Nestling on the River Bandon, Kinsale emerged as a settlement in the sixth century and has seen many changes. Its secure harbour provided a safe anchorage and prospered during the seventeenth century's 'golden age of sail', victualling ships bound for the West Indies and the American colonies, and facilitating trade with English and continental ports. Its military forts and naval base protected against the threat of foreign invasion, and pirates and smugglers rampant on the coast. Its bustling waterfront was thronged with fishermen in the nineteenth century and today is filled with tourists and yachting enthusiasts. John Thuillier tells of seafaring under lofty masts and billowing sails; life ashore in taverns, coffee houses and 'lewd' houses; and a community suffering through lives lost at sea and the tragedy of those exported to the West Indies as indentured servants. This comprehensive overview of Kinsale's seafaring tradition will be enjoyed by all who appreciate a whiff of salty sea spray, and the sense of adventure bound to ships voyaging to distant lands.