Lodestar Books (44)

Mischief Goes South

ISBN: 9781909461321

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

No sea voyage can be dull for a man who has an eye for the ever-changing sea and sky, the waves, the wind and the way of a ship upon the water. So observes H.W....


No sea voyage can be dull for a man who has an eye for the ever-changing sea and sky, the waves, the wind and the way of a ship upon the water. So observes H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman in this account of two lengthy voyages in which dull intervals were few and far between. In 1966, after a succession of eventful and successful voyages in the high latitudes of the Arctic, Tilman and his pilot cutter Mischief head south again, this time with the Antarctic Peninsula, Smith Island and the unclimbed Mount Foster in their sights. Mischief goes South is an account of a voyage marred by tragedy and dogged by crew trouble from the start. Tilman gives ample insight into the difficulties associated with his selection of shipmates and his supervision of a crew, as he wryly notes, ‘to have four misfits in a crew of five is too many’. The second part of this volume contains the author’s account of a gruelling voyage south, an account left unwritten for ten years for lack of time and energy. Originally intended as an expedition to the remote Crozet Islands in the southern Indian Ocean, this 1957 voyage evolved into a circumnavigation of Africa, the unplanned consequence of a momentary lapse in attention by an inexperienced helmsman. The two voyages described in Mischief goes South covered 43,000 miles over twenty-five months spent at sea and, while neither was deemed successful, published together they give a fine insight into Tilman’s character.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 196


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-09-2016


$36.00
China to Chitral

ISBN: 9781909461345

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Upon this trackless waste of snow, cut by a shrewd wind, they sat down and wept. In China to Chitral H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman completes one of his great post-war ...


Upon this trackless waste of snow, cut by a shrewd wind, they sat down and wept. In China to Chitral H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman completes one of his great post-war journeys. He travels from Central China, crossing Sinkiang, the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts, before escaping to a crumbling British Empire with a crossing of the Karakoram to the new nation of Pakistan. In 1951 there still persisted a legend that a vast mountain, higher than Everest, was to be found in the region, a good enough reason it seems for Tilman to traverse the land, ‘a land shut in on three sides by vast snow ranges whose glacial streams nourish the oases and upon whose slopes the yaks and camels graze side by side; where in their felt yurts the Kirghiz and Kazak live much as they did in the days of Genghis Khan, except now they no longer take a hand in the devastation of Europe’. Widely regarded as some of Tilman’s finest travel writing, China to Chitral is full of understatement and laconic humour, with descriptions of disastrous attempts on unclimbed mountains with Shipton, including Bogdo Ola—an extension of the mighty Tien Shan mountains—and the Chakar Aghil group near Kashgar on the old silk road. His command of the Chinese language—five words, all referring to food—proves less than helpful in his quest to find a decent meal: ‘fortunately, in China there are no ridiculous hygienic regulations on the sale of food’. Tilman also has several unnerving encounters with less-than-friendly tribesmen. Tilman starts proper in Lanchow where he describes with some regret that he is less a traveller and more a passenger on this great traverse of the central basin and rim of mountain ranges at Asia’s heart. But Tilman is one of our greatest ever travel writers, and we become a passenger to his adventurers.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 184


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 26-01-2017


$36.00
In Mischiefs Wake

ISBN: 9781909461369

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

I felt like one who had first betrayed and then deserted a stricken friend; a friend with whom for the past fourteen years I had spent more time at sea than on ...


I felt like one who had first betrayed and then deserted a stricken friend; a friend with whom for the past fourteen years I had spent more time at sea than on land, and who, when not at sea, had seldom been out of my thoughts. The first of the three voyages described in In Mischief’s Wake gives H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s account of the final voyage and loss of Mischief, the Bristol Channel pilot cutter in which he had sailed over 100,000 miles to high latitudes in both Arctic and Antarctic waters. Back home, refusing to accept defeat and going against the advice of his surveyor, he takes ownership of Sea Breeze, built in 1899; ‘a bit long in the tooth, but no more so, in fact a year less, than her prospective owner’. After extensive remedial work, his first attempt at departure had to be cut short when the crew ‘enjoyed a view of the Isle of Wight between two of the waterline planks’. After yet more expense, Sea Breeze made landfall in Iceland before heading north toward the East Greenland coast in good shape and well stocked with supplies. A mere forty miles from the entrance to Scoresby Sound, Tilman’s long-sought-after objective, ‘a polite mutiny’ forced him to abandon the voyage and head home. The following year, with a crew game for all challenges, a series of adventures on the west coast of Greenland gave Tilman a voyage he considered ‘certainly the happiest’, in a boat which was proving to be a worthy successor to his beloved Mischief.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 172


