Bill Tilman was probably the greatest adventure sailor of the 20th century. Slocum, of course, would have to take the accolade for the 19th century. So itís unfortunate that, while many sailors may have heard of Tilman, probably few are aware of how many voyages he made to the Arctic, South America
, around Africa
and to Antarctica. Here was a man driven by a thirst for adventure Ė he was 79 years old when he was lost
at sea in 1977.
I confess that Iíd heard the name but had little idea of Tilmanís voyages when I ordered the door-stopper 956-page compendium of his eight sailing-mountaineering books
to read over this winter away from Kuan Yin
But I became so intrigued to know more about Tilman that I located the biography of him by Tim Madge to find out more.
The Last Hero, Bill Tilman; A Biography of the Explorer by Tim Madge
was published in 1995 and is a highly readable and straightforward account of an extraordinary man. I've posted an account of Tilman's life and review of Madge's book on my website: www.oceannomad.ca