This book is a fascinating portrayal of a now lost time, and tells the story of general cargo ships operating from the UK to the ports of West Africa. These ranged from extensive facilities with cranes and large wharves to river anchorages many miles from the sea in the creeks of the Niger Delta, at all times demanding high levels of self-reliance and initiative from ships' crews. Told from the perspective of an observer of the amusing as well as the mundane this book will bring back many memories for all those who sailed Down the Coast. It will also appeal to those with an interest in ships and the British Merchant Navy, and to those who like a good story, well told. Highly recommended.