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Ontario Sailor Reviews: Dana & Spurr

Some book reviews from Ontario Sailor Magazine:

 

The Annotated Two Years Before the Mast
By Rod Scher, Original story by Richard Henry Dana

Sailor, author and Harvard dropout (measles weakened his eyesight), Richard Henry Dana, wrote his book, Two Years Before the Mast, in 1840, about a trip he took on a working ship to California. The book became a hit and launched a genre, serving as a forerunner to maritime classics like Moby Dick, Sailing Alone Around the World and Caine Mutiny. Dana, a lawyer and member of a wealthy Boston family, signed up for grunt duty on the ship Pilgrim, and ended up writing about the poor working sailors who travel onboard “before the mast” compared to ship officers and privileged passengers who traveled in more comfortable quarters found aft of the mast. Dana went on to write another book, The Seaman’s Friend, that dealt with sailors rights during the early years of working sailboats, and he defended them in his law practice. His first book has never been out of print in more than 170 years and is now reprinted, along with annotations and notes in the margins by Nebraska-based writer and former English teacher Rod Scher. He has studied Dana’s life and books and has now added notes to explain in the original text old sailing terms, to criticize or compliment, and put the author’s life and experiences in context (eg. Dana’s use of the phrase “weakness of the eyes”).

 

 Your First Sailboat, 2nd Ed.
By Daniel Spurr

A marine writer who has worked for various magazines including Cruising World, Daniel Spurr has updated his book, Your First Sailboat, designed to help find the right sailboat and gain the skills to enjoy a day on the water. He is the author of other books like Upgrading Your Cruising Sailboat, Yacht Style, and co-author of Offshore Sailing. This book, with lots of black-and-white photos and graphics, tackles many topics, from what to look for in a new or used boat, handling and maintaining the vessel, navigating and what happens when things go wrong (eg., the engine doesn’t start). The back of the book lists 84 various mono- and multi-hulls, from dinghies to 38 ft. yachts, with the author offering pros and cons on various makes and models. Some topics may not be in detail, but the whole point is to get someone into sailing, and out enjoying themselves. Sail along with Daniel.

Mostly Normal Victoria Day Weekend Hours & Super Special Saturday Sale!

Queen VictoriaIn celebration of the moveable pagan feast dedicated to Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria, and the spirit of the British Empire, The Nautical Mind will be open for the following hours:

Saturday – 10AM – 5PM
Sunday – Noon – 5PM
Monday – 10AM – 3PM

Special Victoria Sale: Come in to the store on Saturday and make a convincing case that the book you wish to purchase is in some way related to HRH Queen Victoria and get 10% off! (some arbitrary and undisclosed conditions apply)

 

Easter Hours

bunny-boatThe Easter Bunny will be hopping down the bunny trail and/or rowing down the bunny canal (which is hopefully mostly free of ice by now) this weekend. To help The Bunny, we will be mostly open, providing our navigation aids, tools, and other boaty books.

Our storefront Easter Weekend 2014 Hours are:

Friday 18th: 10AM – 4PM
Saturday 19th: 10AM – 5PM
Sunday 20th: CLOSED
Monday 21st: 10AM – 5PM

Our web site remains open 24/7.

 

Windbags: Unique hand-sewn sailcloth satchels.

We are pleased to announce that The Nautical Mind is expanding our stock from books and charts to now also include fashionable satchels.  We will proudly purvey these morsels of haute couture from our store front and online from our webzones.

Windbags - Stylish sail cloth satchelsEach unique “windbag” is made from the best parts of old sails, hand sewn in authentic and shippy Lunenberg, Nova Scotia by salty-yet-stylish sea dogs. We have a wide array to chose from, so come down to the store and check them out, or order by phone or internest, and our staff of sophisticates will be delighted to select one to suit your exacting sail-fashion needs.

They are very rugged, attractive, and neat, and make excellent gifts to sailors or your self.

 

U.S. Charts to be Ugly and Poor Quality Effective April 13th

We’re disappointed to announce that the US government body responsible for publishing navigation charts, NOAA’s Office of Chart Survey will stop printing lithographic paper charts effective April 13th.  All navigation charts will still be available as “Print-On-Demand” which have the virtue of being up-to-date with all the latest corrections and notices to mariners, but also tend to be flimsy and unattractive.  The card stock, inks, and printing process for POD charts are all inferior to the old lithographic charts.

NOAA Chart 12300 - Approaches to New YorkWe will stock pile a few of our more popular NOAA charts like 12300 Approaches to New York14880 Mackinac Straits, 14813 Oswego Harbor, and 14853 Detroit River, Lake St Clair, and St Clair River Charbook, but expect to sell out.  If there are any US waters you’d like a high-quality chart for, we recommend ordering before April 13th.  East Coast US charts are listed here while inland waters are here.  You can also download PDFs of the Chart Catalogues form the NOAA Site and phone in orders to us at 416-203-1163 or 1-800-463-9951.

 

Book Reviews: Recipes, Skills, Disasters, Fun.

Some Book Reviews from Ontario Sailor Magazine:

Boating Skills and SeamanshipBoating 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.

 

West Coast GalleySea 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 RacingGetting 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 FunAs 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.

A Pair of Canadian Legends

Herb McCormick, author of the very well received [WSJ Review - may be pay-walled] biography of the Pardeys, As Long As It’s Fun, writes:

As Long As It's FunIn early January, almost 33 years to the day after his historic performance in Toronto’s Massey Hall, Neil Young walked back onto the same stage armed with a harmonica, a piano, about a dozen guitars, his dry wit and his incredible talent. Sadly, I missed that original 1971 show, but happily, I caught the 2014 concert. And it was fantastic. Neil absolutely crushed it.

Even better, Neil was actually the second Canadian legend whose company I was honored to keep on that wonderful winter day. For I’d come to Toronto for the annual boat show, and also to catch up with old friends Lin and Larry Pardey. In the arenas of boatbuilding and voyaging, few mariners in history are as accomplished as Larry Pardey.

I’ve known the famous cruising couple and authors for many years now, and they’re the subjects of my new biography on the pair, As Long As It’s Fun. Over the years, of course, Neil had some accompaniment, including a trio of guys named Nash, Stills and Crosby, and a band called Crazy Horse. And Larry had Lin. In their own ways, they all made some beautiful music.

So I’ll remember my trip for a lot of reasons, but especially for the time I spent in the presence of two accomplished “homeboys” who started in Canada, then conquered the world.

Offshore Cruising Companion authors’ Seminars at the Toronto Boat Show

The Boat Show is fast approaching. John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal will be among many authors, sailors, and sailor-authors delivering highly informative seminars there. They write:

Hello Toronto!
  We’ve just completed a little 9,000 mile jaunt from New Zealand, up to Tahiti, as far west as New Caledonia and back to New Zealand. Here are our expedition log entries. This was our 23rd season of taking sailors keen to learn more about ocean passage making to sea on sometimes very demanding passages and watching them gain more skills and confidence by the day. A highlight on our last ocean passage from New Caledonia to New Zealand was having our crew choose to press on to face a powerful frontal passage with 50 kts and seas to 7 meters instead of sheltering at Norfolk Island.

Today we’re holed up at our little island home 12 miles east of Victoria, BC putting the finishing touches on to the exciting PowerPoint seminars we will be presenting at the Toronto Boat Show:

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