Alan Villiers was born in Australia in 1903 and went to sea as a young boy. Working both as a seaman and a journalist aboard many of their last trading voyages, he was the first to focus the world s attention on the spectacular merchant sailing vessels, which, with their towering masts, remained a prominent feature in world trade in the early decades of the twentieth century. Villiers worked on three of these ships in the late 1920s and the 1930s. A trained sailor, he was also a photographer, writer and filmmaker. From this period come the powerful photographs of the great ships and the evocative images of the men who worked them that make up this volume. Together with extracts from his writings, they provide extraordinary insights into a vanished and heroic era of life on the ocean and remain as a testament to Villiers own talents and artistic vision.