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 26-01-2017


$36.00
Nepal Himalaya

ISBN: 9781909461383

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

The most mountainous of a singularly mountainous country. Throughout 1949 and 1950 H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman mounted pioneering expeditions to Nepal and its Himala...


The most mountainous of a singularly mountainous country. Throughout 1949 and 1950 H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman mounted pioneering expeditions to Nepal and its Himalayan mountains, taking advantage of some of the first access to the country for Western travellers in the 20th century. Tilman and his party—including a certain Tenzing Norgay—trekked into the Kathmandu Valley and on to the Langtang region, where the highs and lows began. They first explored the Ganesh Himal, before moving on to the Jugal Himal and the following season embarking on an ambitious trip to Annapurna and Everest. Manaslu was their first objective, but left to ‘better men’, and Annapurna IV very nearly climbed instead but for bad weather which dogged the whole expedition. Needless to say, Tilman was leading some very lightweight expeditions into some seriously heavyweight mountains. After the Annapurna adventure Tilman headed to Everest with—among others—Dr Charles Houston. Approaching from the delights of Namche Bazaar, the party made progress up the flanks of Pumori to gaze as best they could into the Western Cwm, and at the South Col and South-East Ridge approach to the summit of Everest. His observations were both optimistic and pessimistic: ‘One cannot write off the south side as impossible until the approach from the head of the West Cwm to this remarkably airy col has been seen.’ But then of the West Cwm: ‘A trench overhung by these two tremendous walls might easily become a grave for any party which pitched its camp there.’ Nepal Himalaya presents Tilman’s favourite sketches, encounters with endless yetis, trouble with the porters, his obsessive relationship with alcohol and issues with the food. And so Tilman departs Nepal for the last time proper with these retiring words: ‘If a man feels he is failing to achieve this stern standard he should perhaps withdraw from a field of such high endeavour as the Himalaya.’


Bind: paperback


Pages: 280


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 06-04-2017


$36.00
Ice with Everything

ISBN: 9781909461406

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

In climbing mountains or sailing the seas one often has to settle for less than one hoped. ‘For most men, as Epicurus has remarked, rest is stagnation and act...


In climbing mountains or sailing the seas one often has to settle for less than one hoped. ‘For most men, as Epicurus has remarked, rest is stagnation and activity madness. Mad or not, the activity that I have been pursuing for the last twenty years takes the form of voyages to remote, mountainous regions.’ HW ‘Bill’ Tilman’s fourteenth book describes three more of those voyages, ‘the first comparatively humdrum, the second totally disastrous, and the third exceedingly troublesome’. The first voyage describes Tilman’s 1971 attempt to reach East Greenland’s remote and mountainous Scoresby Sound. The largest fjord system in the world was named after the Whitby whaling captain, William Scoresby, who first charted the coastline in 1822. Scoresby’s two volume Account of the Arctic Regions provided much of the historical inspiration for Tilman’s northern voyages and fuelled his fascination with Scoresby Sound and its unclimbed mountains. His first attempt on Scoresby had already cost him his first boat, Mischief, in 1968. The following year, a ‘polite mutiny’ aboard Sea Breeze had forced him to turn back within sight of the entrance to the Sound. With a good crew aboard in 1971, it was particularly frustrating for Tilman to find the boat blocked once more, this time by impenetrable ice off the entrance to the fjord. He refused to give up; his obsession with Scoresby Sound continued in 1972 and after a series of unfortunate events Sea Breeze ended up between a rock and an ice floe with a failed engine and a disastrous outcome. Safely back home in Wales, the inevitable search for a new boat began. ‘One cannot buy a biggish boat as if buying a piece of soap. The act is almost as irrevocable as marriage and should be given as much thought’. The 1902 Pilot Cutter Baroque, after not inconsiderable expense, proved equal to the challenge after Tilman’s first troublesome voyage in her to West Greenland in 1973.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 160


