Category Archives: New Books

Some Ontario Sailor Book Reviews

Book Reviews from the Latest Ontario Sailor Magazine:

 

A Storm Too Soon
By Michael Tougias

Three men were set to cross the Atlantic from Jacksonville to the Mediterranean in May 2007 and sailed north on the Gulf Stream until a storm turned the seas near Cap Hatteras into something resembling the inside of a washing machine. Waves reaching 75 ft. battered the 44-ft. Beneteau and the sailboat ended up sinking, with the crew, including Ottawa-area resident Rudy Snel who sailed on the Ottawa River, scrambling into a life raft. The three clung on during the raging storm until the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter responded to an emergency beacon call and attempted a rescue in the huge seas, threatening the life of the rescuers. This is the story of how these three survived the ordeal, although the storm caught three other boats near them also in a Mayday situation, with only six crew of 10 on these other boats surviving. The three men did everything right, preparing the boat and leaving before the start of hurricane season and, in the end, were lucky to be plucked from the sea. The author has written 20 books, some of other harrowing rescues at sea, and now lectures on these and other killer storms.

 

Jack Tar and the Baboon Watch
By Captain Frank Lanier

The author spent more than 20 years compiling nautical trivia in his career with the U.S. Coast Guard, which was published in bits and pieces over the years in newsletters on the various ships he sailed on. He squirreled away all of these trivia pieces and has now collected the information for this book. It’s more than a nautical dictionary, and is full of curious maritime stories, words and phrases that are now part of the English language. For example, you can read about Captain Fudge who gave us the term to “fudge” or lie about something and the phrase “square meal” for a hearty dinner that comes from the square, wooden plates once used aboard old ships. The title of the book comes from the term Jack Tar, which stands for an everyday sailor (and resulted in other words like jackhammer, jackknife, etc), and baboon watch, which is the worst watch of all for a seaman because it happens when the boat is in port, and they can’t leave. The various nautical words, terms and trivia are listed alphabetically, and there are some interesting stories behind everyday words — like pale ale, by and large, bigwigs and son of a gun.

 

Shipwrecks of Lake Erie
By David Frew

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and storms and fog can hit with very little warning, making this body of water one of the most treacherous in the world and the perfect setting for a book on shipwrecks, says author David Frew, a university professor and researcher who grew up on the lake’s shoreline in Erie, Pennsylvania. He found himself unfulfilled writing textbooks and research papers until a chance meeting with Canadian Dave Stone, who lived on the shores of Long Point and liked to research pieces of old ships that drifted to shore during storms. They wrote books on the shipwrecks that they researched and now Frew has revised and updated a book they published together in 1993 called The Lake Erie Quadrangle: Waters of Repose. This latest version includes stories on yachts, commercial fishing and excursion boats, and covers the quadrangle area of the lake that stretches for 2,500 miles either side of Long Point where 429 ships perished, says insurance firm Lloyd’s of London. There’s a story on the lake’s first shipwreck in 1813 of schooner Amelia and the “unsinkable” James B. Colgate, and others.

 

All Standing
Kathryn Miles

They were called “coffin” ships because of the one million Irish immigrants who came to North America aboard these old sailing ships during the Great Potato famine in the 1840s more than 100,000 would die on the voyage. The potato famine was thought to have been caused by a fungus-like microorganism in bat and seabird guano that was part of fertilizer that originated in South America and sent through the U.S. to Ireland. The famine killed one million Irish, who didn’t make it on one of the transport ships, some dilapidated, for the arduous journey across the Atlantic to the New World. One of these so-called famine ships, the Jeanie Johnston built in Quebec, made 11 trips and remarkably didn’t lose a soul in any of the crossings. Author Kathryn Miles, a sailor based in Maine and writing professor at Unity College, recounts what went right for the crew on this ship and how no one died during the voyage. This is an engaging and happy story in a sea of misery.

