top of page
A photo I took of the restless Atlantic Ocean from Peggy's Cove NS


This tells a little of Guernsey's strong connection with the Maritime Provinces of Canada's fishing history.
A LIFE AT SEA, circa 1775.
Sunday services (especially if the ship had passengers) may be held during the second dogwatch (6-8 P.M.) All on board were invited, but attendance was not compulsorily, (though in general the sailors enjoyed the break in monotony. The service often included Bible stories, extracts from “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, and a hymn. After the service sailors and passengers would discuss the occasion with due respect and appreciation.
The origins of the sea shanty.
A sea chanty (shanty) would be headed by the chantyman who led with a solo. The crew  joined with the chorus (call and response). These dictate whether a short pull, long pull or a strong pull was required, with the sailors "singing out" at the ropes in their hoarse voices.
Sailors were superstitious men. They believed in unlucky ships: the phantom ships of lost vessels, (sometimes seen upside down or floating above the water).
Seabirds were the souls of drowned sailors– whether the giant albatross or storm-petrel, known as Mother Carey’s Chickens. These birds were sacred to mariners, even to sharing scraps of his meal. If one alights on the ship it is a sign that a sailor will be lost.
storm petrel., also known as Mother Cary's Chickens


Guernsey Literary Festival

hailed ‘another triumph’.




Guernsey Literary Festival 2023 has been hailed as ‘another triumph’ by its honorary chairman Terry Waite CBE.

Speaking after the festival, Mr Waite said: “Once again the Guernsey Literary Festival has attracted record audiences to its many events. Several authors have taken part in the educational programme in schools and the children’s writing competition attracted over 800 entries. It’s been another triumph for the Festival organisers.”

More than 65 events, most featuring writers and speakers from the UK, were organised over two weeks to celebrate the joy of books, writing and big ideas and, including the education, community and outreach programmes, more than 7,000 people attended.

Festival Director Claire Allen said: “It’s been an amazing two weeks. There’s been such a buzz this year. The Festival gives people in Guernsey the chance to listen to and meet their favourite writers – and maybe to be inspired by writers they’ve not known before.

To learn more about the 2023 and the 2024 Guernsey Literary Festivals and so much more, sign up to receive my newsletter

Author takes parft in the Guernsey Literary Festival

The inside story into the origin of the famous Guernsey Sweater and its place in Song of the Sea

The Guernsey Sweater plays an important cameo role in Song of the Sea.I quote: “Elise lacked the skill and patience for knitting and the garment had taken her months to complete. The dark blue jumper was windproof and warm; a uniform of pride to the fishermen of Guernsey. She hoped Thomas would not be too fussy about the quality of work and at least slightly impressed by the love she’d poured into the making of it.”

The iconic Guernsey Sweater, in this case hugging a copy of my book, Song of the Sea.

Why not visit Guernsey's Le Tricoteur Website and discover more about the world famous gansey:

"There aren’t many items of clothing with a history that cuts as rich a seam as the guernsey jumper. First documented on the island of Guernsey in the 16th century and associated with salty tales of sea farers from all over the globe, pulling on an authentic guernsey is wearing a piece of living history.
Originally knitted by the wives, mothers and sweethearts of fishermen and farmers to stave off bracing winds and rain.  The use of worsted wool from the 1600s onwards meant that guernseys were extra durable and super weather resistant. As the guernsey’s popularity spread beyond the Channel Islands, the practical design was adopted by fisher folk up and down the land. The word ‘guernsey’ became ‘gansey’ in some areas and you’ll find similar square shaped designs copied and adapted all over the British Isles as the guernsey inspired "fisherman’s jumper."

Extract from:


Time for one more review ?
                    Oh, go on then ....

“Despite not being a fan of historical fiction, Song of the Sea rapidly won me over.
Song of the Sea is full of adventure. Set in the late 18th Century, the action switches from the small island of Guernsey to the New World, via a harrowing sea crossing. Once arrived at her destination Elise’s challenges begin in earnest. 
The novel is thoroughly researched and the historical and geographical references, both to Guernsey and to emergent Canada, are utterly convincing. 
All in all, a most enjoyable read and one I’d recommend.”


is now waiting for you at your favourite bookshop.

