The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow by A.J. Mackinnon

The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow

By A.J. Mackinnon

  • Release Date: 2014-04-23
  • Genre: Essays & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 34 Ratings
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A couple of quiet weeks sailing the River Severn was the intention. Somehow things got out of hand – a year later I had reached Romania and was still going ...

Truly hilarious books are rare. Even rarer are those based on real events. Join A.J. Mackinnon, your charming and eccentric guide, on an amazing voyage in a boat called Jack de Crow.

Equipped with his cheerful optimism and a pith helmet, this Australian Odysseus in a dinghy travels from the borders of North Wales to the Black Sea – 4,900 kilometres over salt and fresh water, under sail, at the oars, or at the end of a tow-rope – through twelve countries, 282 locks and numerous trials and adventures, including an encounter with Balkan pirates. Along the way he experiences the kindness of strangers, gets very lost, and perfects the art of slow travel.

“a great travel writer and more importantly a great traveller”—The Sydney Morning Herald

“not just an adventurer, but an artist, philosopher and keen observer of the world around him”—The Canberra Times

“Mackinnon’s journey makes a lovely picaresque tale, one dotted with English literary references and wonderful descriptions of the English and European countryside”— Good Reading

“a marvellous adventure, and Mackinnon recounts it with humour and unflagging enthusiasm ... a clever and entirely engaging read”—The Melbourne Times

“a wonderful idea for a book – a series of ever bolder improvisations ... undertaken in praise of the spirit of adventure”—Times Literary Supplement

A. J. (Sandy) Mackinnon was born in Australia in 1963 and spent his childhood between England and Australia, travelling with his family on the last P&O liners to sail between the two countries. His interests include painting, philosophy, writing, conjuring and home-made fireworks. He is currently a teacher of English, Drama, Mathematics and Philosophy in the Victorian High Country. He is the author of The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow and The Well at the World's End.


  • A pleasure read

    By Fi Perman
    This book is a delight. I was "encouraged" to read it by my father and in all honesty didn't have much desire to. I had promised I would so gave it a go and couldn't put it down! Subsequently I have given it as a gift. A real boys own adventure, but the clever and humorous writing kept me spellbound. Give it a go - I can't imagine anyone not living it!
  • Highly entertaining but slightly annoying

    By Yottieguy
    "Mad Aussie goes on adventure" - not another one, you might think. The book is a fun read but while he admits to exaggerating for effect, you can't quite believe that he would be so naive and downright inept - for someone that grew up sailing. For example he has no maps yet detailed Ordinance Survey maps are available. He crosses the channel and is surprised to find its tidal - despite talking to the coastguard beforehand. Worst of all, he looses the jib and then finds he can't tack - but never bothers to replace it despite many opportunities. To anyone else thinking of copying him , my tip would be to start in Calais and head for the Med!
  • I almost want to do it now too!...

    By JBMarigold
    It's lucky AJ Mckinnon has given me such a delightful account of his adventure... I feel as though I want to replicate it, although without all the hard rowing! Beautifully written with endless tales that keep you hurrying back to read the next chapter. Worth every cent.