Just Sea and Sky.

Just Sea and Sky is as rich as adventurous sailing yarns come; a tonic for the modern day sailor surrounded by electronics.

Set aboard Tern II, a purposeful Victorian gentleman’s yacht, Just Sea and Sky is the story of a young naval officer granted leave to sail from England to New Zealand in the 1950’s.

Ben Pester encapsulates elements of a rapidly modernising world. An engineering officer on the state of the art HMS Eagle aircraft carrier, the first Royal Navy ship to usher in the jet age of naval aviation, Pester’s professional life is one lived at the cutting edge of marine technology. The adventure he takes aboard Turn II though is quite the opposite; one un-diluted by technology, where the yacht’s position is found using a Nazi sextant captured from a WWII submarine.

Pester pays homage to the generation of yachtsmen before him, particularly the yacht’s previous owner, Claude Worth- owner of a series of Terns. A lifelong sailor, he was found dead at the helm by French fishermen. ‘He died upon the sea, sitting in the cockpit of the little Perseus, his face toward the sky, whilst he was sailing up the silver path of the moon, which seemed to unite heaven and the sea.’ 

There’s honesty and amateurism in abundance. Pester’s confessions of things gone wrong on his epic voyage are those of the realist. He paints an intimidating picture of Ushant saturated with shipping long before a Traffic Separation Scheme was introduced, whilst Tern II’s Victorian simplicity provides pleasure and pain in equal measure to her two crew.

Simply, one of the best tales of bluewater adventure.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr

Related Content

The Best Marina In The World? St Kitts. When I learned to sail in The Solent, over a very cold UK winter, we would occasionally splash out on a mooring at Berthon marina in Lymington. Principally, this was for their really good showers. It might sound ridiculous to the non-sailor, but a decent shower and a visit to one of Lymington's pubs is nectar from the Gods after a cold day on the w...
Marstrand, Sweden After two weeks of sailing in freezing temperatures the outline of Marstrand's coastal defences appeared on the horizon. We had been diverted, the harbour we were originally aiming for had iced over, and the little inlet of Marstrand was as far north as we could go. A smart summer retreat for Gothenburg residents, Marstrand in March was almost e...
Paris. Le Grand Vefour. Here in Japan, Paris is idolised. A perfect kawaii village in the minds of those that have never visited it. In reality, it is a capital like any other, one with a tumultuous past and the echoes of a violent revolution still echoing through preserved colonnades. Like most capitals, much of the evidence of the past is behind velvet ropes. So ...
Night Watch. 3AM. Red light spills into the pitch black cabin as the door opens with a loud knock, I am half awake and it's my watch. I pull on heavy waterproof trousers encrusted with salt, forgoing the sweater to ensure I stay awake. Being too warm is the Achilles heel of the nocturnal sailor. I find the man I am replacing at the chart table. He is making a...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *