RIDDLE OF THE WAVES: The inspiring story of military veterans circumnavigating the UK

  • Written by  Jon Wright
  • Published in Books
RIDDLE OF THE WAVES: The inspiring story of military veterans circumnavigating the UK
09 Jan
2018
by Steven Price Brown • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback/eBook)

In 2016, the Spirit of Falmouth embarked upon a two-month, 2,220-mile trip around the British coast. This replica of a 92-foot 18th century pilot schooner would visit Newcastle and the Orkney Islands, Liverpool and the Scillies, beginning and ending its journey at Falmouth. The crew was unusual. Brought together by the military charity Turn to Starboard, everyone on board had served in the armed forces and their return to civvy street had been challenging. As Steven Price Brown, a veteran of conflict in Afghanistan, puts it ‘we had changed from being sharp-seamed, uniform-clad warriors to hoody-wearing civilians and it had not been an easy transformation.’

The men had carried home horrible images, physical and mental scars, and the book provides frank, first-person narratives of the crew’s experiences both during and after their tours of duty. It sometimes makes for a difficult read: Bosnian memories of ‘heavily pregnant women who had been strapped to lampposts and had their stomachs cut open.’ The epic journey around the coast was, Brown writes, a ‘cathartic process for a lot of lost souls’, offering camaraderie and a welcome sense of achievement.

Many of the crew had little sailing experience, so the learning curves were sharp, but as former soldiers they brought discipline and resolve to the task. Everyone, Brown writes, had their bad days but no-one ever missed their watch. Tempers sometimes flared, the elements were sometimes reluctant to co-operate, but good humour and resilience usually won the day.
Brown’s narrative is winningly straightforward, free from artifice and captures the essence of the whole adventure: ‘helping people get their lives back.’ The project is set to be repeated and we should all wish it fair winds.

Click here to purchase Riddle of the Waves by Steven Price Brown on Amazon

red line

NEVER MISS A STORY

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our free weekly newsletter!

red line

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

by Kiyonori Kanasaka (translated by Nicholas Pertwee) • Renaissance Books…

Books

by Steven Price Brown • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Jo Woolf • Sandstone Press • £24.99 (hardback)

Films

An epic journey through the Amazon in a traditional dugout…

Books

by Victor Mallet • Oxford University Press • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

Get 30% off the cover price of this in-depth journey…

Exhibitions

Twenty one years, sixteen countries, seven continents... RGS-IBG director, Rita…

Books

by Peter Millar • Arcadia Books • £20 (hardback)

Books

by the National Archives • £25/£21.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Leon McCarron • IB Tauris • £17.99 (hardback)

Books

by Alex de Wall • Polity Books • £16.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jacki Hill-Murphy • Adventuress Publishing • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

An emotional and divisive documentary that explores the trophy hunting…

Books

by Paul Murton • Birlinn • £14.99 (softback)

Books

by Harry Hook • HIP Editions • £54 (hardback)

Books

by James Suzman • Bloomsbury • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Thorkild Hansen • New York Review Books • £11.99…