Who advertised that?

”Handman wanted for long voyage in small boat. No pay, no prospects, not much plaesure.”

It  was Major Harold William "Bill" Tilman,CBE, DSO, MC and Bar (14 February 1898–1977) was an English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages.

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is amilitary decoration of the United Kingdom, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.

He received the Military Cross (MC) with one bar, until to this day only 171 persons has received it!

In the beginning of the fities the idea to sail to the mountains, climb the summits from the boat.

No land journeys.

Only claciers ended in the ocean from alpine terrain.

So there weren’t many places to sail.

Patagonia or south of South Africa (Antarctis area) or Greenland.

In 1954 he bought his first Bristol Pilot Cutter, built 1906, a sail yacht that the pilots used to come first to the big ships on their way into the Bristol Chanel.

The bigger ship the more pay.

They were extremely well sailing – and fast!

Both the boats and the pilots!

So he got the boat, the idea - but no crew.

What to do.

Advertise in ”The Times”

The advertisement read:

”Handman wanted for long voyage in small boat. No pay, no prospects, not much plaesure.”

This he had to do for every trip! In princip different crews on each mission!

He made eight long sailings from a year to several moths and at the arrival the climbing!”


If you haven’t read this book and only sit on your chamber and admires your Vacheron&Constantins, please do an amazing travel in your armchair and get this book.


The Eight Sailing/Mountain-Exploration Books

(in one volume, 957 pages)

From 1987, last reprinted 2008.

I’m reading it for the 4th (!) time now.

It’s got everything, adventures, excitement, psychology, history,  descriptions of very special men and not least dry wonderful English humor at it’s best!


He diappeared consistent at sea, on what became his last sailing,

at the age of 79.

Either he or any of his comrades were ever found.

Ther is an exellent biography from 1980 by J.R.L. Anderson


I promise you want to read that after you read Tilman's books the first time cool

I hope to be back with a new small personal adventure in a month,



08/25/2014 - 00:06
08/25/2014 - 16:06
08/29/2014 - 11:54
Bill Tilman, a visionary
08/25/2014 - 16:06

In my mind, Tilman should be credited as the first Everest expedition leader to prove the worth of the alpine style of small and fast climbing teams in 1938 vs the usual militaristic seige-style organization more typical of the day.  Thanks Doc for this reminder of a great man smiley.

Re: Bill Tilman, a visionary
08/29/2014 - 11:54



I knew that if only one person would notice or even take time to read my little article, it would be you.

I fully agree in your words about Bill Tilman.

A great man.

A really great man!


Take care,