” It was a fantastical sail, gentle yet purposeful. The evening’s air had enough power to cause a rustle at the dinghy’s forefoot and leave a curving ripple that soon lapped at the shiny wet mud edges left by the bottoming ebb….

Running with a freed sheet, the skipper felt with deep satisfaction the natural beauty around. The breeze seemed to hang suspended, and it could hardly be felt. The deep saline tang pervading could almost be cut, sliced up and served as it drifted from the saltings hanging over the sea-moss covered banks a little above.”

With these words Nick Ardley describes a glorious evening sail around the Walton Backwaters, just one of the many locations covered in his book “Swinging the lamp”. If you have never taken the time to explore the East Coast’s myriad of tiny creeks, or marvel at the natural beauty of such a place then this book will surely persuade you that you should.

Written with a wealth of passion and a richness of detail the book brings the East Coast to life in a unique and gentle way, exploring rivers and creeks from the Thames to the Deben and uncovering little tales from the past along the way.

Regaling tales or “swinging the lamp” is an ancient seafaring tradition and one which the author continues as he weaves an absorbing account of life past and present on the East Coast rivers. From the Medway barge match to quarantine island, West Mersea to the Walton Backwaters the reader is taken on a gentle journey along the coast uncovering historical mysteries and soaking up the atmosphere of a life afloat. Illustrated throughout with the authors sketches and photographs, this is a book that will make you want to go sailing and it is a great introduction to the wonders of the East Coast.

For more information on Nick Ardley and all his books please see his website