 

Life Boat
Mark Harwood

Canadian sailor Mark Harwood went to England with his British wife and two young children and after a separation found himself gravitating to a boatyard in Bristol. He spotted a 100-year old leaking lifeboat called The Arab and announced that he was going to sail the boat to the Mediterranean. He was joined by first mate, Karen, who would later join him in Canada where they settled in a cabin Mark had built before he left Canada to raise his children and some goats. The sail from England saw the couple battle late-season gales and hampered by ice in France. They made some minor mistakes that resulted in major mishaps along the way. The couple spent some time fixing up the boat and sewing their own sails before leaving Bristol in August 2003. Ten years later they had sold their boat and were based in Canada, where Mark wrote of their journey from England to the Med. The story is personal, and a tad long and could be shortened.

David Beaupré’s Advice to Liveaboards

David Beaupré, author of Quest and Crew writes:

There are as many reasons to buy a sailboat and cruise off to the Caribbean as there are dreams. Quest and Crew is the memoir of one such dream. It is a dream complete with blue water sailing and palm fringed islands. For Wendy and me it was the adventure of a lifetime. Each day in paradise presented us with new challenges which helped to refine our sailing abilities.

David and Wendy

David & Wendy

Our cruising style varied considerably from most liveaboard cruisers. We sought out the most remote beautiful anchorages, free from the trappings of civilization. We routinely stayed for weeks in hidden coves that only saw two or three boats a year. The key to our enjoyment and independence was having the right boat and the perfect equipment.

Quest and Crew is the story of our adventures. I also hope that it is a testament to a fine classic boat that was lovingly restored. Quest is a Bayfield 36 that was built in Ontario from a Hayden Gozzard design.  Her beautiful lines and unquestioned pedigree do not tell the complete story. She possesses one elusive and intangible quality that we all seek. She is a very lucky boat. Her luck was proven in Chapter One when Quest faces down a 150 mph hurricane and survives without a scratch while the marina is destroyed and the fleet of moored boats were holed and sunk.

If I could convey one important thought to the reader, it would be the idea that anybody with the will to succeed and a modest cruising kitty can follow their dream. It doesn’t require great strength or a lifetime of blue water sailing. The ability to captain a boat safely does require complete knowledge of the craft and a great deal of common sense. The most important requirement to make an ocean cruiser successful is the desire to take on the unknown. Out on the ocean, outside of the sight of land you discover the meaning of self reliance.

Quest in Nevis

Quest in Nevis

Apart from a good boat and cruising kitty the would-be cruiser should possess the ability to adapt to an ever changing environment and have a high degree of faith in their ability to make themselves into competent sailors. They will certainly need to adapt to very tight living conditions. Without a doubt the greatest stress on a cruising sailboat is not the raging sea. Many couples choose to live their sailing dream in later life. For the first time in their lives they will be living day after day, shoulder to shoulder in the tightest of quarters. In the end it is the human relationship that is put under the greatest strain.  Be prepared. Your relationship will change. It will strengthen or weaken. Under adversity you and your mate will grow closer only if you are willing to compromise.

Quest and Crew by David BeaupréIf I were to offer the simplest advice it would be to purchase the right boat for your chosen cruising grounds. Spend some time discovering the boat’s strengths and weaknesses. But most importantly you must get up every day and make a commitment to get just a little closer to your goal of sailing away. Many want-to-be cruisers take a passive attitude to preparing for their adventure. The preferred alternative is to be a hands-on captain and do the work yourself. This will serve you well in finding the confidence to become a successful cruiser. This intangible quality can only come from deep within you. The desire to go sailing is a classic dream that has stood the test of time. To live even a part of your life on the water requires a mind change and the strength to test your abilities.

 

 

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.