Dimensions: 156 x 260 mm


Publication Date: 06-04-2017


Triumph and Tribulation

ISBN: 9781909461420

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

No ship should be without Tabasco sauce. Experience is said to be the name men give to their mistakes and of the experience I gained in Spitzbergen that may wel...


No ship should be without Tabasco sauce. Experience is said to be the name men give to their mistakes and of the experience I gained in Spitzbergen that may well be true. The circumnavigation of Spitzbergen is the first of three voyages described in HW ‘Bill’ Tilman’s fifteenth and final book, a remarkable example of his ability to triumph when supported by a crew game for all challenges. The 1974 voyage of the pilot cutter Baroque takes Tilman to his furthest north; the highest latitude of any of his travels in the northern or southern hemisphere. The account of this achievement makes compelling reading, the crew pulling together to avert potential disaster from a navigational misjudgement. A younger, less experienced crew join Tilman in 1975, this time heading north along Greenland’s west coast until a break in the boom necessitates the abandonment of the objective and an early return. “That one can never be quite confident of reaching any of the places I aim at may be part of their charm, and failure is at least an excuse for making another voyage.” The following year proves to be Tilman’s last voyage in his own boat, his account beginning with a dry nod to his artillery background: “As I begin to describe this voyage, the discrepancy between the target and the fall of shot provokes a wry smile.” Tilman never expected crews to pay, covering all the costs of his voyages personally. He therefore held the quite reasonable view that his crew would pull their weight, show loyalty to the ship and take the rough with the smooth. Sadly, the crew in 1976 fell far short of that expectation, forcing several changes of plan and eventually obliging Tilman to leave Baroque in Iceland. Not for the first time in Tilman’s remarkable 140,000 miles of voyaging is he moved to quote Conrad: “Ships are all right, it’s the men in them.” Tilman set a high standard and led by example; where his companions rose to the challenge, as they did in the majority of his expeditions, the results were often remarkable. Triumph and Tribulation closes this newly extended edition of his literary legacy; a fine testament to a remarkable life.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 202


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-06-2017


$36.00
High Mountains and Cold Seas

ISBN: 9781909461461

Author: J. R. L. Anderson    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Harold William ‘Bill’ Tilman (1898-1977) was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and navigator who held exploration above a...


Harold William ‘Bill’ Tilman (1898-1977) was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and navigator who held exploration above all else. The son of a Liverpool sugar importer, Tilman joined the army at seventeen and was twice awarded the Military Cross for bravery during WWI. After the war Tilman left for Africa, establishing himself as a coffee grower. He met Eric Shipton and they began their famed mountaineering partnership, traversing Mount Kenya and climbing Kilimanjaro. Turning to the Himalaya, Tilman went on two Mount Everest expeditions, reaching 27,000 feet without oxygen in 1938. In 1936 he made the first ascent of Nanda Devi, the highest mountain climbed until 1950. He was the first European to climb in the remote Assam Himalaya, delved into Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor and explored extensively in Nepal, all the while developing a mountaineering style characterised by its simplicity and emphasis on exploration. It was perhaps logical that Tilman would eventually buy the pilot cutter Mischief, not with the intention of retiring from travelling, but to access remote mountains. For twenty-two years he sailed Mischief and her successors in search of them—to Patagonia, where he made the first easterly crossing of the ice cap, to Baffin Island to make the first ascent of Mount Raleigh, to Greenland, Spitzbergen, and islands in the far Southern Ocean, before disappearing in the South Atlantic in 1977. J.R.L. Anderson’s biography draws on a wealth of personal correspondence between Tilman, a compulsive letter writer, and his immediate family and close friends, crafting the first detailed account of the extraordinary life of this remarkable, but very private individual.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 416


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 28-09-2017


$45.00
The Temptress Voyages

ISBN: 9781907206573

Author: Edward Allcard    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Sailing six thousand miles in eighty days, Allcard makes the classic southern route trade-wind crossing westward, and not without incident-severe gales, thief-c...


