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On The Hooghly

I’ve posted about this book before and have just finished reading it for the third time and it hasn’t palled. Written by Malcolm Hamilton Beattie it is an count of his years in the Bengal Pilot Service as a pilot on the Hooghly. I particularly like the dedication which is copied below.

You can get a .pdf of the whole book here


I SHALL dedicate this book to Jimmy Keymer.

All through the South-West Monsoon the gulls who keep

us company at the Sandheads are small white fellows with

black heads. But when the North-East Monsoon has quite

set in, a big, greyish-brown gull makes his appearance. We

called him Jimmy Keymer, after an old pilot of long ago

who was extremely skilful in his day and had become a

legendary hero. October is a cyclone month. The early

part of November is not too safe as to weather. But when

Jimmy sails into view we know that we are all right, and

that the North-East Monsoon is really in. In grateful

recognition of his friendly reassurance in many successive

years I dedicate this book to him.


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