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A Wild Call - One Man's Voyage in Pursuit of Freedom
Martyn Murray was finding modern life, with all its restrictions and controls, suffocating. Following years of soul-searching, his father's death triggered him into opening the old logbooks and charts to retrace the sailing trips they had once shared together. He determined to revisit those waters and bring home the freedom of the seas. Falling in love with an old ketch in Ireland, he bought and restored her enough to sail back to Scotland. Over the next two summers he cruised Scotland's Western Isles, with one goal: to reach St Kilda - the remotest part of the British Isles, 40 miles from the Outer Hebrides. During his cruising he considered the islanders and their sense of freedom - often restricted by absentee landlords and officialdom. He riled against bureaucracy and commercial enterprise restricting the yachtsman's ability to roam free. For parts of his journey he was joined by the beguiling Kyla; a rare, independent spirit who both excited and frustrated Martyn. But much of Martyn's voyaging was undertaken alone, encountering a variety of places, situations and characters along the way.
He attempted his long-awaited sail out to St Kilda through the teeth of a storm, believing that achieving this feat would bring him the freedom and clarity that he craved. What he came up against was far more testing and turbulent than the tides and gales of the North Atlantic. As he sailed back to the mainland things fell into place: a sense of achievement in completing the arduous voyage alone, but - most of all - an understanding of who he is, clarity on his relationship with Kyla and a real sense of his own freedom.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"What an exhilarating experience, reading those pages! This is a special book, the style and thinking behind it in perfect harmony." (Dervla Murphy). "A terrific read, full of adventure and learning, and will inspire a lot of people who have only thought about major voyages to step on to their boats and actually make them." (Sam Llewellyn). "A Wild Call is one of those all-too-rare books that you just know you are going to remember, a book you can expect to come to mind at odd moments as you encounter the joys and challenges of your own everyday life. It's beautifully written and eminently readable, but those aren't the characteristics that make it stand out and give it such an enduring quality. What really makes this book special is that it is thought-provoking and inspirational. A Wild Call is a book we thoroughly enjoyed and are glad to have read. " (Undiscovered Scotland website) "Grand tale....... really enjoyed it!" (Tom Cunliffe, Yachting Journalist, Author and Broadcaster). "wonderful heart-warming tale, looking at the bonds of family and freedom of adventure... This book is truly a treat for anyone who loves sailing, Scotland, adventure, or just a good story. Highly recommended." (Sailing Today) "Thought-provoking account of one man's Scottish cruise north towards St Kilda and much more." (Classic Boat). "When packing for your next cruise, I suggest that you slip a copy of A Wild Call into your bag." (Clyde Cruising Club) "... wonderfully heart-warming tale, looking at the bonds of family and freedom of adventure... This book is truly a treat for anyone who loves sailing, Scotland, or just a good story. Highly recommended." (Sailing Today, Nov 2017) "A Wild Call comes out in a series devoted to sailing... but even if you don't know your keel for your burgee, it has the universal appeal of a love story... The yacht and dinghy crowd might well wish that Murray had dumped a lot of the romantic stuff, but the real heart of the book, and by no means the smoothly beating heart, is the story of his relationship to the red-haired woman he calls Kyla. I've rarely encountered such a compelling but troubling character in a real-life book... It's certainly not just a book for sailors, because it speaks to something in all of us." (The National, Oct 2017) "... the journey of self-discovery of an intelligent, sensitive man sailing again the seas of his early life off the coast of Scotland. The waters may be familiar to many a yachtsman, but his perspective enriches our understanding of these well-travelled seaways." (Tom Cunliffe, Yachting World, Nov 2017) "A fascinating account of one man's rediscovery of the joy of sailing in the Western Isles and his search for freedom for himself, for yachtsmen and for the Scottish islanders." (Yachting Life, Jan 2018) "For readers who have sailed these waters, or are yearning to do so, the detailed descriptive text will do wonders!... His harrowing journey to reach his destination makes the reader admire and respect his considerable courage and ingenuity... an interesting read of sailors and landspeople alike." (Cruising Association, 2017) "well written. The slight edge of panic at the cost of each repair has a very familiar ring. His satisfaction at each challenge overcome is shared. The description of the anchorages and moorings of the Inner and Outer Hebridean Islands is highly evocative and anyone who has been there will enjoy revisiting them." (Little Ship Club, Jan 2018) "A very enjoyable read." (Royal Cruising Club, March 2018) "A Wild Call would be a good read for many, especially those with an interest in sailing and the Scottish waters. The book also covers themes such as love and friendship throughout, making it heart-warming and enjoyable to read. Overall, A Wild Call is a very gentle and satisfying book." (Scottish Field, March 2018) "Tales of people who find aspects of modern life suffocating are not uncommon. However, Martyn Murray goes the distance, so to speak, in setting his target, St Kilda, quitting work, restoring and equipping an old ketch as well as sailing from Cork to the Crinan Canal and out into the Atlantic. The challenges he faced were more than just maritime." (Scottish Islands Explorer, Nov 2017)