Troubador The Trojan Walrus

Released: 28/11/2015

ISBN: 9781784624842

Format: Paperback

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The Trojan Walrus

The Misadventures of an English Stowaway on the Aegean Sea


Blatchley’s Second Law of Nautical Recreation: One meets a better class of people in collisions. Julian is a stout Englishman, no doubt about that: So why, when fortune deposits him in Greece, does he get the feeling that he has come home? He also appears to be without employment. With immediate and decisive action obviously called for, he relaxes and waits to see what will happen next. Early blooms are radiant in the Mediterranean sun as Greece’s sailing season comes fitfully to life. Easily seduced by this lifestyle and by the promise of the coming summer, the Falstaffian intruder decides to make his new employment as a yacht-charter skipper in the sun-drenched, pristine, watercolour amphitheatre of the Aegean Sea. They’ve already fallen for a Trojan horse… let’s see how they feel about a Trojan walrus. Follow Julian as he attempts to sidle into the Aegean yachting world, negotiating in turn the Byzantine complexities of navigation, customs, marine regulations, romance, peer-pressure and the roasting of entire pigs in the Wine-Dark Sea. A sequel to Adjacent to the Argonauts (which received many 5-star ratings) this is a comical romp through the Aegean in which we see, from the author’s affectionate perspective and through his maladroit experiences, the places, customs, history, cuisine and attitudes which go to make the anarchic jigsaw of this beautiful, captivating sea.

"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.

Westmorland Gazette

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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!

Julian Blatchley

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