Born in Liverpool in 1945, Roy Starkey grew up fascinated with the natural world. As a schoolboy he joined the local botanical society and made a number of trips to isolated bird observatories around the British coast. At the age of twenty-five he became disillusioned by the politics of university research and decided to leave and do his own thing.
With very little money, no boatbuilding skills and no experience of the sea he built Sea Loone, a thirty-three foot sloop, and sailed away. The boat and crew were soon tested on the ocean, first losing the mast over the side and then sailing into one of the worst gales ever - the 1979 ''Fastnet Gale'' - which claimed eighteen lives on the 306 yachts participating in that year''s biannual ''Fastnet Race''.
Over the next nearly forty years Sea Loone sailed throughout the tropics finally completing three very convoluted circumnavigations of the world.
Having experienced hardships, tragedies and many happy adventures, Roy at last decided to put pen to paper and record his remarkable story.