Having half-recovered in an Amsterdam hospital from broken ribs and a collapsed lung, Tristan, together with his crew, sets off up the Rhine and experiences the most severe winter known in Europe for many years. Battling ice and cold, petty-minded bureaucrats and customs officials, Bulgarian gun-boats and Romanian frontier police, he charts his hazardous course up the Rhine and down the Danube. Flying the Red Ensign, the Stars and Stripes, and the Red Dragon of Wales, and playing bagpipe music at full volume, Tristan announces his passage in every town as he sails indomitably through eight countries to emerge triumphant, if penniless, in the Black Sea.
A memorable contribution to travel accounts of Central Europe behind the Iron Curtain, The Improbable Voyage offers a vivid portrayal of life along Europe's oldest water routes. But it is the people from all walks of life whom Tristan meets on this unlikely voyage and the adventures, both hilarious and daunting, that he and his crew experience along the way, that will enchant the ever-increasing number of devotees of this extraordinary sailor and writer.