Some Book Reviews from Ontario Sailor Magazine:
Boating Skills and Seamanship, 14 Ed.
By U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Softcover, 405 pages
This large-format manual is full of boating information to keep you safe on the water, with topics ranging from picking a boat to safety equipment, trailering, boat handling both inland and offshore, navigation, rope work and weather forecasting. With colourful pages and lots of photographs and graphics, this manual is ideal for both the beginner and intermediate boater. This latest installment of the book, now in its 14th printing, is designed more for powerboaters but offers sections for sailors. Much of the information applies to both boating factions. The information is offered in an easy-to-understand way so that the reader doesn’t got bogged down with details. The auxiliary helps the U.S. Coast Guard with rescues, and does boating education. Multiple-choice questions end each chapter to test your skills. This is an important book to read before heading out.
Final Voayage, The World’s Worst Maritime Disasters
By Jonathan Eyers
Softcover, 192 pages
Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, but the author says that tragedy doesn’t even make the top-50 list of the worst maritime disasters of the last 300 years. The overcrowded ship Wilhelm Gustloff sanks with 10,000 packed onboard. Fire ripped through other struggling ships, like Sultana and the Dona Paz, before they vanished. Some survivors of wrecks were shot at, and many ships capsized before going down, and sank quickly. None of that happened with the Titanic, which took almost three hours to sink. This book details many tragedies at sea that led to devastating losses and shattered families, including the so-called Isles of Scilly Disaster. About 1,400 sailors died in the early 1700s (The isles off England has claimed more than 900 ships) in a storm that blew them off-course. The author opens with the general plight of sailors during the Golden Age of Sail in the 18th and 19th centuries before steam power. The vast majority of sailors were conscripted and not volunteered, and most died of disease and not war. During the Napoleonic Wars between France and largely Great Britain in the early 1800s, 60,000 died from typhus spread by infected lice while only 1,500 died in battle. The book is full of these sea disasters. Read on to be both alarmed and scared.
Sea Salt, Recipes from the West Coast Galley
By Lorna & Hilary Malone and Alison Malone Eathorne
Softcover, 256 pages
Sailor Lorna Malone and her two daughters have come up with a deliciously prepared cookbook with a decidedly nautical theme. Malone is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and a former teacher and has been racing and cruising for more than 30 years, nowadays aboard Aeriel, a McCurdy & Rhodes wooden sailboat with husband, Bill. She first sailed with him on Lake Huron and did the Mac Race, forcing her to prepare food in advance for the long-distance race. She said it wasn’t easy planning lots of meals for a big crew in advance. The family moved to the west coast, and she’s taken part in the Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, a two-week rip around Vancouver Island, and cruised through the Gulf Islands. She and her daughters, one of whom is studying culinary arts at university, have come up with a variety of recipes that are sprinkled with snippets of information on places they have sailed to, with photographs of the dishes they feature and their sailing experiences. The book begins with what to include in the galley, sourcing local foods, and lessons learned about provisioning before heading out. Most of the recipes come with full-page photos which makes the reader pause to admire the culinary design and food presentation. There are recipes on main dishes, fast snacks, desserts, seafood, and other culinary delights to enjoy at home or while out sailing.
Getting Started in Sailboat Racing, 2nd Ed
By Adam Cort, Richard Stearns
Softcover, 214 pages
Marine writer Adam Cort, SAIL Magazine editor, and Richard Stearns, an America’s Cup veteran, sailmaker, yacht broker and participant in an impressive 39 Chicago to Mackinac races, have updated their earlier version of the book on introducing more sailors to racing. They say that many sailors are worried about either looking foolish or safety on the race course, fears that are not justified. “Getting out there is more than worth the risk of loosing a little gelcoat or tasting an occasional helping of humble pie,” the book begins. The idea for the book is to explain racing to cruisers and day sailors so that they can join in on the fun, and see what they are missing. It’s folksy at times, and not too technical to lose the reader. There is an introduction to the race course, starting strategies, mark rounding hints, and some basic tactics and ways to improve boat speed. There’s a limited amount of photos and more helpful diagrams. Get racing and have fun.
As Long As It’s Fun
By Herb McCormick
Softcover, 282 pages
A former editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine, Herb McCormick tells the tale of cruising royalty with the story of Lin and Larry Pardey, who after 34 years of marriage and more than 170,000 nautical miles and more than two circumnavigations, have moved on land permanently. The couple is known as the King and Queen of small boat cruisers who like to shun modern gadgets — like motors, of all things. The author says the couple’s cruising mantra is “go simple, go small, go now…they’ve proven that the dream of cruising under sail is accessible, attainable and affordable to almost anyone.” The couple has penned nearly a dozen books and many magazine articles on everything from navigation and seamanship to heavy-weather survival. This is the story about how the couple met, married, built a 24 ft. wooden yacht Seraffyn (launched in 1969) and their current yacht, the 29 ft. Taleisin (launched in 1984), and shoved off to explore the world. Larry is Canadian (Lin grew up in California) the couple built their first boat on the west coast and sailed south into Mexico on the first sojourn on their way to many adventures in often remote places around the globe. This book, with only a few black-and-white photos, is less a travel book and more a tale about two central players who, many years ago bought, some land in New Zealand in a quiet bay and have recently settled there after Larry’s health problems. They keep their yacht tied to a dock in front of their sea-side home, although they realize their long-distance cruising days are now over. They wanted to share their story, sought out a writer and we are all the better for it.