Sailing. Let the sun climb over the yard-arm, take a long swig of your gin and tonic and ask yourself what the word means to you. Royalty and the super-rich, St Tropez and the Caribbean, gin and tonics and, well, gin and tonics.
There is another kind of sailing. Michael Hutchinson wasted his youth racing a tiny plywood dinghy on Belfast Lough, where avoiding the shoals of sewage-eating jellyfish was an essential tactic, and where relations with his fifteen-year-old crewmate became so fraught that he suffered the indignity of a full-blown mutiny.
For fifteen years afterwards, Hutchinson stayed firmly put on dry land. But still a primal urge coursed through him. He needed to feel wind in his hair, taste salt on his lips, and drink gin and tonics until he fell over. So, armed with nothing beyond the ability to tie a bowline with one hand, he re-entered the world of boats.
What began as a voyage of discovery turned into an addiction, as he looked for ever better ways to get cold and wet. He ended up risking life and limb in a Scottish gale, crashing someone else's yacht into the Isle of Wight and spending £4,238 on gin and tonics.
Hello Sailor is one of the UK's funniest young writers hitting top form. It's beautifully observed, thoroughly addictive and guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. And best of all, you don't have to get cold and wet to read it.