Alan Villiers (1903-82) was a renowned sailor, writer and photographer. Originally published in 1940, Sons of Sindbad is his account of sailing with the Arabs in their dhows in southern Arabia, along the East African coast and in the Arabian Gulf, to record a nautical and cultural tradition that even then was disappearing. Arabian Publishing, in association with the National Maritime Museum, has now republished this sailing and adventure classic in an abridged form and a large format, and with many more photographs, previously unpublished, from the Museum's Villiers Collection. The book establishes Villiers's reputation as a photographer to compare with Wilfred Thesiger. Villiers's lifelong fascination for traditional sailing techniques led to him to embark on his remarkable voyage in 1938. Joining the crew of a large Kuwaiti boom, the Triumph of Righteousness, he sailed with them on the monsoon winds from Aden, down the East African coast, to Mombasa, Zanzibar and the Rufiji Delta. He then made the homeward voyage to Oman, Bahrain and finally Kuwait. Here he spent four months in the summer of 1939, including a month among the pearl divers of the northern Gulf.
This book depicts the experiences of the sailors and divers and the hardships they faced in their perilous environment. Villiers' powerful photographs and words form a fine tribute to the skills and endurance of the Arab sailors, and a fitting valediction to the age of sail before the onset of oil and modernization.
Publisher: Arabian Publishing Ltd