Easter 1963. The end of the school holidays are approaching, but instead of returning to school, Billy “Scratch” Hitchen ran away to sea - he was just fourteen years old. Before the age of nineteen, he had sailed around the world five times.
“Scratch” Salcombe Boy takes us on a wild ride around the world: from the mountainous seas off Cape Horn, to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, from the most southerly tip of New Zealand to the North Atlantic and Canada, from oil drilling and exploration in Argentina to the construction of oil pipelines in the swamps and jungles of West Africa. In 1973, Scratch finally returned home to Salcombe in South Devon and went on to spend the next three decades fishing in every sea area, from Dover to Rockall.
As Scratch tells the story, the reader will be drawn to the charismatic writing and inspired by the sheer determination of the man who overcame many obstacles, not least his lifelong struggles with dyslexia. Without reference to any written document or diary, the story he tells is written from the heart and carried in his soul. Readers who delight in sea exploration and travel, as well as vivid, well-written autobiographies, will enjoy this fascinating life well lived.