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Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor, Podcast with Michael Chapman Pincher

30th June 2022
Antony Farrell of Lilliput Press (left) with Michael Chapman Pincher, author of Long Lost Log -Diary of a Virgin Sailor
Antony Farrell of Lilliput Press (left) with Michael Chapman Pincher, author of Long Lost Log -Diary of a Virgin Sailor

When 23-year-old Michael Chapman Pincher enlisted as crew for an Atlantic voyage back in 1974, he had never sailed so much as a dinghy. Nor did he realise that the skipper of Gay Gander and his sailing companion were actually eloping together and leaving families behind.

The 37 ft long yacht which he boarded was a Rambler Class keel sloop, designed by Laurent Giles in the 1960s and owned by John Francis Kearney Farrell. Farrell told Michael that the plan was to set sail for the Canaries and to cross the Atlantic to Antigua by Christmas. The young man’s passage would be free in return for a contribution to rations.

Michael, son of the celebrated journalist Chapman Pincher, kept his own detailed log which he left back in the Caribbean. However, several decades later, a message on social media during the pandemic led to its return.

Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin SailorLong Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor

The result is Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor, described by Robin Hanbury-Tenison as “a great rollicking page turner”, while Dr Peter Boylan has said it is a “wonderfully entertaining tale” where “the naughty bits made the voyage such fun”.

Coincidentally, the book’s publisher, Antony Farrell of Lilliput Press, is son of the late John Francis Kearney Farrell, and he still has a copy of his father’s original log of that trip.

“Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor” (Lilliput Press, 16 euro) was launched at Howth Yacht Club, Co Dublin, this week, and its author spoke to Wavelengths below

Read WM Nixon's review of the book here

Published in Wavelength Podcast
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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