About the Author

Philip Pearson grew up in Brighton, within sight of the sea. He studied geography at college and developed a lifelong interest in environmental issues. This drew him to the fascinating story of the voyage of the Challenger and its astonishing achievements.

He worked in the trade union movement for much of his life. He has published two books reflecting much of this work: Twilight robber: trade unions and low paid workers (1986) and Keeping Well at Work (2004). 

The idea for a narrative of the life of his great grandfather, Charlie Collins, one of the Challenger’s crew, was inspired by the creative writing classes at the Mary Ward Centre, London. 

He sings with the London Sea Shanty Collective choir, and the narrative is doubtless influenced by the stories and rhythms of these working songs of the sea.

Philip and his wife Nony, who passed away in 2021, have two children, Anya and Aidan.