Sailing six thousand miles in eighty days, Allcard makes the classic southern route trade-wind crossing westward, and not without incident-severe gales, thief-catching in Spain, avoiding a seductive blonde in Gibraltar, encountering sharks and shoals of flying fish, and narrowly escaping falling overboard to his death when knocked out by gear falling from aloft. Allcard's plan to dodge the worst of the hurricane season on his return voyage is not accommodated by the elements. Through gales and headwinds, and one terrible storm, he takes seventy-four days to reach the Azores from New York, arriving minus his mizzen mast, desperately exhausted, injured, and hungry. The next leg, to Casablanca, is enlivened by a female stowaway, before he makes a safe return to England. Whether describing the pleasures or the trials, the phosphorescent nights or the storms, the operation of his ship or his own introspections, Edward Allcard eloquently conveys his deep appreciation of the sea, and the escape from modern civilisation it offers him.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 440


Dimensions: 129 x 198 mm


Publication Date: 05-05-2022


Tags: August 2022   Travel   Biography
$35.99
The Lugworm Chronicles

ISBN: 9781907206559

Author: Ken Duxbury    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Open boat cruising has never been more popular, in the doing or the reading of it; magazines, websites, associations and events around the world attest to this,...


Open boat cruising has never been more popular, in the doing or the reading of it; magazines, websites, associations and events around the world attest to this, and of course the countless sailors who just 'get on with it' in their own unassuming manner. Two such, some fifty years ago, long before today's explosion of activity, were Ken Duxbury and his wife B; Ken's three books recounting their adventures in the eighteen-foot Drascombe Lugger 'Lugworm' delighted many on their first appearance, yet they became unavailable for years. 'Lugworm on the Loose' describes how Ken and B quit the 'rat race' and explored the Greek islands under sail. 'Lugworm Homeward Bound' recounts their voyage home from Greece to England. 'Lugworm Island Hopping' has Ken and B exploring the Scilly Isles and the Hebrides. The light touch of Ken's writing belies the sheer ambition, resourcefulness and seamanship which infuse these exploits. And beyond pure sailing narrative, his books convey the unique engagement with land and people which is achieved by approaching under sail in a small boat.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 524


Dimensions: 129 x 198 mm


Publication Date: 05-05-2022


Tags: August 2022   Biography   Travel
$42.00
Blokes Up North

ISBN: 9781907206610

Authors: Kev Oliver, Tony Lancashire    Publisher: Lodestar Books

In a post-exploration world, two relatively ordinary blokes, serving Royal Marines, decided they wanted an extraordinary 21st century adventure. In this refresh...


In a post-exploration world, two relatively ordinary blokes, serving Royal Marines, decided they wanted an extraordinary 21st century adventure. In this refreshingly honest account they re-live the highs and lows of sailing and rowing a tiny open boat, completely unsupported, through one of the most iconic wilderness waterways on the planet - the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada. They describe battling with an Arctic storm miles from land and being caught in the worst sea ice for more than a decade. At one point they are forced to drag Arctic Mariner, their seventeen-foot boat, across ten miles of broken pack ice to reach open water. Their story is enriched by the Inuit people and the incredible wildlife they met along the way, including all-too-close encounters with both grizzly and polar bears. And they relate with honesty how the isolation and stresses of the high Arctic shaped the bond between their two very different personalities. This is neither an expose of global warming, nor a detailed study of Inuit culture. It is not particularly long on the historical quest for the Northwest Passage. It is quite simply the tale of two blokes, up north. b/w photographs, maps, drawings


Bind: paperback


Pages: 256


Dimensions: 129 x 198 mm


Publication Date: 05-08-2022


Tags: August 2022   Biography   Travel
$29.99
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