We Didn't Mean to go to Sea Hardcover – 1943
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Top Customer Reviews
It is inspirational in that the children triumph over the adversity of crossing to Holland in a small boat in shocking weather.
I have read this book countless times since receiving it as a child. It inspired me to sail and I could practically sail a boat for the first time, aged 12 years, having read this book.
Drag your children away from mind numbing computer games and role models who only want to look good - thrust this in their mitts and hopefully their imaginations will be inspired. If not, read it yourself and you never know, the magic of sailing will become a part of your live.
Jib-booms and bobstays, that was profound !
What starts out as a few days quiet sailing, though, quickly turns into something rather more frightening, with the children suddenly drawn into a terrifying and completely unexpected adventure, when they find themselves and their (borrowed) boat being swept out to sea by a fierce tide. For once, the Swallows face a very real and serious danger that is to test their combined courage, fortitude and seamanship to the utmost. It is fascinating (for grown-up readers, at least) to see each of the children's highly individual (and completely characteristic) reactions to their predicament. Younger readers, of course, are more likely just to be carried away by the pure nail-biting suspense of it all!
While this is a gripping and enthralling tale throughout, the tensions (arising from the danger and the worries of the older children) are lightened for the reader by the pure infectious glee of the younger pair. They, of course, are less aware of the seriousness of their predicament - especially Roger, who, as usual, is perfectly content so long as there is plenty of food around - and rather enjoy themselves!
As in all of the "Swallows and Amazons" books, Ransome's story-telling abilities are second to none, here.Read more ›
The various threads of what is to occur are cunningly weaved together in the introductory phases, setting the backdrop to the heart-stopping moment when the Walkers realise that The Goblin is dragging her anchor and the inexorable drifting out to sea has begun. The descriptions of the many incidents and decisions that are taken during the night that follows are masterly and riveting. The adult realism of the perils and dangers encountered make this novel vastly superior to others of its ilk and justifiably warrants the awards and praise that it has drawn. Although set in a time long gone, the story itself is timeless and will appeal to all generations of children.
Though having never been in a boat in my life, I had an aunt who lived in a harbour and I spent time with her when I was young. I still remember when the fog came in, wrapped the world in a moist blanket of grey and was met with the regular and mournful sound of a foghorn echoing in the void. I could feel and taste these memories reading this book. It is to Ransome's credit that despite my lack of any nautical experience, I fully understood his descriptions of what was happening in the boat and felt that I could handle myself quite well should I ever find myself drifting past the Beach End buoy!
For nostalgic reasons I have a definite preference for the hard-copy version of the book and would recommend the outlay of an extra few quid if you were considering buying a copy.
The same author wrote the more famous Swallows and Amazons.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an exciting tale of an unexpected sea crossing. The setting is "of its time" however the descriptions of sailing at night in strong weather in a small yacht are... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Diy Dad
A great book for kids with a bit of imagination. These are books I grew up with (I'm now retired)! this particular story is one of my favorites of this series.Published 9 months ago by KNUT
Great adventure and lovely development of all our favourite characters. And what a treasure Daddy turns out to be!! Terrific!Published 11 months ago by Waldo
I remember reading this when I was young and it being my favourite of the series - bought it again to read to my son & I really enjoyed the suspense & excitement of the adventure... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Becci P.