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CELTIC GOLD

A VOYAGE AROUND IRELAND
(London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1997), hdbk., pp.418

Signed copies available for £8 (inc.p.& p.) from the author.

“I strongly recommend this book … The account of Peter Marshall’s voyage – with all its drama, excitement, dangers overcome and a deeply satisfying sense of achievement – makes absorbing and enjoyable reading … Peter Marshall clearly has a great affection for the Irish and a sympathetic view of our history.”
Sean Haughey, Evening Herald

“Extremely competent … Its strength lies in clear and simple technical detail, avoiding the sort of nautical jargon that can deter the general reader. And, as with any such journey, it is made all the more enjoyable by the author’s warm accounts of the many wonderful people he meets.”
Lorna Siggins, Irish Times

“An absorbing story … not only one of a challenging navigation of difficult waters by a novice sailor but an exploration in some depth of Ireland’s havens and coastlines and their history, and more than that, an exploration of the Marshall’s own psyche. He is an engagingly enthusiastic eco-warrior … and exults in the way his ship Celtic Gold carries him across the Irish Sea and leaves not a trace of his passage.
Richard Snailham, Traveller

Celtic Gold is a triumph. What a wonderful book! It deserves a place on the bookshelf beside Giraldus’ Journey through Wales – for it too is a travel book with a host of wonderful asides, diversions into the history of Ireland, the geology, myths, and deeper than anything of Giraldus, musings about life’s meaning and relationships and personal vocation. I sensed that in writing it, [the author] had, as great writers do, found his true voice, the rhythm and tone of his being.”
Rev. Jonathan Lumby, author

With Irish ancestors he had never known, Peter Marshall was strongly drawn to the people, history and culture of Ireland. When his marriage was in difficulty, there seemed no better moment to fulfil a lifelong wish to sail around the country and to clear his head at the same time. But there was a problem: he had no yacht and had never skippered one before. So when he did eventually find the perfectly named Celtic Gold and set sail from his home in North Wales, it was a real voyage of discovery – not only of the skills of navigation but of an ancient and enigmatic land, of his unknown ancestors and of himself.

The journey proved to be truly exhilarating and challenging, both physically and spiritually, as he encountered sheltered bays and savage coastlines, the calm of great loughs and the wild fury of the Atlantic Ocean. Among many wonderful places, he visited the friendly harbours of Cork and Kerry, the remote Blasket and Aran islands, the wild anchorages of Donegal, the ancient sites of Newgrange and Tara, and the great cities of Dublin and Belfast. And as could only have happened in Ireland, he met along the way all manner of people: from fishermen, musicians, writers and storytellers to Naomi James, the first woman to circumnavigate the world, and the family of Charles Haughey, the controversial former Taoiseach of Ireland.

A captivating blend of travel, sailing and autobiography, Celtic Gold is a lyrical, exciting and ultimately uplifting story of an extraordinary journey.