A Candle for the Atlantic

(4 customer reviews)


  • Author Name: Rosemary Redway
  • Publication Date: 28/11/2018
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

SKU: 9781912575503 Categories: , , Tags: , , ,


This book is a memoir of events that occurred 26 years ago. It is a tale of ferocious seas and wild winds, powerful currents and profound experiences. The reader will come to know the skipper, his boat and his crew. Instances of paranoia, addiction and malfunction exist alongside the mystery of the elements, the beauty of the universe, camaraderie, joy, freedom, adventure and love.

When casualty staff nurse Rosie fell in love with an old two-masted schooner in Whitby harbour little did she know how this would lead her into the adventure of a life time. With virtually no experience of sailing she nevertheless embarked in 1992 upon a six-month voyage aboard the Helga Maria as a deckhand and medic. Throughout the voyage the fury of the elements was a constant reminder of the dangers faced by those at sea, but there were kinder times, too, of sun-warmed decks, bare feet, laughter and the revelation of the disparate personalities with whom she rubbed shoulders.

The homeward stretch of re-crossing the Atlantic from Newfoundland was blighted by total engine failure, thus exposing the boat to drifting helplessly at the mercy of severe northerly gales and monstrous seas threatening to overwhelm them. Electrical failure rendered them incommunicado with the outside world, candle power was all there was to illumine the compass at night. Supplies ran low, hunger weakened them. Could they make it home safely?

Rosemary Redway lives in Kelso, Scottish Borders. She grew up in the West Riding of Yorkshire and trained as a staff nurse at Leeds General Infirmary, later becoming a theatre nurse after qualifying four years later. After marrying in 1957 and having four children, Rosemary and her husband separated and she moved to Whitby on the Yorkshire coast in 1797. It was here that she began her seafaring adventure.

4 reviews for A Candle for the Atlantic

  1. Kathy Zablotzky

    I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely book. Rosemary evokes such deep emotions and draws you into her incredible adventure!

  2. Mike Smith

    I loved the book, thought it was amazing! The ways she narrates the story draws you into it. I can’t wait for the next one!

  3. Mike Anderson

    Rosemary Redway has written a vivid account of her journey across the Atlantic in 1992, from the UK to America, detailing a horrendous, epic journey home to the UK.
    Having experienced the violence of the Atlantic myself, it brought back many memories for me. Her account made me feel as though I was alongside her, feeling the sun, the wind, the cold, the fear, the anxiety, the magnificence of the sea one moment, then the gut wrenching exposure to its immense unstoppable power the next. The flaws and foibles of her fellow crew members, well told without blame or criticism.
    She takes you through the full gamut of emotions, happiness, fear, how she coped, calmed and helped other crew members, no mean feat for someone who had never undertaken such a journey before, the story is a tribute to her strength of character and courage, truly an inspiration to us all.

  4. Hilary Hook

    An extraordinary tale of survival, which has you living every moment. A remarkably sanguine tale of this ill-led expedition, with the shifting dynamics of the relationships on board and the day-to-day sheer hard work to keep the ship afloat and the crew fed, kept tolerably sane and, thanks to Rosemary’s nursing capabilities, in reasonable health is vividly described. Despite the hardships she also conveys to the reader her delight in life on the ocean. An excellent read.

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