Read We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea by Arthur Ransome Online


'Like to spend a night in the Goblin?’The Swallows are staying on the Suffolk coast while they wait for their father to return home from China. But although the harbour is bursting with bobbing yachts, barges and steamers, this year there's no chance of any sailing for the landlocked Swallows. That is until they rescue young Jim Brading and his boat the Goblin from a stick'Like to spend a night in the Goblin?’The Swallows are staying on the Suffolk coast while they wait for their father to return home from China. But although the harbour is bursting with bobbing yachts, barges and steamers, this year there's no chance of any sailing for the landlocked Swallows. That is until they rescue young Jim Brading and his boat the Goblin from a sticky situation and to their delight are recruited as crew members. Mother agrees they can go, on one condition – they absolutely must not sail out past Beach End Buoy and into the open sea…...

Title : We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780224021234
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea Reviews

  • Deborah
    2018-10-20 12:58

    Surely the best children's book ever written. Yes, dammit, this time I'm finishing the sentence. It is just superb. I daresay there will be the usual bunch of reviewers moaning that it took too long to get going. But this was a book written in the time before young people had the attention span of a gnat, and actually everything in the first half of the book is important to the second half of the book. It's called construction.This is probably (although I'm only halfway through the series so may have to change my mind) the most dramatic and the most emotional of the Swallows and Amazons books, but everything is beautifully put into perspective by Captain Walker. We last heard from him in the famous 'Better drowned than duffers' telegram that started the Swallows on their first adventure; now we get to meet him, and he is so sensible and matter-of-fact that suddenly we can see where Susan gets it from. He takes the Swallows' adventure in his stride, and that puts all the drama of the high seas back into its place - run of the mill for a man of the sea, rather than totally extraordinary.While it's actually underway, of course, not Susan nor any of the Swallows would class what's going on as 'run of the mill' (Susan has every reason to think John is dead at one point, for a start). For the Swallows, and for the reader, it is a totally extraordinary journey; and at the end, the homecoming. Have a hankie handy.

  • Melissa McShane
    2018-10-03 14:52

    This is definitely one of my favorite of the Swallows and Amazons series. Having presumably exhausted the possibilities of fresh-water sailing, Ransome sets the Walker children accidentally afloat, and a-sail, on the ocean. It's a believable accident, and they deal with it well. I didn't like that it was the girls who ended up seasick and panicky, especially since Susan's character has always skimmed the edge of being stodgy and grown-up anyway; if it weren't for Captain Nancy and Mate Peggy from the earlier books, as well as Titty's seasickness rising from what's apparently a recurring migraine, this could imply an inherent weakness in the female character. Another thing I didn't care for is that the children didn't all get equal time in the story, and Titty in particular didn't have a lot to do. But that's really something I only think about afterward--while I'm reading it, I'm always caught up in the excitement and terror.

  • Kailey (BooksforMKs)
    2018-10-09 13:58

    I love this adventure in which the Walker children end up drifting out to sea, and must use all their nautical know-how to survive on the open ocean.Tensions run high, and every new obstacle shows each vibrant character at their best, despite their fears and foibles. I love every book in the series!

  • BookSweetie
    2018-10-20 06:53

    Might be my favorite -- so far, at least --in the old-fashioned 1930s British Swallow and Amazon series in which the setting shifts away from the lake country to the salty coast.The Walker children are paired up with a new sea-going vessel the GOBLIN owned by a competent young man Jim Brading. Things, however, go terribly wrong -- and John faces his most challenging commander role yet with help from Susan, Titty, and Roger.As per usual the children are caring of one another, cautiously brave, competent young sailing explorers, and inventive. The Walker children's father finally makes more than a cameo appearance. The relationship of father to children is a comforting one filled with mutual respect that adds a more complete dimension to the memorable Walker family. Suspenseful. Salt water sailing. Stayed up much too late reading to learn how this one would all turn out. Dense fog. Wild winds. Night storm with seasick-size waves. Real danger.Naturally, these books have mishaps, but never tragedy. Whew! It's hard not to feel good reading this adventure series.I do recommend reading the books in the series in order. I would not give such a high star rating for this book without considering it as part of the series -- and a strong part of the series at that.