Cornell, Vigor, Rules: Ontario Sailor Reviews

World Voyage PlannerWorld Voyage Planner
By Jimmy Cornell

Jimmy Cornell has sailed more than 200,000 miles on all the oceans of the world, has circumnavigated three times, and began rallies to safely get lots of other sailors across the Atlantic or around the world. And he’s still helping sailors, this time with the release of the soft-cover version of his World Voyage Planner, which outlines the best route and time to leave to get to your particular paradise. The book sections the different routes by oceans, with chapters on the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian oceans, with the final chapter covering around-the-world voyages. There are three options for going from Canada or the U.S. to Europe; a northern latitude route in June or July to northern Europe and then a trip south to the Mediterranean in the fall; Bermuda and on to Gibraltar, especially for those sailors starting south of the Chesapeake; And finally sailing south to the Caribbean for the winter and heading to Europe in the spring. The book begins with planning the trip, including which boat is best (it depends, but a comfortable cockpit and a hard dodger are good), crew (healthy, add one or two on a long passage), finances (from $10,000 to $60,000 a year, but upgrade the boat before leaving, carry spares and stay out of marinas and marine stores) and weather. This book is an ideal planner for a trip anywhere in the world.

 

Practical Mariner's Book of KnowledgeThe Practical Mariner’s Book of Knowledge, 2nd Ed.
By John Vigor

This book by marine journalist John Vigor, a dinghy racing champion in South Africa who know lives in Bellingham, Washington, offers an eclectic mix of the useful and the whimsical on boating – everything from sizing an anchor to figuring out paint coverage or a colour-scheme for running rigging. With no graphics or photos or even colour on the page, the book manages to be interesting enough to prompt you to pick it up at different times to while away hours testing yourself on boat knowledge. It’s organized alphabetically, and offers more than 400, soup-to-nuts nautical theories, definitions and terms. Vigor sailed his 31 ft. sailboat more than 7,000 miles from Durban, South Africa to the Caribbean and up the Florida coastline to “escape” South Africa’s problems. He’s written for newspapers and sailing magazines and gained lots of boater knowledge, which he is now sharing with others. By the way, in answer to the above-raised questions, to paint the topsides you need to calculate the length on deck (in feet), plus beam, multiplied by 2 and multiplied by the average freeboard; A 35 ft. sailboat should have a 12 lb. Danforth anchor and/or a 25 lb. CQR; And a jib or genoa line should be blue, red for a spinnaker sheet, green for topping lifts and orange for lines for vangs and travelers. Dive in to the mix and enjoy.

 

Paul Evstrom's Racing RulesPaul Elvstrom Explains The Racing Rules of Sailing
Edited by Soren Krause

Author and winning Olympic sailor Paul Elvstrom says the racing rules for sailors are “among the most complicated of any sport” but it’s easy to stay out of trouble and “preserve friendships” and promote racing by sailing against others the same way that you would like them to sail against you. “It is great to win…but only if the other competitors join in the pleasure,” Elvstrom says in the introduction. His book goes on to explain the latest changes made to the rules of racing completed by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), which mixes things up after each Olympics. Some new rules, to be in effect until 2016 ensures skippers give “wiggle room” to others to change course on a run whether they are on the same or an opposite tack, improves the definition of “mark room” and allows more latitude to help crew in danger by, say, falling overboard. The smaller-format book comes with a plastic sleeve, to protect if from water in the cockpit and small, along with plastic boat models to show the racecourse transgression to others, or explain the new rules. There are helpful, colour graphics with interpretations on the new rules and changes, and the back cover shows racing signals and flag combinations for skippers and crew.

 

Rules in PracticeThe Rules in Practice 2013-2016
By Bryan Willis

This 8th edition is a larger-format book with colourful graphics to help the reader through situations in which the new racing rules would apply. It’s more graphical than Paul Elvstrom’s book (see above review), and a little easier for the novice to understand. The author, Bryan Willis, has been chairman of the jury and chief umpire for events like the Olympics and America’s Cup, and has been a member of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) racing rules committee for 25 years. So, there’s little doubt that he knows his stuff. He says there’s satisfaction in going into a mark rounding in second place and coming out in first — more than sailing faster on a run. That comes with knowing the rules. With the help of layout artists, the author offers sailors a great resource to keep them out of trouble, or to argue their case when trouble finds them. A graphic on a given racing situation is offered, with boats close together on the course, followed by explanations on the various rights and obligations of skippers in the various boats, along with the rule numbers needed to argue your case before the umpire. Different scenarios are offered, such as during a gate start, rounding the windward mark, the finish, and on a reach. The back section spells out the ISAF racing rules.

