A discontented young functionary in an English advertising agency, just before World War II, decided to chuck his career of bicycles and breakfast cereals. With high heart but lily-white hands, he signed aboard an immense sailing vessel engaged in grain trade. And this is the circumstantial log of Newby's unsentimental journey from Belfast to Australia and home again. He made his apprenticeship with an infinity of gear-rigging and maritime protocol, and he consorted with a Scandinavian crew as tough, terrible and splendid as the storms at sea they had to face. The appeal lies not in the narrative but in the exactitude of the sailing knowledge learned. The landlubber, who wants adventure, gets mainly the benefit of Newby's ear for dialogue and his knack of transliteration.... One year before the meet is not half as good as two.