Bob Shepton is an ordained minister in the Church of England in his late 70s, but spends most of his time sailing into the Arctic and making first ascents of inaccessible mountains. No tea parties for this vicar.
Opening with the disastrous fire that destroyed his yacht whilst he was ice-bound in Greenland, the book travels back to his childhood growing up on the rubber plantation his father managed in Malaysia, moving back to England after his father was shot by the Japanese during the war, boarding school, the Royal Marines, and the church. We then follow Bob as he sails around the world with a group of schoolboys, is dismasted off the Falklands, trapped in ice, and climbs mountains accessible only from iceberg-strewn water and with only sketchy maps available.
Bob Shepton, winner of the 2013 Yachtsman of the Year Award, is an old-school adventurer, and this compelling book is in the spirit of sailing mountaineer HW Tilman, explorer Ranulph Fiennes, climber Chris Bonington and yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston, all of whom have been either friends of Bob's or an inspiration for his own exploits. Derring do in a dog collar!
Ranulph Fiennes: 'A wonderful true tale of adventure.'
Bear Grylls: 'You are going to enjoy this...as a Commando, Bob is clearly made of the right stuff!'
Bob Shepton has been a Royal Marines officer, a Reverend in London's East End, a school chaplain, and is an ordained minister in the Church of England. He has made 14 Atlantic crossings and carried out some 60 first ascents of mountains in Greenland and Arctic Canada. He won the Yachtsman of the Year Award in 2014, and the Royal Cruising Club's Tilman Medal twice (the only person to do so), the Cruising Club of America's Blue Water Medal and the Piolet d'Or (an annual mountaineering award given by the French magazine Montaigne).