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Racundra's First Cruise is Arthur Ransome's account of Racundra's maiden voyage, which took place in August and September 1922. The cruise took him from Riga, in Latvia to Helsingfors (Helsinki) in Finland, via the Moon Sound and Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia and back. His first book on sailing, it was also the first of his titles that achieved such high levels of success. Although reprinted many times in various editions and formats, Fernhurst Books' hardback edition of the title (2003) was the first to use the original text in its entirety - with the original layout, maps and photographs - and also includes an excellent introduction by Brian Hammett containing a treasure trove of previously unpublished writings, essays and photographs. Ransome's first attempts at Baltic sailing, in his two previous boats, Slug and Kittiwake, are also explained in detail using his writings and illustrations. The life of Ransome's beloved Racundra is chronicled to its conclusion and there is an explanation of how he came to write the book. The original illustrations are enhanced by the inclusion of present day photographs of the same locations.Having gone out of print in 2012, this new paperback edition retains all of the original and additional features; bringing back to life Ransome's epic first cruise in his pride and joy, his treasured Racundra.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Ransome's descriptive prose is a pleasure to read... it is surely a nautical classic." (RNSA Journal); "Ransome makes us share his pride in his ship, and the thrill of satisfaction that is felt in picking up the landmarks." (The Times Literary Supplement); "Ransome has managed to get a true yachtsman's enthusiasm into his pages, and his readers will enjoy his vivid account of streering with a defective compass and his frank confession that he went to sleep at the tiller." (The Observer); "Whether for yachtsman or landsman Ransome and Racundra make good reading." (Manchester Guardian); "His experiences and adventures in fair and dirty weather, the places he visited, the primitive life of the Estonian islanders, some extraordinarily beautiful anecdotes and the charm and humour of Mr. Ransome's writing, form a book of which there is little to be said than that it is altogether delightful - a pleasure to read from beginning to end." (The Spectator); "Brian Hammett guides us through this delightful introduction where Ransome grapples with the practicalities of boat ownership and learning to sail... capturing the very essence of how a man can be utterly absorbed and captivated by the delights of getting afloat and cruising in his own boat." (Sailing Today); "Ransome expert Brian Hammett has wrapped up the original manuscript with a treasure trove of additional information that will have Swallows & Amazon devotees ripping through this before the tide's turned. The maps, text and photos from the first edition are included, as well as details of Ransome's first boats Slug and Kittiwake. A hair-raising account of our hero's first attempt at Baltic sailing and his wry comments along the way make this a must for all sailing fans." (Dorset Echo); "Much more than a simple reprint of the 1923 edition. Brian Hammett has put in a tremendous amount of work and background research."( Old Gaffer's Log) 'This fascinating account of life onboard and his adventures along the way is vividly detailed and utterly charming. You don't have to be a sailing expert to enjoy this nautical yarn, but you'll wish you were by the time you finish it.' (Lifeboat magazine)