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Click here to listen to this programmeListen to Excess Baggage for 10am 11 June 2005


The islands around the Pacific are full of tales of the beachcombers.  Sailors who (since the earliest voyages of exploration) jumped ship, mutinied or were shipwrecked, and stayed.  Men who travelled to the ends of the earth, with no real understanding of where they were going.

10am 11 June 2005
Presented by Sandi Toksvig


Miles Hordern

Miles grew up in land-locked Worcestershire. He first went to sea at the age of nineteen, in a 16-foot open boat bound from Cornwall to Africa. In 1990 he sailed single-handed from Britain to New Zealand. He has crossed the Pacific four times under sail and lives on Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

Latest book: Passage to Torres, Strait, published by John Murray, ISBN 0719564964

Richard Woodman

Richard Woodman was born in London in 1944. He became an indentured midshipman in cargo liners at 16 and has sailed in a variety of ships, serving from apprentice to captain. He remains a professional sailor and in 1978 won the Marine Society's Harmer Award.
He is a prolific writer, both in the field of maritime history but also as an extremely successful fiction author. His Nathaniel Drinkwater series is known throughout the world.

Latest book: A Brief History of Mutiny, published by Carroll & Graf, ISBN 0786715677

Annie Caulfield

Annie's early years were spent by the seaside in Ireland. However, the family shifted to Sixties London and soon she wasn't sure who she was - was she English, was she Irish, and if so, what kind of Irish? Watching the news of The Troubles, she was unable to recognise the country she'd left behind.

On return journeys to visit her family over the last thirty years, she discovered how much The Troubles have caused weird and successful aspects of the country's life and history to be overlooked. Her background is religiously and politically mixed, giving her a unique and often astute perspective on The Troubles

This is an Irish emigrant's tale, asking whether you can ever really go back to your roots. If you were a punk rocker when others were on hunger strike, can you really put your hand on your heart and say 'my people'? If you get a headache and go home to watch Big Brother on 12th July, are you just too flippant to understand your own country.

Latest book: : 'Irish Blood, English Heart, Ulster Fry: Return Journeys to Ireland', published by Viking, ISBN 0670914452

Next Week: Sandi will be taking a look at the world through the eyes of those who live to protect it, the Conservationists.

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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