atlantic passage. The Notes include a then-and-now look at Funchal Harbour, more on some of the yachts and people we met there, photos of our haul out to raise the waterline, and a day sail with the Ridgways to swim in water 2.5 miles deep.

Boat being repainted
The Aegre ashore in Funchal where I raised the waterline.

The Aegre Voyage: Chapter 9 Notes.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, Peter Matheson and his team continue building the yahl inspired by The Aegre. They’ve completed the third plank and are working on the fourth. See the boat build inspired by The Aegre.

Back to The Aegre website home page.

The Aegre Voyage – Notes on Chpt.8: Scourie to Madeira, the yahl gets 2nd plank and another curragh video

Notes for Chapter 8 of The Voyage of The Aegre are now up. This chapter tells of our first passage (1,800 miles, 34 days) from Scotland to Madeira, how we settled into living on the boat, sailing 24 hours a day with the relentless bad weather for the first few weeks, and navigating to Madeira, 440 miles west of Morocco.

Off at last
The Aegre sailing out of Scourie Bay, 24 July 1973

In the Chapter Notes, I expand on the following:

  • Our departure from the Outer Hebrides;
  • The mystery of the Flannan light;
  • Saying farewell to St Kilda;
  • The bold decision: the off-shore course;
  • Coping with heavy weather;
  • Photos not in the book;
  • Our initial navigation with no sun or stars;
  • Our approach course to Funchal, Madeira.

Also new on the website:

Update on the Yohl inspired by The Aegre being built in Glasgow

Peter Matheson and his team at Clydeside Traditional Boatbuilders have added the second plank. See video and photos sent by volunteer boatbuilder Sandy MacDonald.

Wooden boat being built
The 2nd plank is fitted

2nd video of Ireland to Iona curragh voyage

Another video featuring the re-enactment of the 563 AD St Columba Curragh voyage from Northern Ireland to Iona was recently found by my website co-researcher Gene Carl Feldman. The voyage, instigated by my Uncle Jack (below) in 1963, was one of the early inspirations to me to go sailing. I created a page on this website about the curragh voyage and have added a link to the new video (towards the end of the page). The first half of the video is an introduction to St Columba. Film of the 1963 re-enactment of the voyage is from about 19 minutes on.

Canon John Barry
My Uncle Jack, Canon John Barry in 1963, ‘…went to sea in a boat with a calico skin’.

Not got the book?

Book Cover
The Voyage of The Aegre

The Voyage of The Aegre can be purchased as a paperback from bookshops in the UK, Australia and NZ, and from Amazon worldwide. A Kindle and eBook version is also available. An Audiobook version I narrate myself is available from Amazon Audible, Spotify and all the other major audiobook distributors.

The paperback will soon be available in bookstores in the US, Canada, the EU and most other countries.

Signed copies of the first printed edition of the book are available from this website here.

Back to page listing all Posts

The Aegre Voyage: Notes on Chapter 7 Sea Trials; Errata; yahl build progress video; and listing of Posts

Additions to the website: Notes on Chapter 7 Sea trials; a page on Errata in the paperback; a video update on the yahl inspired by The Aegre being built in Glasgow; and a page listing all website Posts.

Boat on beach
Julie giving The Aegre a coat of anti-fouling at Ardmore

Chapter 7 in the Voyage of The Aegre covers the time from the launching of the decked Aegre through to our departure for Madeira, 1,800 miles to the south. The Notes include photos from this time that aren’t in the book, more details about the standing lug rig and the self-steering wind vane system, why our departure was delayed, and a map showing a little more about our trial sails.

Errata in the first printing of the paperback and the 2023 Kindle versions of The Voyage of The Aegre: from Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland boat. Despite the very best efforts of many trial readers, a professional editor, and of Gene Carl Feldman, David Burnett and myself, some errors slipped through into the published book. We gradually discovered these over the next six months: a misspelt name here, an incorrectly attributed photo there, a misremembered fact somewhere else. For instance, I had long ‘known’ that the builder of The Aegre, Tom Edwardson, came from Yell, in the Shetland Islands. While researching the whole story, I tried to contact his relatives with no success. But then, in July 2023, following the launch of the book in the Lerwick library (in Shetland), Tom’s son-in-law introduced himself and told me that actually Tom and his family came from the island of Unst, not Yell, (in the north of the Shetland Islands).

