This timeless classic is an exciting true story of survival against all odds.
‘There was a sudden sickening sense of disaster. I felt a great lurch and heel, and a thunder of sound filled my ears. I was conscious, in a terrified moment, of being driven into the front and side of my bunk with tremendous force. At the same time there was a tearing cracking sound, as if Tzu Hang was being ripped apart, and water burst solidly, raging into the cabin. There was darkness, black boards, and I fought wildly to get out, thinking Tzu Hang had already gone. Then suddenly I was standing again, waist deep in water, and floorboards and cushions, mattresses and books were sloshing in wild confusion round me.’
Miles Smeeton and his wife Beryl sailed their 46-ft Bermuda ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world’s most notorious waters. This is an exciting true story of survival against all odds, but it is also a thoughtful book which provides hard-learned lessons for other intrepid sailors.
As Nevil Shute writes in his foreword: ‘It has been left to Miles Smeeton to tell us in clear and simple language just where the limits of safety lie.’
‘They are … the first people ever to return alive to tell the story of a boat being somersaulted … And they certainly make fascinating company for a reader with his eyes on the heights of human endeavour.’ Sunday Times
‘Unique among books of maritime adventure.’ New York Times Book Review
‘Brigadier Smeeton's saga is the very essence of authenticity. Its message is clear and simple: Beware the sea in anger, for no small boat can conquer it, however expertly sailed.’ New York Times Book Review
It is the struggle of these three indomitable sailors for survival and their extraordinary resource … that makes their taut journal unique among books of maritime adventure … Tzu Hang and her crew add up not only to survival but to a tale full of sound and fury told by an intrepid but eminently sane survivor.’ TLS
‘Well and forthrightly written … full of real adventure and suspense … One reading is not enough.’ Library Journal
About the author
Born in England in 1906, Miles Smeeton joined the army and fought in World War II before setting sail on the Bermudan ketch ‘Tzu Hang’ with his wife in 1956. During his lifetime Miles Smeeton wrote nine books, and together with his wife founded the Cochrane Ecological Institute in 1972 and received numerous awards for their lifetime sailing achievements. He died in 1988.