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Elsi Arrub - reading round the world

Elsi Arrub

Andrew Halcrow from Burra attempted a singlehanded, non-stop westabout circumnavigation of the world, setting out from Falmouth on his boat Elsi Arrub in November 2013. We followed Andrew's progress avidly and were also interested in what he read on his journey, out of the 100-odd books on board. He and his wife Alyson were good enough to keep us informed, so we shared his ongoing reading list here. Unfortunately, on 8 March 2014 Elsi's mast broke during violent storms off Cape Horn, and Andrew had to be airlifted off and abandon her. A sorry end to an epic journey, but it was a tremendous adventure which all Shetland followed with interest.on Andrew's online log.


Elsi Arrub: the reading list

Black and blue cover

Ian Rankin - Black & Blue

(3 March 2014 - hove to in horrible seas, but getting plenty of reading done!)

Absolute friends cover

John le Carre - Absolute friends

(1 March 2014, still fighting gales west of Chile)

3 cups of tea cover

Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin - Three cups of tea

(24 February 2014, making slow but steady headway, zig-zagging northwards, west of Tierra del Fuego)

Year of the hare cover

Arto Paasilinna - The year of the hare

(21 February 2014, still fighting the gales to get further west of the Horn)

The road to Nab End cover

William Woodruff - The road to Nab End

(19 February 2014, 2 days after going round Cape Horn the third time! Andrew had to go back and take shelter behind Isla Lennox after encountering fierce westerlies the first time round)

1812 book cover

Adam Zamoyski - 1812

(8 February 2014, 2 days after going round Cape Horn!)

Sailing for Home

Theo Dorgan - Sailing for Home

(1 February 2014, making great progress through the straights de Los Estudos and meeting a friendly yacht)

The Wild Places

Robert MacFarlane - The Wild Places

(20 January 2014, weathering a dramatic storm - wind, rain and forked lightning)

Worst journey in the world cover

Apsley Cherry-Garrard - The Worst Journey in the World

(9 January 2014, nearly by Brazil)

Available as ebook

Good earth cover

Pearl S. Buck - The good earth

(29 December 2013, nearing the underwater mountains that stretch from Vitoria to Trinidade)

Available as ebook

Desperate journey cover

Kathleen Fidler - The desperate journey

(27 December 2013, heading for the 'knuckle' of South America)

Available as ebook

Wasted vigil cover

Nadeem Aslam - The Wasted Vigil

(23 December 2013, heading into the Southern hemisphere)

Beagle diary cover

Charles Darwin - Beagle diary

(20 December 2013 - just crossed the equator!)

Carry me across the water cover

Ethan Canin - Carry me across the water

(15 December 2013, about 200 miles North of the equator)

Rum Doodle cover

W. E. Bowman - The ascent of Rum Doodle

(10 December 2013, in the Doldrums)

Million mutinies cover

V. S. Naipaul - India: a million mutinies now

(6 December 2013, about 70 nm North of the Cape Verdes)

Knots and Crosses

Ian Rankin - Knots and Crosses

(2 December 2013, baking a cake while struggling with Atlantic winds from all directions)

The colour of magic

Terry Pratchett - The Colour of Magic

(25 November 2013, in squally weather south of Palma)

Available as ebook

A Shetland Country mercchant cover

Robert L. Johnson - A Shetland country merchant: being an account of the life and times of James Williamson of Mid Yell 1800-1872

(23 November 2013, approx 100 nm North of Palma)

Dalkey Archive cover

Flan O'Brien - The Dalkey Archive

(18 November 2013, North of Madeira)

Street cat named Bob cover

James Bowen - A street cat named Bob

(17 November 2013, heading down the Portuguese coast)

The Sleepwalkers cover

Christopher Clark - The sleepwalkers

(11 November 2013, leaving Falmouth on Armistice Day)


Listed below are the other books Andrew had on board, which sadly he had to leave behind. Suggested by family and friends, they would have made fascinating reading for his onward journey.


A World of my Own Robin Knox Johnson
Adventure in Depth Bill King
Alone Through the Roaring Forties Vito Dumas
Sailing alone around the world Joshua Slocum
Ice Bird David Lewis
The works of Rudyard Kippling  
Longitude Dava Sobel
Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
One Hundred Love Sonnets Pablo Neruda
Selected Poems Rabandranath Tragore
The Rubiyat of Omar Khayam  
Read Me and Laugh Gaby Morgan
Salt: A World History Mark Kurlansky
Science, a history John Gribbin
Selected Poems Robert Frost
South Ernest Shackleton
Star Tales Ian Ridpath
The Calendar David Ewing Duncan
At the loch of the Green Corrie Andrew Grieg
The Long Way Bernard Moitessier
Sailing to the Reefs Bernard Moitessier
Cape Horn: the Logical Route Bernard Moitessier
The Planets Dava Sobel
The Stars Hans Agustus Rey
Travelers Tales Eric Newby
Collected Poems WB Yeats
Full Tilt Dervla Murphy
A History of Pi Petr Beckmann
The Golden Ratio Mario Livio
The Hums of Pooh AA Milne
The Fables of Aesop  
Pride and Predudice Jane Austen
The Origin of the Species Charles Darwin
We, the drowned Carsten Jensen
Purge Sofi Oksanen and Lola Rogers
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
Something Rotten Jasper Fforde
Anson's voyage around the world Richard Walter
All Brave Sailors J Revell Carr
The Captain Jan de Hartog
The Wager Mutiny SWC Pack
In the Heart of the Sea Nathaniel Philbrick
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Sometimes a great notion Ken Kesey
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Night Manager John Le Carre
The Naive and Sentimental Lover John Le Carre
The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall
Rubbernecker Belinda Bauer
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