The rest is up to you.

Why not get yourself a copy?

Or one for a friend?

Failing that, get a copy (or two) on line?

This book is going places, but it can't do it

on its own.


A constructive review from you would be so appreciated, and help to secure Song of the Sea as a best seller where it belongs.  

Here's what some readers are saying...

“The characters are beautifully created and evolve throughout story, really evoking empathy and a connection that stays with you long after you turn the last page.”


“This was my first book to read by this author but won't be my last! The story and its characters will stick with you long after you finish the story. Highly recommend!”


“I REALLY enjoyed it! It is very well written and researched, you did a fabulous job of the history of this area!”

How did my Adventure begin?  …..

DAY 3  We (my husband, Ian, and I) go to the RV depot (in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). Two hours later we’ve mounted, but not yet tamed, The Beast, all 32 feet of it! Off we lumber.
There followed a fearful, rain splattered trip to our first stop – the supermarket and surely enough food to keep us going for the next month. Isn’t shopping for food in foreign supermarkets so much more fun!
There was a slight altercation as we attempted to escape from the supermarket car park – that’s our damage deposit taken care of – but at last the open road…well, not all that open actually and unnervingly bumpy. Are all the roads as … interesting as this one?
The 32 ft RV we named The Beast, perched on a clifftop overlooking a secluded bay at low tide.
At Bay.....
The 32 foot Beast we came to love
DAY 7   After leaving the traffic we have a beautiful if rather foggy journey along the Lighthouse Route to PEGGY’S COVE, our next stop.
We fall in love with Peggy’s Cove, and decide we can’t do better for a campsite than the car park, fronted as it is by the local pub, with the cove as its backdrop. Permission to camp is sought and granted by the pub.
We explore Peggy’s Cove village and harbour in the growing dusk, scrabbling around the cove itself, down the rocks to the sea, and to the lighthouse. A glorious, slow sunset, exceptional photo opportunities on a balmy night. We love it and only the failing light curtails our wanderings. A great pub dinner follows. It seems strange to settle down for the night in a car park, but we sleep well nevertheless, until woken by the rain.
Peggy's Cove at dusk showing a church spire, a smattering of houses, a pier and some picturesque boats.

Twilight in the gorgeous 
Peggy’s Cove

DAY 8   More rain, and then some. We don waterproof everythings and set forth, exploring the inside of the lighthouse, a gallery of art, and… Beale’s Bailiwick. This gift shop could not be ignored. What, we wonder, did Bailiwicks have to do with Nova Scotia? It turns out the shop is owned by an ex-Guernseyman. Mr Beale expressed delight at our visit and we exchange Guernsey chat for a while before dripping our way back to the van. We are wet to our knickers.

DAY 14   Today we head for Louisburg on Cape Breton Island, stopping for petrol and bottled gas at Aulds Cove. We sight a magnificent bald eagle keeping an (eagle?) eye on us from a nearby tree. Our journey is rich with scenic views and the camera is put to good use time and again.

We cross the Canso Causeway and join the Fleur-de-lis Trail. On the way to Louisburg, we stop off at Isle Madame, which is the largest in a group of islands off the southeast coast of Cape Breton Island. From here we see catch our first sight of Jerseyman Island.
It seems there was an altercation on this island which heralded beginning of the American War of Independence. This is fascinating stuff and deserves some looking into.

The area also provides the opportunity for an enjoyable walk along the shoreline.
From here we join the Bras D’Or Lakes scenic drive. These lakes are huge, almost dissecting Cape Breton Island.

This archipelago has a fascinating history, and some interesting connections with The Channel Islands because of the fishing industry. We come across a visitor centre, and outside we find two cannons pointing to this tiny island.

Canadian flag and twin  cannons pointing out towards Jerseyman Island, the inspiration for Song of the Sea. Jersey

Photo courtesy of © Susan Marchand-Terrio

Executive Director

Isle Madame Historical Society

bottom of page