  • Sho
    2018-09-29 14:06

    I didn't like this as much as the others in the series so far, mostly because there is too much technical sailing jargon and discussion of sandbanks to really grab me, as a non-sailor.Basically the action moves from the Lake District to the east coast - Harwich to be exact. The Walker children meet a young boat skipper, Jim, and (after their mother has checked his background) they're allowed to spend the night on his boat, the Goblin, as long as they remain in the harbour.The title is a bit of a giveaway, and the tale is of what happens when the Walker children, without Jim for reasons that only become apparent right at the end of the novel and against their wishes, cross the North Sea to Holland.Reading this now it's really very difficult to shut up the "it's PC Gone Mad" inner Daily Mail reader in you: these days Mrs Walker would have the Police after Jim for being a potential child-snatching paedophile, they would have been arrested for stealing the boat and as suspected illegal immigrants on arrival in Holland, and again on their re-arrival in England. There's the animal smuggling charge to be levelled against them too. The children would probably sue Jim for damages for the trauma they have suffered during the unwanted voyage.But even so. It's a ripping yarn and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Margaretta
    2018-09-24 12:02

    Did you ever do something that was forbidden, but what's worse you did not intend to do it?This book is set in England. The main characters is group of siblings, that once meet a boy with sailing boat and become friends with him. They persuade him to take them on boat while they are waiting for their father to come back from business trip in Netherland. He agrees but with the back luck fortune, on the day of start of the sail the boy gets separated from the children as he hits his head and end up unconscious in hospital. The children are on the boat alone and they are slowly but surely going to end up on an open sea. How will they survive in the upcoming storm?One thing I liked about this book was that the children were independent and managed to survive to their own. However, I found this book a little bit boring. I would recommend this book for people that enjoys 'cute' stories about kids, and people finding interest in sailing kind of stuff.

  • Patricia
    2018-10-11 15:03

    I found and read the Swallows and Amazons series in my early 20s. I am only sorry I did not find them earlier. Stories of the family's summer adventures are beautifully written, and encourage responsible and creative living. Self reliance, intelligent reasoning skills, and strong imagination with these children provide an excellent backdrop for this series of books, as well as strong roll-models for any youngsters reading them.

  • Emmeline
    2018-09-28 13:03

    This is a wonderful children's book that I would highly recommend. Full of laughs, realism, and siblings being independent, this is a story that's sure to entice the most reluctant reader. Dear me that sounded cheesy. But seriously, this is an awesome little story that was just as good as I remembered, if not more so!

  • Susan
    2018-10-18 11:56

    The book is actually: We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea which I read as a child. Today it would be on the young adult shelf, but in my opinion would be enjoyable for adults. It is a wonderful adventure story, and I have read it two or three times.

  • Amy
    2018-09-30 06:58

    One of my go to titles when I need reassurance! Arthur Ransome, Dick Francis, J.K. Rowling, Robin McKinley, you never fail me!

  • Lena Lee
    2018-09-23 10:13

    Main character is not human, it's the boat!

  • Fiona
    2018-10-15 10:07

    I read the other Arthur Ransome books as a child but this one never came my way. My sister sent it to me having found it second hand and I enjoyed it very much.

  • Mikayla Perry
    2018-10-10 09:47

    I really enjoyed it I like when the littles grow up more they would really enjoy it.

  • Katie Fitzgerald
    2018-09-22 14:03

    This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.In We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea, the Walker children and their mother are waiting at Pin Mill for Daddy to arrive home when they meet a young sailor named Jim Brading. Jim promises to sail the kids around to a few of the nearby ports, giving Mrs. Walker his word that he will not take John, Susan, Titty, and Roger to sea. He doesn’t anticipate the fact that he will run out of petrol, or that a heavy fog will descend over his boat, The Goblin. Nor does he guess that the tide will turn and the Walkers will drift out to sea in his boat, heading for Holland with no captain and no idea how they will get home.My big frustration with the last book, Pigeon Post, was that I had trouble buying into the make-believe adventures of the Walkers and the Blacketts. For the first time, imagined adventure didn’t seem like enough. I’m so glad that this seventh book in the series finally allows these characters to experience something real. I was a bit disappointed, at first, that the Blacketts do not appear in this book, but even their absence was somewhat refreshing. Without Nancy to call the shots, the other characters are forced into leadership roles, which provides a lot of really nice character development for both John and Susan. Even Titty and Roger show signs of growing up as the story progresses. What really impressed me the most about We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea is that Ransome manages to keep things exciting for the duration of the book, despite the fact that 90% of it takes place on board the same boat. Weather, seasickness, and passing ships provide the required drama to propel the story forward even when all the characters are doing, essentially, is waiting to reach port and agonizing over what their mother will say when she learns they disobeyed. Ransome’s writing is never dull, and the ending of this story, when they finally find a way home, is one of the most satisfying endings of the entire series. It almost feels like a finale, and though I have started the next book and I’m enjoying it, I still think We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea could have served as the perfect conclusion to the Walkers’ stories. It is the perfect culmination of all their training as sailors and in some ways, the full realization of the fantasy constructed in Peter Duck. I can’t name many authors whose writing is consistently wonderful over the course many books, but Ransome is such an author. I like the way his stories continue to expand upon the vast universe he has created, and I enjoy the way he tempers every moment of high stress and danger in his stories with a warm moment of comfort among family and friends. We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea ranks high on my list of favorites in this series, right beside Swallowdale and Winter Holiday.

