'So I began thinking again of those two white blanks on the map, of penguins and humming birds, of the pampas and of gauchos, in short, of Patagonia, a place where, one was told, the natives' heads steam when they eat marmalade.' So responded H. W. Bill' Tilman to his own realisation that the Himalaya were too high for a mountaineer now well into his fifties. He would trade extremes of altitude for the romance of the sea with, at his journey's end, mountains and glaciers at a smaller scale; and the less explored they were, the better he would like it. Within a couple of years he had progressed from sailing a 14-foot dinghy to his own 45-foot pilot cutter Mischief , readied for her deep-sea voyaging, and recruited a crew for his most ambitious of private expeditions. Well past her prime, Mischief carried Tilman, along with an ex-dairy farmer, two army officers and a retired civil servant, safely the length of the North and South Atlantic oceans , and through the notoriously difficult Magellan Strait , against strong prevailing winds, to their icy landfall in the far south of Chile . The shore party spent six weeks crossing the Patagonian ice cap , in both directions, returning to find that their vessel had suffered a broken propeller. Edging north under sail only, Mischief put into Valparaiso for repairs, and finally made it home to Lymington via the Panama Canal , for a total of 20,000 nautical miles sailed, in addition to a major exploration first' all here related with the skipper's characteristic modesty and bone-dry humour, and many photographs.