Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor by Michael C. Pincher


Long Lost Log: Diary of a Virgin Sailor

Michael Chapman Pincher

4 Stars

Pages: 255
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Nautical
Published: 24 March 2022
Publisher: Lilliput Press

Book Trailer


Publisher's Blurb

Mick is the novice deckhand on a yacht, skippered by an Irishman who's off with his mistress to find a new life. Set in the 1970s, this witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of freshness, sexual impulse and a clash of values. Long Lost Log is a voyage of discovery into the price you pay to be free.

A vivid, spellbinding account of a true-life adventure, packed with insights into the human condition – this witty, well-paced rite of passage is full of freshness, sexual impulse and a clash of values. It is a rollicking tale written with verve, keen observations and sparkling with wry humour. Long Lost Log is a period piece for the nostalgic traveller and the armchair adventurer of any age.


At a loose end and with his life going nowhere, Mick accepts an offer to be a deck hand on a small yacht bound for Spain and then the America’s. The only problem is that Mick has never sailed in his life.

With a crash course in the basics of knots, sails and navigation and armed with just his journal and his trusty banjo, Mick sets off on the adventure of his life with his skipper John and John’s girlfriend, the somewhat posh Carola.

Set during the 1970’s at a time when strikes have caused problems and the UK is gripped by an economic downturn leading to the 3 day working week, Mick decides enough is enough.

What follows is a travelogue and personal diary written nearly 50 years later following the return of
Mick’s lost journal from an old flame, discovered in an attic on the other side of the world.

The author combines his personal observations with colourful descriptions of the foreign locations he visits. He adds a witty chronicling of the people and situations that he encounters on his maiden voyage.

I’m not a sailor. My relationship with boats is limited to just a trip on the Dover to Calais ferry, ironically in the 1970’s, plus a river trip on a paddle steamer between Tilbury and Tower Bridge. Neither of these required any sailing knowledge from me so I was intrigued by the details on how to sail that Mick had to learn as his trip unfurled.

I like the way that the author doesn’t try to hide any of his failings and describes his adventures in a ‘walts and all’ way that strangely makes him more endearing.

Written in a nice easy style that makes for a fluid reading experience, this was fun to read whilst also being partly educational.

This book is Ideal for anyone who likes biography, travelogue, sailing, or just enjoys a good adventure story.

Purchase on Amazon

Article in The Irish Times

The Author

The son of Chapman Pincher, the famous investigative journalist, Michael left school at 17 to work as a stagehand in the West End theatre. Disenchanted, he ran away to sea. Finally settling down to married life, he worked in computing as a pathfinder in the early phases of the internet and social media.


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