Acknowledged as the earliest autobiographical record of the river and estuarial sailing barge trades, George Winn first went afloat in 1877 as third hand on a humble river barge, when just eight years of age. His maritime prowess blossomed and he progressed to command much larger sailing barges working around the English coast and to the Continent.
Having had enough of working to ‘line the pockets of others’, he became master and owner of the large Rye ketch barge Diana, but his story includes the harrowing tale of her being pounded to pieces on a Dorset beach, and the good fortune which saved the life of his family and crew. We learn of his philosophical outlook on life and his belief that he can do little to influence whatever fate has in store but, nevertheless, considers his lot as good as it gets – ‘Millionaire without money’ he declares!
Short-listed for the international Maritime Media Awards
‘A spectacularly rewarding read, with remarkable early photography and a quaint turn of phrase to capture the period.’
Shipping Today & Yesterday
‘Winn’s colourful, colloquial, unvarnished prose ends with his declaration ‘Enough of the Channel has soaked through my body, it’s time to get dry!’ Absorbing from beginning to end, it deserves a much wider readership than, alas, it is likely to get.’
Nautilus International Telegraph