A Sister Remembers a Coyote

mikeplant

Julia Plant, author of Coyote at Sea reflects: 

When my older brother, Mike Plant, died at sea in 1992, just before his 42th birthday, he had made a big name for himself in the strange, and, seemingly impossible, sport of single-handed sailing around the world.  Before his racing career took off, my relationship with Mike was an enormous part of my life and, particularly, a big part of my “coming of age” years: my mid- teens to my mid-twenties.  His sudden death left me feeling bereft, and I wasn’t ready to let him go. Writing a book about him gave me the illusion of having him in my life.

9780071789905-Coyote-Lost-SeaAs his sister, it was important to me that people understand who Mike was on an intimate level, as well as, who he was before he found his passion.  Although he had dreamed about sailing around the world his whole life, he lived a lot of his life before he even knew about solo, long distance racing.  He didn’t actually have a typical ocean sailor’s background. He grew up in Minnesota, a long ways from the sea, and he did not begin sailing on the ocean, let alone, solo, until he was thirty-six, the same year he won Class 2 in the 2nd BOC Challenge Around the World.  He did realize his dream and the path that he took was wild, compelling and definitely worth writing a book about.

2013 Racing Rules

The Rules in Practice 2013-2016

 

 

 

If you’ve seen our home page, you know we’ve got the new 2013- 2016 Racing Rules. There are quite a few updates: more than half the rules have changes or amendments. Here’s a rundown of our post popular rule-related books:

 

CYA Racing Rules 2013The CYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016 are the ISAF rules including “Exceptions to Rules” specific to Canadian racers. This is just the straight legalese, without any interpretation or illustration. The 5 by 7 inch format slips easily into large pockets.

  

 

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Important New Editions and Updates


IMDG 2012

IMDG 2012

 

IMDG Code, 2012 Edition

The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, 2012 Edition will be available in November, 2012. This edition of the Code will come into effect on January 1, 2014 for 2 years and may be applied voluntarily from January 1, 2013. It includes Amendment 36-12. The IMDG Code Supplement, 2010 edition is still valid. Two-volume set. The electronic editions will also be available in early 2013.

 

Marine Terminal Management and Self Assessment (MTMSA)

Marine Terminal Management and Self Assessment (MTMSA) 2012

MTMSA 2012

This document introduces the Marine Terminal Management and Self Assessment (MTMSA) process which has been developed by OCIMF as a standardised tool for global application to assist terminal operators in the assessment of the effectiveness of their management systems for berth operations and the management of the ship/shore interface. This is also available as an ebook.

 

 

 BLCH - Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage, and Distribution Depots

BLCH 2012

Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage

The BLCH Guide covers all aspects of typical chemical tank terminal activities, from basic design and layout to the ongoing safe and efficient operation, maintenance and management of the facility. This practical comprehensive publication focuses on safety, environment and security, bringing together international consistent best practices. Two-volume set. Ebook version also available.

 

Lloyd's Maritime Atlas

Lloyd's Maritime Atlas

Lloyd’s Maritime Atlas of World Ports and Shipping Places

Published since 1951, this is the 27th edition of a book used throughout the shipping industry. It contains precise latitude and longtitude co-ordinates of more than 8,000 ports world-wide.

 

French ColRegs

Guide d’application des Regles et des principes

Full-colour illustrations help explain the rules and regulations for preventing collisions at sea, 1972 with Canadian modifications. This is the only study guide of its kind available in French. Well organized and easy to use.

 

Reed's 13 - Ship Stability

Reed's #13

Reed’s Vol. 13: Ship Stability, Powering and Resistance

This is a new volume from the Reed’s Marine Engineering Series. It covers stability, resistance and powering based topics, such as flotation and buoyancy, small angle, large angle and longitudinal stability, water density effects, bilging, ship resistance, and advanced hydrostatics, and is geared to marine students and professionals.

