Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, September 23, 2013

Puffin’s Redemption: The Journey across the Atlantic

Graham Walters and Puffin

On Saturday, 28 September, do not miss what promises to be a thrilling talk at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, England. Graham Walters will be telling the story of an incredible journey across the Atlantic in the fifteen-foot Puffin, successfully completing an ill-fated voyage that began 30 years earlier when the two-man crew, David Johnstone and John Hoare, disappeared after 106 days at sea in an attempt to row across the Atlantic. Puffin is now on display outside the River & Rowing Museum.

Walters’s talk, which is called “Puffin’s Redemption: The Journey across the Atlantic”, is between 11.30 a.m. and ca. 12.30 p.m. (coffee from 11 a.m.) and the ticket price is £7.

River & Rowing Museum • Mill Meadows • Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1BF
For more information call 01491 415600 or visit
To get a pamphlet on the museum’s activities until December 2013, click here (PDF).

In October 1966, the headlines in newspapers around the world told the tragic story how Puffin was found upside down in the mid-Atlantic with no trace of the crew, David Johnstone and John Hoare. There has since been much speculation about the reasons for this tragedy. In 1968, The Penance Way: The Mystery of Puffin’s Atlantic Voyage by Merton Naydler was published. The author based his book on a first-hand account, a 35,000-word journal written by Johnstone, who was a journalist who got the idea to row across the Atlantic from west to east. Johnstone’s day-to-day log book was found by divers and, as the front flap of the book reads, ‘it depicts heroism of a high order and may come to be acknowledged as one of the most moving and vivid documents of personal experience and high endeavour ever written.’

To read more about David Johnstone and John Hoare’s ill-fated voyage, click here.
To buy a second-hand/antiquarian copy of The Penance Way, click here.

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