Winifred Dixon has a history with the sea. In the 50s, she took her family on journeys across the North Sea, sailing in a converted lifeboat.

“My son told me once ‘You know, I wish we could have had a normal holiday once in a while!’,” she said.

Now 90, she has published the story she wrote decades earlier, retracing the voyage of Captain George Dixon, her 18th Century hero.

Mrs Dixon takes her surname from her late husband, who believed he was descended from the captain. Mr and Mrs Dixon enjoyed sailing the North Sea, and planned to visit Alaska to retrace the steps of Captain Dixon’s 1785 voyage.

After his death, Mrs Dixon made the journey with her daughter, and the book tells of the captain’s journey, experienced through Mrs Dixon’s travels.

Living in Ludgershall, the great-grandmother has written several books about the history of the village and its residents.

Now on her sixth book, she is publishing the story she wrote decades earlier, saying: “I’m getting old, and if I don’t publish it soon, it won’t get done!”

Captain Dixon started his naval career sailing with Captain James Cook, the famous explorer, as an armourer on his third voyage around the world.

Later, Captain Dixon sailed the route himself, and Mrs Dixon in turn aimed to repeat the Captain’s journey.

She said: “It took us a long time to get here, I’m glad it’s finally out, at last.”

She made two trips along the southern coast of Alaska, visiting the areas first mapped by Cook as he searched for a way around the north of Canada.

This route, known as the Northwest Passage, would have made trade with America’s west coast much easier, though explorers never found a way through the icy north. After each attempt, ships would return to warmer waters to restock and trade furs.

Her researching journey took Mrs Dixon to the Queen Charlotte Islands in southern Alaska. Eventually she found herself at the Dixon Straight, named after the captain.

She said: “When I made it to the end of the journey, I said a little prayer for my husband. It was sad he didn’t get to see it.”

The trip involved taking ferries between the small settlements in the area, such as Juneau, pictured. The town owes a debt to the sailors who literally put it on the map, and copies of the diaries of Dixon were on sale in the bookshop when the writer came.

She said the reason she chose to write about the captain was very simple: “I think he was a marvellous captain, and he was my hero. He came from nothing and worked hard all his life.

“He was a good captain, and he cared about his crew. He set a good example of cleanliness, made sure his men kept tidy and he fumigated the ship often. He insisted them men ate pickled cabbage, since it was the freshest vegetables they had.

“Scurvy was a problem, and nobody had proved eating citrus fruits prevented it. Captain Dixon would send his men ashore to find greens to eat, and that seemed to help.”

A former school teacher in Westminster, Mrs Dixon returned to Hampshire in the 90s, and has written a complete history of her village, Ludgershall.

She has also compiled the histories of some of its residents, and her seventh book is another compilation due for printing in the next few weeks. Many residents have a history in the merchant navy, adding to her nautical connections.

As she has become less mobile, she says she has found comfort in writing. “It keeps me going, and keeps me busy.”

The book is made to be easy to understand, with a glossary of unusual seafaring phrases some might not know. Collating and researching the book took months, she said, and all sources are listed.

“It’s a simple story of adventure and human experience. I hope people find it interesting.”

The book is available for £12.99 on Amazon.