Rowing After the White Whale

A Crossing of the Indian Ocean by Hand

By James Adair

Format: Multiple Formats

Both funny and engaging, this is the story of two completely inexperienced, under-prepared recent graduates who were fed up with life in the City and set out to row across the Indian Ocean.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

Product Description


'Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut' - Ernest Hemingway Over a boozy Sunday lunch, flatmates James Adair and Ben Stenning made a promise to row across the ocean. At first they considered the Pacific, then the Atlantic, but once James Cracknell and Ben Fogle completed the high-profile Atlantic Rowing Race, their thoughts turned to the Indian Ocean, longer and tougher than the Atlantic and having seen fewer people row across its waters than have walked on the Moon. After years of planning and fund raising, they are ready to launch in Spring 2011. Neither James nor Ben had any rowing or sailing experience. To add to this, James had contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome at the age of 14, which had locked his body into total paralysis for three months (while his mind had remained completely active) and which had left him with paralysed feet. This was a challenge that neither man should have ever considered.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 3 Mar 2015
SKU 9781846973277-grouped
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

'A challenge like few others - one that requires total commitment and perseverance in the face of Mother Nature often at her most terrifying. I have huge respect for this brave duo. They knew that the blisters and pain wouldn't last forever! An epic achievement' - Bear Grylls 'Funny and terrifying' - Hattie Morahan, The Independent 'A rousing tale of an adventure that most of us could scarcely dream about' - The Canberra Times 'An heroic journey' -- - The Daily Mail 'a most readable account of real adventure by brave men' -- John Blashford-Snell 'This is a truly splendid book, reminiscent, in its celebration of the triumph of cheerful resolve over incompetence, of Eric Newby's A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush. It is a book without artifice of any kind, very funny and with the ring of many appalling truths' -- Sam Llewellyn 'an excellent read: spirited and funny but also thoughtful, touching and well written' -- Stephen Taylor 'This is an outstanding book brilliantly written and I very highly recommend it' -- Shipping Magazine

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