The 21st Adventure Club Podcast: Boating Books, Dodgy Tides & Ladies’ Cocoa

When Clara Dollman comes to meet our heroes off the coast of Norderney on October 21, it all kicks off. Carruthers has to make the cabin fit for a lady, Davies gets hot under the collar, and there’s something fishy about the library of sailing books on board.

We discuss the best books to have on a small boat, the history of Norderney, what makes a cabin woman-friendly, Edwardian cocoa, and how Childers has got his tide tables terribly wrong. We then drift off into a long diversion about the popularity of 1970s TV series ‘The Onedin Line’ in Romania. Hopefully, we’ll be back on course in time to discuss the row to Memmert in the next podcast.

Lloyd notDavies dives straight in by announcing he’s going on a sailing course (00:52), but what books might he have on board any boat he skippers? (05:11); Davies favours E. F. Knight (05:58),  Cowper (09:29) and McMullen (10:44); we list the top 25 books that one might except to find on a cruising saloon bookshelf (12:38); a brief discussion of George Crowninshield Jnr and the birth of small boat cruising culture (14:37).

Tim notCarruthers gets very cross about Childers’s frankly cavalier disregard for tides and tide tables (16:55); he cites an article in Cruising World by Alistair Buchan proving the events of October 21 are impossible to re-enact (18:09); there are consequences too for October 22 and the row to Memmert (22:52). Lloyd notDavies offers brief notes on Norderney (25:58); we discover that the island is practically British thanks to Hanoverian connections (27:14); the case is made to put Isak Dinesen into our growing onboard library ( 29:49).

Fry's chocolate ad
Fry’s chocolate & cocoa – fit for a lady

Tim notCarruthers tries to understand womens’ cabins (31:30); details of the HMS Daring ‘unisex’ warship (32:14); drawer management on boats – it’s different for girls? (34:50); cocoa as a woman’s drink and the story of Egbert Fry (36:52).

the diver’s lucky find

Club business:  Tony F reminds us about the German TV series ‘Das Rätsel der Sandbank’, allowing us to reprise the theme tune (42:08);  how ‘The Onedin Line’ fuelled the revolution in Romania (43:14); Jon on Boulter’s lock in Berkshire (45:55); more on ‘The Onedin Line’ and on to ‘Howard’s Way’… (46:50).

Radio Times 1973: another popular tale about sailing – image via

Missions for next week – members assistance required.

‘the row to Memmert’: this is bound to dominate discussions in the next podcast, chiefly because it’s probably the most famous passage in the book. But how easy would it be to do? Is it possible at all? We need to hear from people who are experts in dinghy rowing – especially in the fog.

‘Memmert’: we’re reliably informed that this island is not going to be accessible to us when we take on the full adventure next year. Really?

‘the king of breakfasts’: there are several meals we need to discuss and get details about – breakfast in a Norderney hotel, tongue and biscuits on the dinghy, fully dinner at the Dollmans. What would have been a typical spread in 1898?

‘the Schwanallee’: we can’t find this street on Norderney. Did it ever exist? Or was there a name change at some point?

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