  • Caren
    2018-09-26 07:09

    After having read the recent children's novel, Summer at Forsaken Lake (Beil), with its many references to this book, I made an effort to get a copy. It was an effort , too, since our public library doesn't have it, and the first version I ordered (from Oxford Bookworms Library) turned out to be, unbeknownst to me, an abridged version for early readers. Having re-ordered and finally received the original version, I dove in. This book is a part of the classic "Swallows and Amazons" series. A previous book in the series (Pigeon Post) had won the Carnegie Medal, but this one is considered by some reviewers to be the best of the series. Originally published in 1937, it was reissued in 1994 by David R. Godine Publishers, and just this summer came out in an audio version. Still, I don't see that the book version is currently in print, more's the pity. Parts of the book are very dated. In particular , the descriptions of the Netherlands sound as though they are out of a story book, which, now that I think of it, they are. You are getting a little look at 1930s Holland, since, supposedly the author made this voyage himself before writing the book, so I have a sense that it may be an accurate look from an Englishman's eyes. This was also written before the complete dismantling of the Empire, so when the voyagers see their former captain, with his head bandaged, from afar, they think he is "a native with a turban". There are sailing terms galore, so if you have any interest in sailing, you will love the detail. I have never been on a sailboat, still, the book held my interest. I found myself, while going about my day, thinking of the young sailors and wondering what would become of them. This is the old-fashioned sort of story in which children, without any adults at hand, are tested and use all of their resources to succeed. The more recent abridged copy , from 2008, had a nice bio of the author in the back. It seems the author, Arthur Ransome, was quite an interesting fellow. He lived from 1884 to 1967, leaving university to work his way up in publishing. After an early marriage failed, he went to Russia to study folklore and published a book of Russian folktales. He worked as a journalist during World War I and later during the Russian Revolution. He played chess with Lenin, and fell in love with and married Trotsky's secretary. In 1929, living with his wife in England's Lake District, he began writing the "Swallow and Amazons" series. This is a classic of British children's literature and I was glad to have spent some time at sea with the Walker children.

  • Big Book Little Book
    2018-10-02 12:58

    This is one of my favourites from the Swallows and Amazons series. As a young teenager I read all of them, (even thought they had been bought for my brother!) but when it comes to re-reading this came out more than most of the others! The books are all about a group of children who have adventures together, most of them revolving around sailing. In this story, four of them, the Walker family brothers and sisters have an amazing adventure when the boat they are sleeping on drifts out to sea and they have to navigate their way through a storm, alone.It is a very well-paced book, a good build up and then plenty of excitement through the most adventurous parts. It was nail-biting stuff the first time I read it! Will they survive? Will they get home? What will their mother say?! It is a real adventure, not pretending adventures in the Lake District (which is the basis of the other books), but actual danger and a huge sea that they have to deal with all on their own.As well as being an adventure this book has great characters. We get to know the Walkers over the whole series, but in this story they grow and develop more than in any of the others. Each of the children reacts differently to the situation, they individually deal with the excitement, the responsibility, the guilt and the fear that this situation places them in. The tensions between them and their dependency on each other to survive heighten their relationships and feelings towards each other. Susan is trying to fulfil the mother role and coping with sea sickness! John is feeling guilty about involving the others in these circumstances and disagreeing with Susan as how best to deal with things now they are alone at sea. These are all very real brother and sister tensions in what has to be a very unreal setting.This is a state of affairs that feels like it could never happen today, and yet it is so enthralling that it is perfectly believable. Ransome makes you feel that this could just happen and that these children just might be able to deal with it! Verdict: An exciting read for an older child, an interest in sailing is definitely not mandatory! HelenRating 4.5/5

