“The boat,” wrote the philosopher Michel Foucault, “is the greatest reserve of the imagination… In civilisations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.” The whole sweep of Western culture, from its genesis in the oral cultures of the Aegean and Near East, to its modern manifestations – including rock music – is populated by boats, both real and imaginary, and voyages.

To Odysseus’s long journeying to Ithaca, or Aeneas’s flight from Troy, or Noah’s Ark, Rimbaud’s bâteau ivre (“bathing in the poem of the sea”), or Baudelaire’s vrais voyageurs (“drunk on space, light and fiery skies”), Bob Dylan’s vision of the Titanic, with “Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot fighting in the captain’s tower”, Lou Reed’s “great big clipper ship” sailing “the darkened seas”, we must now add the Tzambika, the travel writer Philip Marsden’s real-life wooden boat: “There’s something about wooden boats,” he writes in the first chapter of The Summer Isles – A Voyage of the Imagination, “The noises they make, their smell, the subtle curve of their topsides.”