Cruises in Small Yachts and Big Canoes; or Notes from The Log of the “Watersnake, In Holland and on the South Coast, The Logs of the “Water Rat” and “Viper,” On the Thames and South Coast, with Remarks on Anchorages for Small Craft - H. Fiennes Speed 1883 - Norie & Wilson, London - First Edition A charming, and amusing account, charmingly illustrated throughout with 62 vignettes and two full page woodcuts ‘by The Crew’, as well as ten maps (two of which are folding). Exemplifying the style and approach to yachting by the gentleman sailor and his chums, and also in this case, his young wife, unused to water, but brave and devoted enough to accompany him aboard the ‘big canoe’ for seven weeks.

Harry Fiennes Speed (1857-), attended Brazenose College, Oxford and as Captain of the Oxford Canoe Club made a cruise in a small canoe down the Thames to Margate and back, 259 miles of river and coastal work in ten days. He practised as a barrister, later turning to the ministry.
  Reference: Toy, Adventures Afloat 254.

pp. viii 288 [8 advertisements]. Publisher’s brown cloth spine lettered in gilt, front board lettered in gilt and black with gilt vignette of boat all enclosed with single black fillet. Note: the first edition was published in a number of different cloth colours including - brown, blue and green.

Provenance: Albert Collier with his hand written name and date Sep. 1888 to front. Later from the library of nautical historian and eye surgeon Dr. Michael Gilkes with his illustrated bookplate.

Michael Gilkes FRCS, FRCOphth., FRGS (1923-2014). - During a long and rich life, this passion for adventure would see Michael crewing on an America’s Cup Race, living and working for a time researching glaucoma in both Jerusalem and the Gambia, building his own thirty-foot yacht in his back garden and sailing her around Britain and over to Europe, and traveling extensively, particularly in South America. On his retirement from his career as an ophthalmic surgeon, he made a number of voyages back to Antarctica – the region which fascinated and drew him the most.’

Obituary from the
British Medical Journal - ‘Dr. Michael Gilkes FRCS, FRCO, FRGS, (1923-2014) started his professional medical career as the Leith Harbour whaling station Medical Officer. As a newly qualified doctor, Michael Gilkes travelling from Leith, Scotland, aboard Saluta to become Medical Officer at Leith whaling station from 1946 to 1948. Whilst there he lived in the whaling station Manager’s Villa. His time at South Georgia coincided with the visit of explorer Niall Rankin. The two men got on well and Michael was invited along on several expeditionary trips around the island. This is something he mentions in one of several articles about his experiences and opinions on South Georgia for the Polar Publishing website. After South Georgia he went aboard the whaling factory ship Southern Harvester to act as ship's surgeon.

On returning to the UK, he was house surgeon at the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, after which he trained as an eye surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He later took a position as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital where he worked for thirty years. His work also took him to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan as a visiting consultant and examiner.

Throughout his life he retained an interest in South Georgia and the Antarctic and he accumulated a huge library on the region. He was a founder Friend of SPRI, a founding member of the James Caird Society, and was a member of the South Georgia Association. His wide ranging other interests included model engineering and competitive sailing. After a 40 year gap Michael returned to South Georgia aboard a cruise ship. A trip he repeated several times afterwards.’

  Condition: Very good, rubbing to edges and spine ends, some light foxing internally, inner hinges with evidence of earlier repair.   Ref: 108234   Price: HK$ 1,600