Troubador Adjacent to the Argonauts

Released: 03/07/2010

ISBN: 9781848762947

eISBN: 9781848769717

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Adjacent to the Argonauts

by

Blatchley’s First Law of Nautical Recreation: “The brilliance of the manoeuvre is in inverse proportion to the number of people watching it.”

When three stolid Englishmen take a late-season sailing holiday in Greece, they take with them a number of firm preconceptions about sailing and Mediterranean culture. As they progress erratically through the Saronic and Argolic islands and the coasts of Greece, their notions are radically altered as they learn the hard way about Mediterranean sailing and more gently about the people, geography, cuisine and history of the host nation.

Filled with sea, sunshine, cheerful mayhem and serendipitous discoveries, Adjacent to the Argonauts will charm travel-addicts, Hellenophiles and sailors alike as fate and the good ship Nissos drag Julian, Rex and Malcolm to their unlikely epiphany.

With echoes of Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, Adjacent to the Argonauts is a humorous sailor’s yarn written for both the Old Salt and Landlubber, describing how the author first came to know and love Greece and the Greeks a quarter of a century ago. It unveils how a light-hearted sailing trip, despite numerous nautical misadventures, unexpectedly developed into an introduction to Greece so compelling that the narrator has made Greece his second home.

"A brilliant book- not only a travelogue but a history and good food guide as well. A laugh a minute, and at times I could not read about the antics for the tears running down my cheeks. Julian Blatchley has written a seafaring classic. Highly enjoyale and a great read."

-The Nautical Magazine

Adjacent to the Argonauts is not just a book. It is a delicious, boaty, sunny Aegean sailing experience that takes the reader to Greece and gives him a damn good holiday.

Beautifully written and occasionally hilarious, this book deserves to become a best seller.

- David Baboulene, author of Ocean Boulevard and Jumping Ships.

http://www.julianblatchley.com

Athens Times, February 2011

Athens News, January 2011

Nautical Magazine

Nautical Magazine, December 2010

Recent press coverage from Bavaria

Recent press coverage from Bavaria

The Westmorland Gazette, July 2010

Sailing World March 2010

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Julian Blatchley

Julian Blatchley went to sea at the age of seventeen and has not really come back yet. He is expected imminently.

After reading Swallows and Amazons at an early age he was convinced he could sail, and ‘borrowed’ a boat to try it out. Unfortunately, the boat belonged to a policeman, but the resulting pre-PC clip under the ear did nothing to dissuade him, and all things to do with the water became his obsession. He taught himself to sail, race and dive (not recommended) and progressed to racing quarter-ton yachts (with occasional success) by the time he left school.

Schooldays were not the best part of his life; he was an artful truant and games-dodger and emerged at an atypical sprint with a haphazard selection of mediocre qualifications, a liking for Shakespeare and Beethoven, a solid grasp of tractor-reversing and a reputation as a good man with a spinnaker. Having spent most of his spare time with older people, he was so alienated from popular culture that he thought David Bowie made knives and had a vague idea that Thin Lizzy was the consumptive-looking girl at the back of the class. There was really very little for it but to pack him off to sea.

Julian loved the sea-life and spent ten years on tramp cargo-ships. He travelled world-wide and spent a lot of time in the Pacific, a period he calls his ‘Conrad Days’. He showed a real aptitude for astro-navigation, and so was not at all surprised when someone invented a machine which made it obsolete and put him in the dole-queue. After a decade at sea, he was forced to accept a position on an oil-tanker and learn a new trade.

He rose quickly to Chief Mate but didn’t like tanker life much. Consequently, when he overstayed a sailing holiday in Greece (the story told in Adjacent to the Argonauts) he found it an easy step to leave commercial shipping and go into charter yachting. He worked as a charter-skipper in the Mediterranean, set up a charter company in Malaysia, and in between did long- and short-distance yacht deliveries… mostly against the prevailing winds doing the trips no-one would pay to do; as a result, he believes that he has sailed further to windward than anyone should have to.

After four years in the yacht charter game, it became apparent that the doctors might be wrong and Julian might yet need a pension, so back to sea he went, driving supertankers. He got his first command shortly after, and found being in charge made tanker life a lot more bearable! He later spent some time as the offshore manager of a few oilfields. Getting very bored with oilfield politics after a while he became a marine pilot, which is still the day-job, and one he adores. He works berthing and loading large tankers at offshore oil rigs, a job which combines doing something he loves with avoiding politics and giving him time to write. He describes himself as a parking attendant.

Julian bought his first house at the age of thirty-six… up to then he had lived on his boat when on leave… and did not put a television into it until he was forty-two. Now fifty, he has considered attaching it to an antenna, but isn’t rushing into it. He made a late but highly successful debut in the fatherhood market and lives with his partner Renate and four-year old daughter Nerissa, two wonderful dogs and cat who deigns to drop by once a week or so. He spends every possible moment sailing his 45-foot sloop in the Mediterranean, and takes inordinate pride in the ability of his dogs to climb up the swimming-ladder. Nerissa loves to sail, and thinks being seasick is enormous fun.

Adjacent to the Argonauts is Julian’s first book. A sequel covering his life as a charter-skipper is planned, but he is currently working on a humorous historical novel set in the Napoleonic wars… when he is at work. At home he wonders how anyone with a kid ever manages to read a book, let alone write one!

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