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Racundra's First Cruise by Arthur Ransome
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Racundra's First Cruise (1923)

by Arthur Ransome

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Helsingfors? – opposite Stockholm – most of us can place Helsingfors; Reval? – if allowed to generalise the east coast of the Baltic and treat it as a straight line, we could pass on Reval . But Oesel and Dago and Moon? We should put them down as miscreants in a children's rhyme. We learn from this book that they are islands off the coast of Esthonia – in fact they, together with the gulfs of Riga and Finland, were among the subconscious memories that made us a little doubtful in treating that east coast of the Baltic as a straight line. It was among those islands and the shoals with which they are girt that Mr. Ransome made the voyage of five hundred miles which he describes in this book. His ship was a thirty-ton centreboard ketch, built in Riga to his specification and to the design of a friend. He himself was master as well as owner, and his crew consisted of a lady, who was kept busy cooking all the time, and an ancient mariner.
 
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To "Racundra's" Esthonian friends

(1st ed., 1923).
To my wife
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Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of gay transition.
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Edited and compiled by Brian Hammett, this is Arthur Ransome's account of Racundra's maiden voyage, which took place in August and September 1922. The cruise took him from Riga in Latvia to Helsingfors (Helsinki) in Finland, via the Moon Sound and Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia and back. His first book on sailing, it was also the first of his titles that achieved such high levels of success. This eBook uses the original text from the 1923 edition in its entirety - with the original maps and photographs - and includes an excellent introduction by Brian Hammett containing a treasure trove of writings, essays and photographs. Ransome's first attempts at Baltic sailing, in his two previous boats, Slug and Kittiwake, are also explained in detail using his writings and illustrations. The life of Ransome's beloved Racundra is chronicled to its conclusion and there is an explanation of how he came to write the book. The original illustrations are enhanced by the inclusion of present day photographs of the same locations.… (more)

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