I just have to mention the following. I picked it up from a charity shop during one of the infrequent pauses allowed to me when Mrs. G is ferociously retailing.
Apart from the theme - about small boats, a life long interest of mine, the narrative took the reader on a quite amazing solo voyage of some two to three thousand miles along the canals and rivers of Europe starting in the North West of England and finishing in the Black Sea.
All the more startling when you learn that the author is proposing to make this odyssey in a ten foot long by four feet wide, ply wood, Mirror class dinghy. This is, or was, a very popular class of racing sailing dinghy designed to introduce small children into the ways of the sea generally and racing particularly.
This venture spectacularly defies belief. The young man, a teacher, stretches credulity beyond the point of ready acceptance. He triumphs over commercial locks, French peniches, the weather, near starvation, the raging Rhine. He crosses the busiest waterway in the world; the English Channel in a TEN feet dinghy. I felt vulnerable in a 30 footer !
The name of the book is "The unlikely voyage of Jack de Crow" by A.J. Mackinnon. Seafarer Books. ISBN 0-95381-805-5 £12.95.
This is a wonderful, wonderful read. Enthralling !