All of these corrections have been made in the Amazon printing of the book and Kindle version, purchased since February 2024.

Purchasers of the first printing of the book (with the fold-out flaps) and Amazon paperbacks and Kindle versions purchased prior to February 2024 might like to view the Errata page on the website.

The yahl, inspired by The Aegre, being built at Clydeside Traditional Boats in Glasgow by Peter Matheson and his volunteer team, is progressing. See a video and photos of the garboard planks being steamed and fitted.

A list of Posts: This is the 2oth Post I have published from this website about The Voyage of The Aegre. Newer subscribers and interested visitors to the website may be interested in looking back through these past Posts, so I’ve listed them all here.

Not got the book?

Book Cover
The Voyage of The Aegre

The Voyage of The Aegre can be purchased from bookshops in the UK, Australia and NZ, and from Amazon worldwide. A Kindle and eBook version is also widely available. An Audiobook version I narrate myself is available from Amazon Audible, Spotify and all the other major audiobook distributors.

The paperback will soon be available in bookstores in the US, Canada, the EU and most other countries.

Signed copies of the original printed edition of the book are available from this website here.

Back to page listing all Posts

The Aegre Voyage: Up on Audible + Notes on Chapter 6

In this Post: Presentation in Geelong Yacht Club on Sunday 10th March; The Aegre voyage story published on Amazon Audible; Notes on Chapter 6- Fitting out The Aegre; Progress on building boat inspired by The Aegre; Wanted, the pirate ship Flower of Caithness; and finally a piece in memory of Scottish small craft designer Iain Oughtred.

Geelong Wooden Boat Festival

The Geelong [Australia] Wooden Boat Festival is on 9-11 March and I will be giving a presentation on The Aegre Voyage, and signing books at the Geelong Yacht Club on Sunday 10th March at 11:30 am in the Yacht Club. All welcome.

audiobook cover

The Voyage of The Aegre is now available as an audiobook on Amazon Audible, Spotify, Audiobooks.com and other audiobook online sites. I read the story myself (with a few asides here and there). A PDF file accompanies the audiobook containing all the maps, diagrams and photos that are in the paperback book.

Notes on Chapter Six-Fitting out The Aegre, are now on the website. Pictures from our snowbound cabin, travel to Orkney to collect the storm sails, more about Jamie Young, adventurer extraordinaire; photos of the newly decked Aegre and her launching.

Julie with The Aegre on Scourie beach waiting for the tide to come in

Progress on building boat inspired by The Aegre: see the latest update from Peter Matheson of Clydeside Traditional Boatbuilders

Garboard plan being laid
The garboard plank being laid

What did Captain Matheson, the ‘Pirate Queen’ Stacey Matheson and ‘Shaggar Duffy’ have in common? See latest addition to the page on the Clydeside Traditonal Boatbuilders.

In memory of Iain Oughtred: Since my last Post, Iain Oughtred, a designer of beautiful and much loved small craft, has passed away. Iain had the ability to design, draw up, guide, and most critically, inspire, ordinary men and women to build beautiful sailing and rowing boats, that performed as well as they looked. The pleasure he gave to people who took on the challenge to build one of his craft and then to sail it, is inestimable.

Oughtred Boats
Oughtred Boats

His was a life devoted to giving pleasure to others through the hand-crafting of timber, building fine boats, and then sailing them in summer breezes in sheltered waters. So many of us have a debt of gratitude to Iain Oughtred, for giving us all those little pleasures.

My first Oughtred boat was a plywood 18ft John Dory, with a simple gunter rig and jib. No, I didn’t build her, but the person who did did so with care and love. We named her Marica G, (which kept both daughters Mariko and Erica happy). She rowed easily and flew under sail.

We adventured out on Port Phillip, Lake Eildon and the icy Lake Jindabyne up in the New South Wales High Country, never quite knowing how the day would end. We raced her in the Paynesville Wooden Boat Messabout and the classic boat regatta on Lake Wendouree. But in the strong gusty winds we often get down here in Victoria, Australia, the depressions sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, she could quickly become a handful with my 5 and 7-year-old daughters aboard. Sometimes the day ended with us all wetter than planned.