 

COLREGS Guide

COLREGS

Colregs Guide

This is the 4th edition of a great learning guide to the collision regulations where every rule is presented on one page and the interpretations are presented on the face page. It is amply illustrated with computer-modelled drawings which give true-to-life views of the situation.

 

Marine FTP Code

FTP Code

FTP Code

A new edition of the International Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010. Also available as an ebook.

 

 

 

ISPS and Security Guide

ISPS and Security Guide

Guide to Maritime Security and the ISPS Code, 2012

This book does not supersede the ISPS Code, 2003 Edition but aims to assist SOLAS Contracting Governments in relation to the provisions of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code.

 

 

Meteorology Today

Meteorology Today

Meteorology Today: An Introduction to Weather, Climate, and the Environment

This is an updated edition of a book that provides a comprehensive look at weather, climate, and the environment, explained with hundreds of colour illustrations. The written material covers topics directly related to everyday experiences and stresses understanding and applying the fundamentals. Workbook also available.

 

Polar Ship Operations

Polar Ship Operations

Polar Ship Operations

A comprehensive practical guide to navigation in the polar regions. Covers preparation of the ship, personnel, and cargoes for polar transits. Introduces the mariner to ice physics, operation in polar ice (north and south), tactics for ice navigation, ice convoy work with particular focus on polar ice regimes, polar infrastructure, communications, environmental response and insurance.

 

Thomas' Stowage

Thomas' Stowage

Thomas’ Stowage: Properties and Stowage of Cargoes

A revised and rewritten edition of the definitive text on the properties and stowage of cargo.

 

 

Ship Construction

Ship Construction

Ship Construction

Written by George Bruce & D. J. Eyres, this excellent text is often used by schools.

 

 

 

Ship Stability for Masters and Mates

Ship Stability

Ship Stability for Masters and Mates

A new edition of a standard text for those wishing to become deck officers or acquire an engineering certificate of competency.

 

 

Professional Marine Books >>

Professional Marine ebooks >>

Phoenix from the Ashes: An Unexpected Journey

Justin Writes:

Phoenix from the Ashes

Phoenix from the Ashes

 

Most adventures are meticulously planned – ours came about by accident. For seven years Linda, my wife and I, lived and sailed on board a traditional wooden Gaffer that we built ourselves, as amateurs. Not for us the sweltering sun and tropical islands – we headed to the Celtic Coasts of Scotland and Ireland; visited tiny fishing communities; met the quirky folk who live there, and foraged for our living on their low-water shores. In the winters we headed up to the tops of rivers or sea-lochs where we would be protected from winter’s howling gales; walked the lonely hills by day; and at night read books by the cosy glow of a glass-fronted wood burning stove. Phoenix from the Ashes tells the story of an unexpected journey – but it’s really about the people we met: interesting, funny, quirky or sometimes just downright odd – real people struggling to make sense of the stuff that life throws at them. Just like us. I’m grateful to Nautical Mind for making my book available in Canada – I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear from you via the email address you’ll find inside. Best Wishes,  Justin.

Justin and Linda

Justin and Linda

Sam Llewellyn: Bars in Strange Towns, Stories, Black Fish

Sam Llewellyn writes:

When you come ashore in a strange port and head for the nearest bar, there is usually someone who will sidle up to you and tell you a story, rather in the way that it was once impossible to sit in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto without someone sidling up to you and trying to sell you an uranium mine. My most recent novel began when I went into the only pub on a remote Scottish island and a deeply intoxicated man told me that someone had stolen his fishing boat, which weighed about 100 tons, from between two locks on a canal, neither of the lock keepers having seen a thing. Unfortunately the law of libel, or possibly slander, prevents me from going into the rest of it here. But you will find the fictionalised consequences of this encounter between the covers of Black Fish.