  • Helen
    2018-09-22 10:44

    It's very odd coming back to a book after a gap of, perhaps, 40 years, and seeing whether it still works (and how much you can remember!) I loved it then and enjoyed it just as much this time round, but it was a different experience reading it as an adult (have I turned into Susan?) It's full of sailing terminology which can be a bit off-putting if you don't sail, but part of the point of reading books which are outside your own experience is to expand your horizons and knowledge, and these books certainly do that. I loved all the Arthur Ransome books as a child, but although my son enjoyed "Swallows and Amazons" he seemed to get bored very quickly with the second one and I abandoned them some time ago with him. However he seemed to enjoy this one very much, often asking for more, so I'd say it still works for children (although I had to do quite a bit of explaining of nautical things, some of which I'm not very sure of!) We have just been staying by the sea (after finishing the book) and within sight of our hotel room were buoys with lights at night and a lighthouse flashing in the dark, so parts of the book came to life. The whole aspect of children/adults/potential future officer material is interesting, particularly in the reactions of the children's father (who is nearly always absent from the children's lives, but in a way which inspires and strengthens them). As an adult, I found some of the near-misses quite a lot more exciting (in a bad way) than I did as a child. Great, anyway. Wondering where to go next with reading them with son! Perhaps the straight chronological approach doesn't work as well, I just need to choose another exciting one ...

  • Gavin Felgate
    2018-10-12 11:02

    The seventh book in the Swallows and Amazons series focuses solely on the Swallows (John, Susan, Titty and Roger), although Nancy, Peggy, Dick and Dorothea are all mentioned briefly.The story opens with the Swallows taking another boat trip, supervised by a sea captain called Jim, to make sure they don't sail out of the harbour. Of course, the title is an obvious clue to what is going to happen...Jim has to sail to shore to get supplies, and he never returns (his apparent disappearance is explained later in the book), and the boat is somehow swept out to sea with the kids on board; the storyline provides the greatest amount of peril yet in the series, and mostly revolves around the Swallows attempting to steer the ship back to land on stormy waters. During the story, there are also a few references to their absentee father, which will of course become relevant later on.I noticed this was the first book to have chapters told from the point of view of the secondary characters, with one episode revolving around their mother and younger sister Bridget (I think Bridget has her first speaking lines in this book) as they wonder where the kids have got to, unaware of the trouble they are in.Overall, despite the absence of Nancy and Peggy, who I always found to be some of the more entertaining characters, I quite enjoyed this book, and towards the end it started feeling like nothing that I'd read so far in the Swallows and Amazons novels. I have the next book, Secret Water on my shelves and intend to read it very soon.

  • Philippa Dowding
    2018-10-15 08:12

    I've sailed all my life, and had a few harrowing experiences as a young teenager out in Lake Ontario. I think that's why I found this book really scary. The kids sail across the North Sea--at NIGHT--all alone in the shipping lanes. It's actually a terrifying prospect, for anyone, let alone 4 kids under the age of 14. It also makes it pretty gripping, and a really good sailing yarn. The nautical terms, the knowledge of points of sail, the language aboard the boat, are all very accurate and there's a lot of it, which makes me wonder what it would be like to read as a non-sailor. Would you get bored? Lost by the constant reference to terms you didn't know, or would you just go with it, like you might if you were reading a technically accurate space story? I don't know.My lower score of 3 stars is only because, although I agree this is a classic and well worth the read, the whole sexist 1930s thing really got to me after a while. Susan, the oldest girl, did all the cooking, cleaning and caregiving. Plus, the parents were ridiculously clueless. Were parents in the 30s really willing to let their kids go sailing for a weekend with an 18-year-old they'd never met? And the denouement, what happened to the 18-year-old, is silly (although I realize that in the 1930s it wouldn't have yet been a cliche). All to say, you should probably read it if you're interested in early entries in British kids' literature, sailing stories, or if you somehow missed out on Arthur Ransome as a kid, like me, since I understand this is often considered the best of his many books.

  • Jeffrey
    2018-09-21 10:49

    I read this book again this weekend for three reasons: 1) I needed some fiction, 2) I have been in some tough weather scrapes recently with my little boat and 3) I wanted to remember how John and his siblings handled their weather situations.This is an amazing book.Arthur Ransome sets up the story so well and gets the reader into the minds of his characters so much so that one begins thinking what Susan and Roger and Titty and John are thinking. The timeline for the story is only a handful of days and so the action ends up being quite intense.This is one of the stories in which we get a sense of John growing up as he takes charge, makes decisions and, in the end, has them all validated by those much more experienced than he. We also see the wisdom of his father when Commander Ted appears on the scene and gently takes charge of some aspects (primarily provisions) and leaves Skipper John to sail and run Goblin as he sees fit. This is one ofRansome's best. Yes, it is fiction, but I think it shows how much we pamper our children these days while exposing them to so little that they would truly gain from.

