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Messing About in Earnest }

Messing About in Earnest


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product no: 16705
author: Nick Burmingham
publisher: Fremantle Press
isbn:9781920731250
edition date: November 2003
pages: 430
size: 137 x 188 x 41 mm
weight: 613 g
format: Hardcover
sales rank: 3234

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Take a river journey in a small boat with Nick Burningham at the helm. Messing About in Earnest is a delightful blend of travel writing, history, geography and real-life adventure.

Nick drifts down the Swan and Canning Rivers in his trusty boat called Earnest, which could be through almost any Australian city - a sort of antipodean 'one man in a boat'. His book takes the reader on the trip of a lifetime with whimsical and humourous stories of the people, places and history he encounters.

A blend of travel writing, historical narrative, geography and personal reflection, spiced with real-life adventure, Messing About in Earnest is many hours of idle pleasure.

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Amid the Napoleonic Wars, France and Britain launched rival voyages of discovery to the Antipodes. Led by the outstanding naval captains Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, these expeditions were seen as vital for gathering geographical and scientific knowledge, yet both expeditions ended in personal disaster for their commanders.

Drawing extensively on original eye witness accounts, logs and journals, Ill-Starred Captains brings to life the tragic histories of the two men for whom "Fortune had changed seemingly beyond recall, from smiling goddess to right whore."

'[Anthony Brown's] ingenious interweaving of the tales of these two very different expeditions brings the story of Australia's exploration to life in a riveting and insightful new narrative'
- Tim Flannery.
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Mutiny, shipwrecks, escaped convicts, cannibalism, lost love and death are just some of the rich ingredients of eight real life stories of heroic voyages in small open boats.

These extraordinary survival stories include that of Captain William Bligh who, following the infamous Bounty mutiny, successfully navigated 3600 miles in an open boat from the South Pacific to Timor. Convicts Mary Broad and James Martin, with no sailing experience, escaped from the Botany Bay penal colony and sailed north along the treacherous Australian coast, also to Timor. After his ship was crushed by ice, Ernest Shackleton and five crew battled unimaginable Antarctic storms and cold for sixteen days and nights to arrive on the wild and uninviting South Georgia Island. Failed in love, Fred Rebell, said goodbye to Australia and sailed from Sydney to California in a second-hand open boat with a small canvas shelter, using navigation skills learned from books in Sydney Public Library and a pencil-drawn copy of a map from an out-of-date atlas.

Survivors provides a unique eye-witness record of some of the greatest feats of human endurance: being lost in a vast ocean in a small boat and overcoming the greatest of odds in the very harshest conditions.
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