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An exhilarating and deeply moving story of one man’s attempt to sea kayak the areas of the Shipping Forecast, perfect for fans of The Salt Path and Attention All Shipping

Foreword by Charlie Connelly, author of Attention All Shipping

The Shipping Forecast has been described as the UK’s national lullaby: a source of dependability and calm in our often chaotic world, it has charmed millions of listeners and aided generations of seafarers across the decades. No stranger to weathering a storm after living with a rare life-limiting condition and facing the death of his brother, avid kayaker Toby Carr set out to explore the areas of the Forecast.

On a journey that took him to the harshest and most tranquil stretches of our sea, Toby found the real people, places and stories behind the familiar names and imagined environments of the well-loved BBC broadcast. From the wildness and peace of the sea, looking back at the land, Toby hoped to gain the strength and balance he knew nature could provide and to discover what anchors us to each other.

Written by Toby’s sister Katie from his extensive notes and recordings after his untimely death, Moderate Becoming Good Later is both an epic adventure – sometimes choppy, constantly moving – and a personal voyage of discovery that includes old friends and new, plenty of wildlife, and the ever-present sea.

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Reviews

Sarah Outen, adventurer and author
What a special book. A manifesto for living, loving and laughing full-heartedly, whatever life's storms and forecasts bring. A guide and companion for us all, whether we are embarking on voyages of our choosing or dealing with waves and storms dealt to us.
Zeb Soanes, broadcaster and author
Toby was a true adventurer, undaunted by rough seas or the waves his own health lashed upon him. Like the broadcast shipping forecast, this is a voyage against the clock. Toby's outrageously fearless spirit and good humour will not fail to uplift and spur you on to pursue your own adventures.
Nick Ray, expedition sea kayaker and author
As enduring as any ancient Scandinavian saga, this is a candidly honest tale of a risk-laden, yet existentially meaningful and powerful sea kayaking project. The descriptive and eloquent storytelling had me entranced from their first lines. I read this wonderful book often with a lump in my throat, many tears in my eyes and a racing pulse, because of the pure adventure of his inspirational physical and emotional endeavours.
Peter Jefferson, broadcaster and author of And Now The Shipping Forecast
What a brave and tenderly written account of one man's fortitude in coming to terms with a shortened life using visits by kayak to the familiar shipping forecast sea areas as "stepping stones" on his final journey.
Si Willmore, journalist, author and editor
Courageous, uplifting and exquisitely written, Moderate Becoming Good Later is a tale of the indefatigable resilience of the human spirit, the unbreakable bond of family, the life-affirming kindness of strangers and the perpetual freedom of exploring the unknown. It's a testament to how a shared passion can break down borders - when kinship with our peers from abroad is needed more than ever. I'll never hear The Shipping Forecast the same way again.
Wyl Menmuir, author
Toby Carr's epic adventures by kayak fill with colour and life those familiar yet mysterious areas of the Shipping Forecast. Thrilling and moving in equal parts, it should inspire us all to get out into the world and embrace its beauty.
Charlie Carroll, author of The Lip, No Fixed Abode and The Friendship Highway
Moderate Becoming Good Later is not just the brave and revelatory account of Toby Carr's long kayak around the Shipping Forecast, it is also a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of the author's emotional journey as he paddled from Fair Isle to FitzRoy, from Thames to Trafalgar. One of the most moving and affecting books I've read in a long time, it is profound, thoughtful, fascinating and, above all, beautiful.
Nic Compton, photographer, sailor and author of The Shipping Forecast: A Miscellany
Engaging, well-observed, well-written and full of life wisdom. Anyone who liked The Salt Path will love this book.
Doug Cooper, author of Scottish Sea Kayaking and coach
A mesmerising and poignant story that shares how the sea can bring together people, places and purpose. This is a must-read book not just for sea kayakers, but for anyone looking for inspiration to make the most out of life.
Ash Bhardwaj, travel journalist and broadcaster
It's rare to read a book that links place and motivation so clearly. Toby's story of seizing life's opportunities despite obstacles should inspire all of us to not let life pass us by. And the love of his sister Katie in finishing this story for Toby is profoundly moving.
Storm Dunlop, author of The Weather Almanac
A fascinating account of the people, places and conditions encountered in paddling a kayak around some of the areas covered by the well-loved Shipping Forecast.
Elise Downing, adventurer and author of Coasting
You can almost taste the sea air reading Moderate Becoming Good Later. This incredibly moving story weaves together one family's story and shows the sense of hope and love that can be found through adventure even when things don't go according to plan. It's a privilege to be allowed a glimpse into life offshore Britain through Toby and Katie's words.
David Gange, historian and author of The Frayed Atlantic Edge
The perfect book for our times: from tragedy and stormy seas, come hope, connection, and elemental awe. Exceptionally beautiful and moving, a book that conjures connection to people, places and the ocean with the immediacy, grace and clarity of a kayak cutting through sea spray.
Jenny Tough, adventurer and author of Tough Women Adventure Stories and Solo
An incredible read of adventure and life that will draw you in and inspire you to pursue your own journeys. Katie has truly honoured her brother with this gripping recount.
Tim Hannigan, travel, nature and history writer
Moderate Becoming Good Later is a wonderfully salty adventure, a quixotic odyssey driven by equal parts grit and good humour around the stormy shores of western Europe. But what really elevates this above other travellers' tales is the astonishing and moving story of the book's completion - a remarkable collaboration across the ultimate gulf.
Simon Parker, journalist and author of Riding Out
Armchair travel at its best. And I say "armchair" because I was very happy to just read this one, with all its thrills and spills, without feeling the need to go and do it myself. At times, I could practically feel the ocean churning beneath me, and my queasy stomach doing somersaults. A unique and heart-warming adventure, and beautifully written too. Bravo.
Gavin Knight, author of The Swordfish and The Star
A beautiful, poignant but ultimately uplifting reminder to us that life is an adventure and we need to snatch every minute before it's gone.
Alastair Humphreys, adventurer and author
The sort of adventure I've often dreamed of late at night, with additional layers of poignancy and love.
Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator
A very moving tale, in every way imaginable.
Alex Bescoby, adventurer and author
Heartbreaking, and utterly wonderful. A journey that had to be made, and a story that had to be told.