The 15th Adventure Club Podcast: Wangerooge, pink gin & stinks

At last our heroes Carruthers & Davies arrive at the East Frisian islands. It’s October 15, and, in a curious reversal of roles, Davies is quaffing pink gin in a bar, whilst Carruthers is dealing with intruders on the boat.

In this podcast you can learn why Wangerooge is rarely in the same place in any given century, how to mix a delicious pink gin (with proper German gin), and how the Frisians used dykes, drainage and ‘siels’ to build a nation – and create a stink.

First up, we asks why does the author Childers bother with a gap between October 5 and October 15 in the book? (01:30); Lloyd NotDavies talks us through the history of Wangerooge tower-building; we do another plug for our crowdfunding page on – pledge now! (09:53)

A brief aside about casual anti-semitism in the book (10:46); Tim NotCarruthers puts on his serious history face and delivers a lecture on dykes, drainage and siels/sluices (11:32); East Frisia as a contested space (14:24); did Childers mistake the age-old practice of dyke-building for German acts of militarism? (16:03); how sluicing can also involve sewage and stinking harbour pollution (17:05); the problem of leisure craft waste and where Carruthers and Davies went to the toilet (19:34).

By Karl Ludwig von Le Coq (1754–1829) (Photo and city colored red: Benutzer:AxelHH) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Lloyd notDavies mixes up some pink gin (22:06); we avoid drinking the ‘old genever’ and savour Doornkaat instead (23:52); James Bond is a pink gin drinker too (with Beefeater gin) (27:34); we meet another Doornkaat drinker: Horst Schlämmer (28:48); there’s even a Doornkaat musical interlude! (30:07)

The Doornkaat ‘monument’ in Norden. By User:Matthias Süßen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Club Business: Nick sends us a drawing of the Kaiser, made by Queen Victoria (30:49); Ian tells us what ‘ahoy’ really means (32:03); Tony on Dulcibella’s mizzen mast (33:21); Frank on the very wonderful swimmer Annette Kellerman (34:46); William on his real-life travels through the Frisians and the Baltic (37:18); Lloyd NotDavies’s frank admission that on our adventure to Queenborough we actually went to *the wrong pier* (39:10).

Missions for next week – members assistance required.

the Kormorant: our first sighting of the sinister galliot. What would it have been like?

the Blitz with its Maxim machine guns: the Blitz’s dimensions and armaments are carefully listed including the mention of ‘maxims’. Let’s talk about machine guns.

Jacksnipe shooting: what is a jacksnipe and how does one shoot it?

Spiekeroog: the next island along – what do we know about it?

3 thoughts on “The 15th Adventure Club Podcast: Wangerooge, pink gin & stinks

  1. Comments on the last podcast:

    1. As regards the sanitary arrangements on “Dulcibella”, these would most likely have been non-existent: marine toilets on yachts didn’t really get used until the post-war era. The traditional methods were – for # 1’s, just face outboard (downwind, of course) and let fly. For #2’s, the “bucket and chuck-it” method is preferred, being careful to ensure that there’s some water in the bucket first, to aid the flush Doing #2’s while swimming isn’t regarded as gentlemanly, and – as was remarked – has disadvantages anyway. At least, using a bucket allows one to sail quickly away from the evidence…

    2. Thanks, Lloyd for being big enough to admit you got it wrong about the ferry terminal at Queensborough. I spent quite a while on GoogleEarth and on the website you referenced and came to the same conclusion. The website shows an old map of the railway system in the area, the ferry terminal being served by a spur line running in an arc around the north of the town. Part of the course of this is still visible on GoogleEarth, but it ends before the industrial park complex which seems to be of recent construction. The pier seems to have now been entirely demolished, although there is a photo on the website showing some remains which only seem to be visible at very low tide.

    3. I’d also refer you to the Navionics website which will give you (for free) a look at the very detailed nautical charts of all the area covered by RotS as they currently are. Might be helpful in planning your voyage. just remember the buff bits are dry land, the green bits cover with water at some stages of the tide and the figures are the water depths in metres at the lowest astronomical tide, which means in effect that most of the time you’d expect to find more depth than indicated. And you can zoom in for a more detailed look at areas of interest.


    1. Thanks for that Tony – and for acknowledging the sheer horror I went though admitting to Tim I’d messed up! We’ve looked at Navionics a bit, and it is extraordinarily powerful, isn’t it? Do you think it’s worth our while purchasing the iPad app?


      1. Congratulations on finding an acceptable gin with which to make the Pink Gins. I had never dreamt there was such a thing as a decent German gin – and from the right region, and even in production at the right time.

        You were lucky to escape without having to down any of the oude genever that I almost imposed on you.

        I had a look at Tony Fuell’s navionics chart link, hoping I would find something on the Scharhorn or nearby sands that I half remember seeing on the 1960s Admiralty Chart from my own passage along the coast and into the Elbe so many years ago. It was a “refuge” – a sort of cabin on stilts, built on the sands and raised up above the high tide seas, presumably for the benefit of anyone caught out or wrecked on the sands with no time to make it to dry land.

        It doesn’t appear on the navionics chart, and I have long ago thrown out my old North Sea charts and Pilot Books, so I can’t be certain about it, but I’m pretty sure it was there. If I’m right, I wonder if it was around in 1898?


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