Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Review: Blokes Up North

This was one of the books I took as reading material to Greenland. In the end I spent more time out in the freezing cold watching the amazing landscape than sitting in the warm reading.

It tells the story of how Kev Oliver and Tony Lancashire rowed, sailed and (when iced in) dragged their 17 foot open boat through the North West Passage over two summers.

The publisher's web site described them as "relatively ordinary blokes" but they were both serving Royal Marines who are typically made of sterner stuff than us desk bound types. That was probably just as well given it was clearly a spartan and demanding journey.

There were storms, ice and polar bears (of coruse) but they toughed it out, getting to Resolution where they decided that counted as close enough to the eastern end so could stop.

It's clearly written in a way that gives you a good feel for their ups and downs. The boat, a Norseboat 17.5, seemed to be just right if you want to row and sail your way through the NW Passage.

It reminded me a lot of "Ice Bears and Kotick" by Peter Webb about an open boat circumnavigation of Spitzbergen.

But how to compare these two books?

If you're interested in the NW passage then it would of course be this one to pick up though I felt the voyage of the Kotick a better read.

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