On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Long Lost Log: Diary Of A Virgin Sailor by Michael Chapman Pincher chronicles a novice deckhand’s journey from England to the Caribbean in 1974.
Long Lost Log
With its publication on 20th April 2022, Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor chronicles a novice deckhand’s journey from England to the Caribbean in 1974. Michael Chapman Pincher believed the written record of his sailing trip across the Atlantic was lost 46 years ago. But during the pandemic, it was found in Florida and returned by a former love, prompting him to revisit his diary, and fill in the gaps. In reliving the tale, Chapman Pincher gives us a peephole into another time and recounts a bawdy voyage through a misspent youth learning the skills of survival.
Humorous and self-deprecating, Chapman Pincher was 22 and had just run away from home when he got on board the Gay Gander. His skipper is an Irishman who was off with his mistress and a seditious cat to find a new life in The Caribbean.
Set against the backdrop of 70s hippiedom at their many ports-of-call, this witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of fresh observations, sexual impulse and a generational clash of values. Long Lost Log is a voyage of discovery into the price of being free.
Extract from Long Lost Log
We walk up the beach in silence before the skipper turns around to face me. ‘We can’t go on like this.’ He spits the words out like something unpleasant. ‘I may continue alone.’ His tone is stiff and brutal. My hands ball into tight fists, trying to take in what he’s said. ‘What have I done wrong? I’ve taken on board everything you’ve taught me. I’ve…’ excuses tumbles out in a breathy explosion of words. John holds up his hand to stop me. ‘Your seamanship is not in doubt. It’s your table manners that are the problem. You grab your food, stuff it in your face and talk with your mouth full—all sorts of horrors. Sailing together is about respecting other people by maintaining high standards. And I’m afraid Mick, yours are well below par.’ Such a harsh judgment from a man I’ve grown to respect makes me feel twelve again. We row back in silence. Fluorescent specks of algae drip off the oars like a thousand Tinkerbells mocking this broken Peter Pan.
Michael Chapman Pincher
The son of Chapman Pincher, the famous investigative journalist, Michael left school at 17 to work as a stagehand in the West End theatre. Disenchanted, he ran away to sea. Finally settling down to married life, he worked in computing as a pathfinder in the early phases of the internet and social media.
“On reading my journal after forty years, it felt so fresh. To write it and relive my glory days, I had to forget what’s happened since. The trick worked ’til I glimpsed myself in the mirror.”
Find Long Lost Log Now:
Long Lost Log – Diary of a Virgin Sailor – ISBN: 9781843518273
Published by The Lilliput Press, 62/63 Sitric Road Dublin D07 AE27
Available in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats on20thApril 2022
Distributed by Gill Books in Ireland and Central Books in the UK
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