The Canoe Boys

The First Epic Scottish Sea Journey by Kayak

By Alastair Dunnett, Ninian Dunnett

Format: Paperback

An illustrated work that offers an account of the first recorded long-distance sea-kayak trip made along Scotland's West Coast in the Autumn of 1934.

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Neil Wilson Publishing

Neil Wilson Publishing is a small, independent company which prides itself on being innovative and original. Under five imprints they produce a wide range of books with a Scottish flavour.

Product Description


"It's too late in the year!" they were advised, but they still did it. By canoe from Bowling to Kyle of Lochalsh with numerous stops along the way, Alastair Dunnett and Seamas Adam spent a heady Autumn in the 1934 meandering up the glorious West Coast of Scotland. On their way they sent reports back to the Daily Record informing the readers of their progress and the people they met along the way. Their account makes fascinating reading as they were hailed by onlookers and bystanders wherever they went as 'The Canoe Boys'. Escapades as varied as running the infamous tide-rush of the Dorus Mhor to a balmy harvest working on Calve Island off Mull, quenching their thirst with a mug of drammach (oats and water) are related in superb, lyrical style by Dunnett. This is an adventure story of youthful exuberance and of how life once was lived before the war changed everything for ever. Fully illustrated with archival material and contemporary press cuttings, this cult travelogue will find a new market among the growing number of adventure kayakers taking to Scotland's coastal waters.

This new illustrated edition has an introduction by Dunnett's son, Ninian who has also supplied a full glossary and notes on each chapter.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Neil Wilson Publishing
Publication Date 23 May 2007
ISBN 9781903238998
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

'Quite enthralling. I have read it with unfailing interest and unflagging pleasure.' Eric linklater 'One of the most unusual travel books published in a long time - Only those who have sailed among the Western Isles in substantial craft can realise the full implication of a trip there in a frail canoe. Such a method of voyaging in these waters seems fantastic. Yet it was done - absorbing reading.' Glasgow Herald 'A daring feat.' Sunday Times ' - spacious, humorous, penetrating log-book - the observant eye as well as the racy pen. New Books 'Adventure surely was part of the story, and that aspect of it is given full prominence. But there was more to it than adventure; there was a purposeful determination to discover personally the causes contributing to the depopulation of the Highlands.' Sunday Mail 'The purpose and spirit of the book stand forth inspiringly.' Daily Record 'A memorable cruise - he hotly denies that Highlanders are sly ne'er-do-weels; he rails at authority for its neglect of Gaeldom.' Evening Dispatch 'As a record of what must have been a very hazardous voyage, this is first-rate and exciting reading. It is, in the highest sense, a fine travel book.' Evening Citizen 'The charm of the book as a record of experience does not obscure the value inherent in its assessment of conditions and potentialities in a beautiful but long neglected area.' Scotsman

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