Friday, 24 December 2010
Scotland and Wales
Venturer Top Secret is an odd book where the journey is from Scotland to Wales via the Caledonian Canal. Most of the journey is by sail with a few episodes involving a small auxiliary engine. Secret plans are being taken to London by the most implausible method that can be devised. The crew are all schoolboys and they are under threat from some enemy, presumably Fifth Columnists or Nazi spies. Official police are never involved until the very last minute. Some of the sailing details are impressive - such as the comradeship aboard the Venturer as the boys face perilous conditions in a stormy sea. The journey also embraces Oban where the crew see the formation of an Atlantic convoy. A little later they are off the coast as a German raid pours bombs on to Barrow in Furness. The timetable of events seems impossibly long for any urgency in getting the secret device to London. The conclusion takes place off the coast of Aberdovey when the principal enemy is outwitted by the schoolboy members of the crew. They are in a sailing dinghy whilst he pursues them in a motorboat. They trick him into a collision with a mudbank - he is left stranded to be picked up later by the proper authorities.