My first book, Moderate Becoming Good Later is co-authored with my brother Toby Carr, who died in January 2022. Toby lived the story and carefully recorded his experience, while I crafted it out of words, using as many of his as I could.
Both of my brothers were born with the rare genetic illness called Fanconi Anaemia. At twelve they were told they’d be lucky to reach 30. Marcus topped this by seven years and Toby by ten. It was the death of our brother Marcus (two and a half years older than Toby and two years younger than me) that inspired Toby to start this journey.
Later, Toby’s death inspired me to start my dryer, less windswept one, through his memories and mine to create this testament to a short life well lived.
While the idea of loss is necessarily woven through the book, this story is about life, about seizing opportunities, doing more than you thought possible and choosing adventure.
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An exhilarating and deeply moving story of one man’s attempt to sea kayak the areas of the Shipping Forecast, perfect for fans of The Salt Path and Attention All Shipping
The Shipping Forecast has been described as the UK’s national lullaby: a source of dependability and calm in our often chaotic world, it has charmed millions of listeners and aided generations of seafarers across the decades. No stranger to weathering a storm, avid kayaker Toby Carr set out to explore the areas of the Forecast on a series of adventures, from Southeast Iceland to Trafalgar via North Utsire, Faeroes, German Bight, Fisher, Lundy, FitzRoy and all the others in between.
On a journey that took him to the stormiest and most tranquil stretches of our sea, Toby sought out the real people, places and stories behind the familiar names and imagined environments of the well-loved BBC broadcast. He hoped to find the strength and balance he knew nature could provide, and to discover the things that anchor us to each other. But the expedition also gave him space and time that he desperately needed, to reflect on the death of his brother from the rare genetic condition that they were both born with, and to process the personal challenges that life had set him over the years.
From the wildness and the peace of the sea, looking back at the land, Toby gained a unique perspective on Britain and its neighbours, and learned what can happen when we trust and embrace the world around us. Moderate Becoming Good Later is both an epic adventure – sometimes choppy, constantly moving – and a personal voyage of discovery, with a cast list that includes old friends and new, plenty of wildlife, and the ever-present sea.