In 1939, a young Eric Newby – later renowned as a travel writer of exceptional talent – set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe. Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home – ‘the grain race’ – in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft.
First published in 1956, ‘The Last Grain Race’, featuring many photographs from the author’s personal collection, celebrates both the spirit of adventure and the thrill of sailing on the high seas. Newby’s first-hand account – engaging and informative, with frequent bursts of humour and witty observations from both above and below deck – chronicles this classic sailing voyage of the Twenties and Thirties, and records the last grain race of maritime history.
Dana gives an engrossing, detailed account of the workings of the ship, the day-to-day routines of the deck hands, and the brutal shortcomings of inept, tyrannical officers. This “author’s addition” includes a chapter written by Dana twenty-four years after his initial voyage where he revisits some of the people, places and vessels that he had encountered on his original journey.