Arthur Ransome Wiki

The sailing yarn Racundra's First Cruise was first published in 1923 and marked Ransome's return to non-journalistic and non-political writing. Racundra was built in 1921-22 in Riga, Latvia, after Ransome's adventures in Russia. The cruise referred to in the title was from Riga, across the Baltic, to Helsingfors and back again. The crew were Ransome himself, the Cook (Evgenia Shelepina), and the "Ancient Mariner", Carl Sehmel, (the model for Peter Duck). The book is considered a classic of sailing literature.


Left Riga, Runö island visited and left to port, entered Moon Sound with Paternoster lighthouse to port and Werder to starboard, Moon island to port, Shildau island to starboard, passed Erik Stone and east of Harry island leaving Worms island astern, north of Spithanmn promontory and Sandgrund, Grasgrund left abeam, Roogö island to starboard, attempted to tack up Roogowik bay to Baltic Port failed, Pakerort light, Surop light, left Nargon island to port, Zigelsko bay to Reval, berthed by the Yacht Club.

Cook stayed at Reval while Ransome, Ancient Mariner and Mr Wirgo visited Helsingfors, passing Nargon and Wulf islands, Aransgrund light vessel, where they took a pilot who took them to Nylands Yacht Club. Swung the ship and corrected compass. Left Nylands passing Grohara Island, Aransgrund light vessel, back to Reval.

Reval past Surop lighthouse, past Lahepe bay, past Pakerort lighthouse into Roogowik bay to Baltic Port.

Sept 7 left Baltic Port, passed West Roogö Point, past Spithanmn promontory, anchored for the night, went between Worms island and the mainland, anchored near Sbigneva bank, Ramsholm, then via Nukke channel to Hapsal bay and town. Stayed two nights, then to Heltermaa on Dagö island. Kuivast on Moon island, with its Gates of Moon, then to Werder/Wirtsu, Then return to Riga.

In 2002, Brian Hammett edited and compiled a sequel, Racundra's Third Cruise, bringing together Ransome's draft of an unfinished book, his diary entries and entries from the ship's log.

Arthur Ransome sold Racundra in 1925.