A few years later I sold her and bought her big sister, a 19’6″ Caledonia Yawl, another Oughtred design, named Crazybird, which we sailed all around Victoria and South Australia with our young daughters, staying dry this time. A wonderful boat.

small ketch
The Caledonia Yawl Crazybird

As well as sailing her, I built a website all about Crazybird which, over a few years inspired the building of more Caledonia Yawls around the world. The website fostered a community of Caledonia Yawl builders and sailors.

Caldeonia Yawl website
Caledonia Yawl Crazybird website

These Oughtred boats were part of our lives, as I’m sure similar Oughtred designs have been and are for thousands of others. What a contribution Oughtred made in terms of the simple pleasure that can come from building and sailing a boat. What a legacy.

But time moves on as it has for Iain, and indeed for the Crazybird website, but Crazybird herself sails on, now on the Swan River in Perth, in the loving care of her owner there, still giving pleasure. But she’s only 30 this year and has many years of great sailing still in her. Iain’s memory will live on in her, and in his many other boats.

Visit The Voyage of The Aegre homepage.

The Aegre Voyage: Yahl inspired by The Aegre and Notes for Chapter 5

14 February 2024: A Scottish yahl, inspired by The Aegre, is being built at a traditional boatbuilding yard near Glasgow.

The keel is laid
Peter Matheson and Sandy Alexander (volunteer/trainee) with the backbone of the new boat

It’s the latest project Peter Matheson and his volunteer team at Clydeside Traditional Boatbuilders have taken on. Follow the links to learn all about it.

Also, Notes on Chapter 5: Another London Winter in the book The Voyage of The Aegre are now available. They cover more on the decision not to take a liferaft, choosing a short-wave radio receiver, and buying a sextant.

With best regards, Nick Grainger

The Aegre Voyage: Notes for Chapter 4 + Once is enough

Chapter 4 of The Voyage of The Aegre is about how Julie and I found The Aegre, and after a trial sail bought her. In the notes on Chapter 4, I go into some detail about her standing lug rig which may not interest everyone. So if you think the difference between a dipping and a standing lug refers to a hearing problem, and a throat-tripping line is something a serial killer might use, then maybe this is not for you. Instead, wait for the Notes on Chapter 5 which I promise will be of wider interest. Coming soon.

Plus I’ve added a new page, Once is enough, to the Aegre website, Lesser Known Inspiring Reads.

Once is enough is not a reflection on The Aegre experience, but about Miles Smeeton’s book, titled Once is enough. It’s wrong to regard it as ‘lesser known’ except it was published in 1956, so 68 years ago. This amazing tale may have slipped people’s minds, so I thought I’d put together a short reminder.

Miles and Berryl Smeeton, sailing a 46ft ketch, were famously pitchpoled (turned end over end) and dismasted 900 miles northwest of Cape Horn. They struggled to Chile repaired the boat and set out again. And well, again things didn’t go quite as planned. See the link below.

See Once is enough.

See The Aegre Voyage: Chapter 4 Notes

The Aegre Voyage: Audiobook+Notes for Chapter 3

audiobook cover

An audiobook version of The Voyage of The Aegre is now available. Recorded between October and December 2023, the audiobook is currently available (Jan’24) from the following sites.

The audiobook is being progressively rolled out to other audiobook retailers and will soon be available on Amazon Audible.

Notes for Chapter 3 of The Voyage of The Aegre- A London winter and Scottish summer.

Notes for Chapter 3 have been added to the book website. They comprise a short expansion on beginning to learn about navigation (as mentioned in Chapter Three) and notes from Brian King, an enthusiastic sailing instructor I met at Ridgway’s Adventure School in Scotland in 1972 and also wrote about in Chapter 3. A year later, Brian met yachtsman Bernard Moitessier in New Zealand. Moitessier invited Brian to live aboard his yacht, Joshua, for a time. They talked for days. Brian passed me some of his notes, which I have reproduced with his permission in the Notes on Chapter 3.

Yacht with red hull
Moitessier’s yacht Joshua in 2006 in La Rochelle. Photo: Remi Jouan https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1282464

Visit The Voyage of The Aegre – From Scotland to the South Seas in a Shetland boat homepage.

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