For generations, Neil Munro's comic creation — the motley crew of the Vital Spark under the command of Para Handy — has enthralled readers as they sailed through the coastal and island waters of the West Coast of Scotland. This book is a nostalgic trip down those same waters at the turn of the century. The ships, the people and the places they frequented are all revealed by Stuart Donald as he explains why Munro's stories are still as popular today as they were almost 100 years ago. Could Munro really have thought up these characters? Or were they drawn from real life? As Donald shows, Munro did indeed draw on his own upper Loch Fyne home country to bring the likes of Para Handy and Hurricane Jack alive and he also reveals why 18 tales were suppressed by Munro when due for book publication. Fully illustrated with rare archive photos never previously published.