When an Englishman and a Scots go a-roving -- in a 19'8'' craft there's a cheerful nonsense ing to their tale. On the theory of the safety of a small deckedin dinghy, Ellam tried out the Thela, then had the Sopranino built to specifications, proved her as a racer and gave in to his dream of sailing the Atlantic. Mudie filled his requirements as companion and, after being accepted as a British Merchant ship, with full papers- they were off. Their w one proved sensible, sensitive, delicate -- and dignified, even with g under her tal and in glassy calm, and carried them, not without comment and curiosity, to Spain, Portugal, Africa, Las Palma, Barbados, the Windward, Leeward and Virgin Islands, Florida, the Inland Waterway -- and New York City. Their life in port as well as afloat in their ""little box of civilization"", the routine of keeping a smart ship, midget though she , how to deal firmly with problems as they arose, the long four week haul across the ocean which was never dull, the interpolations by Mudie (not always polite) as he adds to Ellam's tale -- all add up to a wingding of sailing story, where there's lots of fun along with the factual material.