Eric Newby was born in London in 1919 and educated at St Paul's School. In 1938 he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe by way of Cape Horn. During World War II he served in the Special Boat Service, and was awarded the Military Cross in 1945. He was a prisoner of war in Italy from 1942-5, and it was during this time that he met Wanda, his beloved wife and travelling companion of many years. Following the war he spent ten years as a commercial traveller in the rag trade and in a London couture house and then resumed his independent travelling career when he decided to take a short walk in the Hindu Kush. For many years he was travel editor of the Observer. He was the author of a number of bestselling travel books, including Slowly Down the Ganges, A Small Place in Italy, Departures and Arrivals, and two books of photographs: What the Traveller Saw and Around the World in Eighty Years. He was made CBE in 1994. Eric Newby died in October 2006.
'Enthralling - I know of no other book about square-riggers that gives such a lively account of the daily round of men in the fo'c'sle' Sunday Times
'Indescribably pungent ... impossible to read without laughing' Observer
'Mr Newby proves himself to be a first-rate writer ... Years have dulled nothing of the spirit of his first voyage; he gives exactly the feel of working a tall ship in hard conditions; he did not just see these things; he felt and can convey them; the crew of "Moshulu" live, move and are real human beings - and go on living when the book is closed' Times Literary Supplement