Miles Smeeton was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1906. In 1939, he and his wife Beryl attempted to climb 25,263-foot Tirich Mir, in the Himalaya, with Tenzing Norgay. Although they failed, Beryl achieved renown as one of the first women to climb so high. A career army officer, Miles served with distinction in World War II. In 1951, the Smeetons bought Tzu Hang in England and, though they had just learned to sail, sailed her to Canada. They next voyaged to the South Pacific, and Miles later wrote about that adventure in The Sea Was Our Village. In 1956, Miles and Beryl Smeeton embarked on the voyage described in Once Is Enough. In 1967, they made a third--and successful--Cape Horn attempt, sailing east to west. The Smeetons later founded the Cochrane Ecological Institute in Alberta, Canada, still run by their daughter. Jonathan Raban is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the editor of The Oxford Book of the Sea, and author of ten critically acclaimed books, including Passage to Juneau. He is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heinemann Award For Literature, and received the New York Times Editors' Choice for Book of the Year for Old Glory and Bad Land. He has been called (by The Guardian) "the finest writer afloat since Conrad."