The Long Lost Log has loads of attraction: I love that 'writing to the moment', without any awareness by the writer of what is coming next, and so he is as surprised as the reader by the immediate. It's the main appeal when reading a log or a daily diary, as famously Pepys.
The vivacity is all in the quick phrasing of extraordinary things (the narrator's unspoken awe, "the knobbly head of a whale breaks the surface. From a few feet away an eye as big as a saucer gives me the once over") and of ordinary things (the narrator's wit, "Ropes seem to have lives of their own, they coil around your ankles when you are not looking and, if left alone for a minute, they tie themselves in knots"; the almost intimacy, "We are now reading aloud extracts from Joshua Slocum and other accounts of Atlantic crossings. With a loud voice and clear diction, it falls to me to recite selected passages. The three of us sit in the cabin listening to a precursor of what's to come"; or timely pre-Carribean anxiety, "Last night Carol, unable to sleep, joined me on watch 'What are black people like? I've never met one before?'"; or the narrator's quaking at your father's figures of speech, "life’s not some dodgem ride. It is a slow escalator going up.") All of this, alongside the odd poems and moments of introspection by a young man out of his depth and changing fast, makes the Long Lost Log a delightful moment. The addition of 1970s hippiedom at the ports-of-call down to the Canaries catches the larger history of the day, and its odd mixture of sexual impulse and cool distance.