  • Jonathan Palfrey
    2018-10-06 14:49

    After a gentle start (there are seven chapters of preparation before anything out of the ordinary happens), this turns into an exciting story, in which four children find themselves unintentionally sailing a yacht across the North Sea, at night and in bad weather.There are no baddies in this story: its heroes battle against the elements and their own limitations. But it's quite an epic struggle in which they're at real risk of death.Readers should be warned that this is a sea story written by a sailing enthusiast: non-sailors may find that the blow-by-blow account tells them more than they wanted to know about sailing.Also note before reading that it dates from 1937, so it's somewhat old-fashioned in general. The world before the Second World War was significantly different from the world we know now.A story like this couldn't plausibly be set in modern times, because at least two of the children would have mobile phones, which would wreck the whole plot.

  • Steve Johgart
    2018-09-30 15:04

    Another exciting and wonderfully written tale in the Swallows and Amazons series. As in Ransome's other books, I particularly enjoyed the way he uses technical sailing jargon (and unfamiliar British terminology) without writing down to the reader - he rarely defines terms, but rather uses them in a natural context that eventually reveals their meanings to attentive readers. I remember when I originally read the series as a lad in upper elementary school, I got myself a book on sailing so I could look things up, which made the books even more fun. Of course without a rousing story and wonderful and believable characters, all the sailing detail would be worth little; this book has plenty of that.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-04 06:59

    Another fun book in the Swallows and Amazons series. This one depicts the Walkers as the military family they are, waiting for their dad to return from a long assignment away, and awaiting orders for their new duty station. That's just the backdrop, but we liked it for its familiarity. It shows the kids depending on each other, making mistakes and being overcome (some of them) by seasickness and worry, but then overcoming their problems by ingenuity, strength, courage, teamwork, and/or the kindness of others. It sets a great example for my own kids, though the gender roles are rather stereotypical.

  • Melinda
    2018-10-11 10:06

    Probably the best of the Arthur Ransome "Swallows and Amazons" books, this book is the most realistic and the least whimsical. Forced to cross the open sea when they are accidentally swept out to sea on a friends boat, the "Goblin", they must rely on each other and what they have been taught to safely get to a destination.... any destination! John, the oldest brother, grows up in this book and becomes the strong leader that you have known he might develop into in past books. The story resolution is just wonderful, and I enjoy it more every time I read it!

  • Rhapsodysufi Othman
    2018-10-18 10:54

    definitely fun book to read.our new book to study this year for my form 3.I hope the kids will enjoy it.

  • Paul
    2018-10-07 07:50

    If you only read one of the series, this is the one. Then you start at the beginning ;-) A great yarn about a quartet of brave and resource kids who ride out a massive North Sea storm in a borrowed boat after the ship's master disappears and the tide takes them -- you guessed it -- out to sea from their safe anchorage. Vivid writing, a great storyline, and lots of details/allusions to other books/events in the series.

  • Carolynne
    2018-09-21 06:51

    The four Walker children (John, Susan, Titty, and Roger) are puttering about in a boat skippered by young Jim Broding when it drifts irrevocably away. They are not prepared for this turn of events but astonishingly they manage to sail the boat all the way to Holland and back without drowning or damaging the boat. This is my favorite of all the Swallows and Amazons books, and easily the most exciting.

  • Carol
    2018-10-02 08:45

    John, Susan, Roger and Titty Walker meet Jim Brading and the Goblin. A three day cruise is planned. They run out of gas, Jim is hit by a bus, the anchor drags, the fog come in and nights comes. The girls are sea sick. John almost fall overboard reefing the sails. They narrowly miss a freighter, sail through a fishing fleet and take on a Dutch pilot and sail into Flushing. Surprisingly their dad is leaving on a boat for England and sees them coming in. Quite an adventure!

  • Sydney
    2018-10-20 13:14

    Some years ago, before she passed away, I asked my grandmother what her favorite book was, and—in spite of the abundance of illustrious novels lining her shelves—her answer was We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea. So I skipped the first six novels in the series (sorry!) and read it. Probably my grandmother remembered reading it as a child; as I am no longer in that target age range, I did not quite fall in love with it. But (once you get around all the nautical jargon) it is sweet and fun.

  • Emma
    2018-10-06 07:13

    a wonderful story read when I was a child, but equally good as an adult. Quite extraordinary the freedoms children used to have and don't now. Our group read it because we all lived close to where it is based in Suffolk...and the location is still much the same and recognisable. A great read and adventure