About the Book
In 'Hebridean Sharker' Tex Geddes describes his exploits during the 1950s as a hunter of basking sharks in the waters of the Minch, between the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Using an adapted whaling harpoon, he and his crew stalked these huge fish often in perilous conditions, the liver of which is a valuable source of oil. Always a maverick, before World War Two Geddes had been a boxer and a rumrunner to Newfoundland. During the war he established a reputation as an expert knife-thrower and bayonet fencer and served in the Special Forces with Gavin Maxwell (author of Ring of Bright Water). He combined the hazardous pursuit of sharks with crewing the local lifeboat, ring-net fishing, lobstering, deer-stalking and salmon poaching. He went on to purchase the tiny island of Soay, where he lived with his wife Jeanne, continued to hunt sharks and became the Laird. His story is full of adventures and fantastic descriptions of a seagoing life in the islands. It has become a Hebridean classic.
Joseph 'Tex' Geddes was born in 1919 in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and is believed to have been brought up in Canada. Expelled from school at the age of 12, he tried his hand at various jobs, including as a boxer, a lumberjack and a rum-smuggler. During World War Two he served with the Seaforth Highlanders and the Special Forces, and after the war became a shark fisherman. With his wife he bought the Hebridean island of Soay and lived there for 30 years. He died in the Isle of Skye in 1998 and is survived by one son, Duncan Geddes.