By Stephen Ladd
Published by: Seekers Press (2022)
When sailing his tiny boat Stephen Ladd is a combination of Huckleberry Finn and Trystan Jones. When he eventually wrecked her, he became more like Robinson Crusoe.
A unique voyage of ocean-dodging made by an equally unique sailor. Using every inland waterway available Stephen headed down through the continent of South America from the Caribbean.
His gripping book covers that remarkable voyage and also the lessons learned from it, including insights such as these: ‘Tying to a snag or branch is easier than finding an anchorage along a coast. You’ll probably have to motor upstream, but it’s surprisingly economical. Once purists, we came to enjoy motoring slowly. When motoring upstream, stick close to the bank, where the current is less. At a constant throttle setting your GPS speed readout allows you to determine current speed, which is helpful in deciding how to position yourself laterally in the river. Portaging around dams and rapids may be easier than you think. If you’re going upstream, reservoirs work in your favour because they stop the current.’
Ladd and his book are that rare thing in the 21st Century: true originals.