The Eight Sailing/Mountain-Exploration Books
By H. W. Bill Tilman
The eight books collected here are humorous, learned, devastatingly candid, and packed with information. They recount voyages to the Southern Oceans where he viseted Patagonia, the Crozets, Kerguelen, Heard Island and the South Shetlands. No less important were his many trips to Greenland as well as forays to Spitzbergen, Baffin Island and other areas above the Arctic Circle. The mountaineering highlights of his seafaring career were the crossing of the Patagonia ice-cap, the crossing of Bylot Island, and the ascent of Big Ben on Heard Island, where although Tilman was not in the summit party, he contributed more than any of them to the success of the expedition. Not all of his voyages were successful or enjoyable. A valued crew member was lost overboard during one venture. There were the sad losses of his cutters, Mischief and Sea Breeze, and other occasions when crew members were unable to match Tilman's presistence, decided to desert or mutiny. Most of his crews were made of sterner stuff. They were rewarded with good fellowship and humour, the opportunity of learning seamanship and mountanineering from a great teacher, and a chance to see what may be done in rough waters and heavy ice in a little, old, unstrengthened ship.