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Love and kindness – Greek sailing adventures 60 years ago today

Sailing a small boat in the Greek islands brought many lovely encounters, including the hospitality of the Greeks. People were often ready to share what they had, however poor they were in those years of rebuilding Greece from the devastation of World War II. Their kindness ensured we could sleep easy, after even the most…

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A modern trireme – Olympias managed 16km/hr with 170 rowers

Some of our sailing adventures in Crab were in the tracks of the famous triremes. In classical times, these were the most advanced warships of the day. So I was fascinated to read more about the Trireme Trust and the Hellenic Navy‘s reconstruction and trials of trireme Olympias as a modern reconstruction of a boat…

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The skulls in Otranto

I visited Otranto Cathedral in late October 2011 with my younger sister Kate, while researching places on our route for my book “Crab’s Odyssey“ on sailing adventures in Greece, Italy and Turkey. Sure enough, there behind the altar in the Cathedral crypt were impressive glass cupboards against the walls, and, in them, rows and rows of…

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Sailing young – “My Older Sister Teaches me How to Sail”

Here is a story about sailing lessons, in the estuary of the River Dwyryd in front of Portmeirion, Wales. My brother Owain was seven years old and we both loved sailing as children. This extract is from his beautiful book about childhood adventures in Wales and elsewhere and including his hiking trip down the Llyn…

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Book launches and shipmates’ reunions

Book launches are much fun, getting together old shipmates from the days of Crab’s sailing voyages around the Mediterranean islands to meeting fellow-writers and authors and getting such inspiring feedback from people who have read Crab’s Odyssey or want to read it.   1st February 2017: At the Lit and Phil Institute, in Newcastle, as part…

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My first book – writing about my father

  When my writer-father died in 1976, of leukaemia, it was the first death I had experienced within my close family. I had not been very close to either of my grandmothers, I had never even met my grandfathers. But I had been very close to my father, and missing him was like having a…

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