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Mariner's Library

Rough And Tumble

By A. W. Roberts

Published by Sampson Low, 1936

In April 1933 Bob Roberts and Arthur ‘Bully’ Bull set sail in Thelma, an engineless 27ft gaff cutter, from Erith on the River Thames bound for Darwin, Australia. Bob and Arthur had resigned from their jobs as, respectively, a Daily Mail newspaperman and a Metropolitan police officer for their epic voyage.


Sadly, after many escapades, the passage was cut short on Cocos Island off Costa Rica, where they arrived almost two months after transiting the Panama Canal. Like many before and after them, the pair had been lured to Cocos with irresistible stories of buried treasure and with the face-keeping excuse of potting fresh water.


While away digging for the lost gold and silver of Lima, Peru, the anchor chain of Thelma, parted and they later found her on the rocks of Chatham Bay. This is an adventure story of penniless youth, on a circumnavigation complemented by dreams of making a fortune and the grit and determination required in preparing and sailing an unsponsored small boat towards both goals.

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