The 14th Adventure Club Podcast: In Search of the Flushing Steamer Pier

We’re meant to be talking about October 6 in ‘Riddle of the Sands’, but frankly this is a period in the book where not a lot is happening, and we’re essentially gearing up for the main spying action starting on October 15.

Having been stood up by a man who may (or may not) have a boat in Norfolk that is a bit like Dollmann’s Medusa, Lloyd (notDavies) and Tim (notCarruthers) decide to go on a ‘test adventure’ in another part of the world. We’re going back in the book to September 25 when Carruthers set off from London Victoria to catch the Flushing steamer. Can you still do this trip? Is there even a train line anymore, let alone a steamer? We find out.

Lloyd (notDavies)’s deep knowledge of train timetables gets us as far as Sittingbourne (04:45); we arrive at Queenborough harbour (06:54); we find the old trainline (07:45); we think we’ve found the steamer pier! (10:15); we smoke a pipe and talk of encounters with an invading German sailor and a peregrine-protecting birdwatcher (13:35).

Is this the Flushing steamer pier?

This is exactly the kind of adventure btw you can expect to be have access to every day in September & October if you pledge your support at Just £25 will get you a book, an audiobook and access to a 1-month web adventure.

CLUB BUSINESS: John on how to recognise the Kaiser (22:19); Kevin shares our enthusiasm for the actress who plays Frau Dollman in the movie of ‘The Riddle of the Sands’ (23:17); Emma remembers that she borrowed a Rippingille stove from Lady Rozelle Raynes (24:52)

Janet warns us against sailing beyond the Elbe in October (26:53); Ian writes a fabulously supportive blog post about the Adventure Club (30:08); ahoy to the Literary Platform for highlighting the Club (31:20); Nick offers to do some legwork on Juist this summer, and we encourage him to row to Memmert (33:30)

Missions for next week – members assistance required.

Wangerooge: club member Kevin has already jumped the gun on this one by emailing some information (ahoy Kevin!). We’re particularly interested to hear from anyone who’s actually set foot on the island.

Pink gin: for once it’s Davies who get’s to hang out in a bar, not Carruthers. But what kind of gin would they be drinking in Wangerooge in 1898, and what would make it ‘pink’?

Sluices & ‘siels’: as we’re going to find out later in the book, the siels are going to play quite an important part in the story. But why are they there in the first place? What is a sluice anyway? And how does it work?

Fog: there’s going to be a lot of this about apparently, which may hamper our filming in the autumn. Any tips we can get about filming in fog and explanations about why sea-fogs happen a lot in this part of the world are gratefully received.

10 thoughts on “The 14th Adventure Club Podcast: In Search of the Flushing Steamer Pier

    1. This is excellent, John and once again proves there are people out there who actually know what they’re talking about. It also seems to prove beyond doubt that Lloyd took us to the WRONG PIER on our mini-adventure. Doh! I’ll leave him to write a post about why he’s no longer to be trusted as our guide. 😉


  1. Another great podcast, thanks.

    I liked the way Tim & Lloyd were both slipping into part whilst in Queenborough, Tim not wanting to get his attire muddied, and Lloyd getting straight in there, but being wary of breaking the law – maybe a reference to Davies having spent some in a solicitors office?

    I just re-read the section in the book from 23 September that mentions Davies going (briefly i would think) into law, and it reminded me that I have always been intrigued by the bit that comes a short while afterwards “But I found myself remembering at the entrée that I had recently heard, at second or third hand, of something else about him–exactly what I could not recall.” I may have missed it, but do we ever find out what that something else was? If not, does anyone have any thoughts?


  2. Just seen the YouTube recording of the post Queenbouragh training run de- brief.

    On the adventure itself, will there be a similar end of day unscripted ramble to camera over pipes & grog/ beer to review the day just gone, whilst still fresh in the mind? I think it would be very in keeping with the spirit of what Davies & Carruthers would have done , after the washing up that is.


    1. Absolutely Kevin. The whole point of the adventure will be to report every day from wherever we happen to find ourselves. We’ll probably try to be less rambly in general (if we can). 😉


  3. Ahoy!

    Is it possible to get any detailed map (sorry, charts) onto the site to aid following the geographical twists & turns that the book is about to dive into?


  4. To make a proper Pink Gin, shake a few drops of Angostura Bitters into a glass, swirl it round to thinly coat the inside of the glass, then tip out the excess. Add a large measure of gin and top up with a little water. The drink should have a subtle pink tinge.

    The addition of ice and/or tonic to the drink turns it into a girly cocktail unsuitable for real seamen.


    1. Thanks Patrick. You’ll hear us attempt to mix a pink gin in the next podcast. The key question is – what kind of gin would they be drinking in the Frisians in 1898?


      1. I imagine in that part of the world they drink the same sort of gin as the Belgians and Dutch. That would be Jenever or Genever, which comes, in Holland, anyway, in two broad types – old style (oude) and new style (yonge). The oude jenever is very much an acquired taste, and is usually pale brown in colour and rather oily on the tongue. Yonge jenever is clear and more like modern gin or vodka.

        I only know this as a result of a long evening of serious research into gin joints known as “brown cafes” in Amsterdam in the early 1980s. At the time I was the guest of a Dutch sailing club of which I had forgotten the name even before the night was over.

        According to Wikipaedia the “yonge” stuff wasn’t invented till about 1900, so that might be a clue as to what was the standard tipple in 1898.


  5. Dear all,

    At this moment I’m reading this book for the third time and is still a no. 1
    About the drink; it could be Schelvispekel, a very old shipping related 35% alcoholic drink


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: