Want to hear me talking about ‘Sextant’ on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’? Here’s the link!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03whplsSextant banner


3 thoughts on “Want to hear me talking about ‘Sextant’ on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’? Here’s the link!

  1. So lovely to hear about your book today on Radio 4. My Granddad Colin (Skipper) was a fantastic sailor and inspired me to teach sailing. Due to him I ended up teaching in Greece and the Solent. I continued working on boats following that and now live in the US.
    I gather the book launch is tomorrow and there will be a full contingent of McMullens there (!). Unfortunately I am in the States but I know that my sister Claire has been in touch.

  2. Here’s a question for Sextant people from a very non-sextant person. It may be a non-question because most people reading this won’t have seen what I’m referring to! In which fine and enticing light, here goes.

    I recently saw the new Robert Redford film, directed by J. D. Chandler, “All is Lost.” It’s on general release in the US. I have no idea if it’s out in the UK. The story line is simple: a sailor is alone in his boat deep in the Indian Ocean when he’s more than a little stove in by a floating piece of industrial metal (symbolism here!), after which begins, while the water pours through the hull in buckets, a battle about how it might be possible to survive (no boats anywhere on the horizon, far out of the shipping lanes). Before long the boat sinks and the sailor whose name we never know, nor do we know why he’s so far out there alone, takes to an inflatable raft. Among the things he throws into the raft just before the boat disappears is a package containing a sextant! Over the course of the next day or two, as he tries to survive excruciating sun, waves, storms, the loss of all fresh water (solves that one cleverly methinks–but what do I know?–read on!), he reads the instructions and starts to use the sextant to figure out where he is. Looks OK to me, the non-sextanter!! Not so, says my dearest friend, who has been a sailor since childhood. He, the unnamed sailor in the film, uses it all wrong I’m told, and, to boot, how could such a person be so far away from land, alone, without knowing how to use a sextant? In fact, my friend goes on to say, virtually everything this fellow does to survive is silly. A real sailor would have done x and y, but never 1 and 2! As I say, what do I know? But YOU might know if you’ve seen the film! If you do know, let me and others know too! (I’m forwarding a copy of this comment to my friend, who does sail alone but, unlike his Redfordian counterpart, has a name–Jack!–so he can chime in on any responses which appear here! 🙂


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