The time is the late 1950s. It is an end of an era. The end of the trade in which an old converted coal-burning ship with a Chinese crew and a handful of British officers would tramp from port to port, picking up cargo where it could, never knowing where it, and they, would be heading next. Christopher Lee worked on these ships as a boy, growing up quickly as he tramped around the world. He worked with rough, strange and fascinating men and faithfully recorded all he saw and heard in diaries that form the basis for this living record.
Christopher Lee read history at Cambridge University and subsequently joined the BBC where he became defence correspondent. He is the author of the highly acclaimed BBC Radio series 'This Sceptred Isle'.