When Adrian Hayter set out single-handed from Lymington, England on his thirty-two-foot Albert Strange-designed yawl Sheila II, local betting was seven to one that he would get no further than the English Channel. His destination was New Zealand, and the odds were definitely against him. In 1949 perhaps only eight people had sailed solo around the world, and single-handed long-distance sailing voyages were rare. Adrian, then thirty-four, was a soldier, not a sailor. In the previous decade he had been a close observer of the Partition of India and fought as a soldier in the Second World War and the Malayan Emergency. The latter, Britain's brutal reaction to the Communist uprising of 1948, had driven his decision to sail halfway around the world, single-handed. More than sixty years later, and in the thirtieth anniversary year of Adrian's death, Lodestar Books is republishing the story of that voyage, Sheila in the Wind, first published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1959. As a sailor, Adrian recounts his foray into celestial navigation, a back-street appendix operation in India, armed escort by Indonesian authorities at sea, and eating barnacles off the hull to avoid starvation. As a writer he is trying to make sense of the humanitarian disasters that brought him to this voyage. Sheila in the Wind is more than a report of a 13,000-mile adventure; it's a story of the human spirit.
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Date of Publication: 03/03/2021