The American Practical Navigator (Bowditch)
By Nathaniel Bowditch (Ed. NGIS)
Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Softcover, 879 pages
This book, first published in 1802, is simply known as Bowditch and named after the original author Nathaniel Bowditch, an early U.S. mathematician who is considered the founder of modern maritime navigation. There has been more than 50 editions published through the decades, and this latest has been revised and includes electronic navigation, meteorology and oceanography. The book is standard reading and is carried aboard every U.S. Navy vessel. The topics cover everything connected to navigation, from piloting and celestial navigation to safety at sea. There is an exhaustive glossary of navigation terms that runs an eye-popping 137 pages, along with an extensive grouping of navigational tables listing figures used in calculating navigational themes. The book is more technical in nature, with updates by the U.S. government agency National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (within the Dept. of Defense). The book has only black-and-white photos and graphics and is printed on paper stock, but offers details on tides, dead reckoning needed if instruments fail or fog rolls in, reading and understanding electronic charts, sailing in ice, fog and any other conditions that Mother Nature can throw at a sailor. This is for the serious sailor.
Legends and Lore of Lake Ontario
By Susan Peterson Gateley
The History Press
Softcover, 122 pages
Writer, teacher and scientist (Master’s in fisheries) Susan Peterson Gateley, who sails her 32 ft. Chris Craft sloop out of Little Sodus Bay in New York, has written seven books on Lake Ontario along with some children’s titles. She used to sail solo on another boat but married and moved to the larger boat. She enjoys sailing on the U.S. and Canadian sides of Lake Ontario. Her latest book covers legends like ghosts and monsters that some sailors say inhabit the waters, along with tales of rum running during Prohibition in the U.S., and legendary ships. There are details on the 130 ft. schooner called Oriole which was owned by the Gooderham family (of Whisky fame) and kept at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the steam yacht called Clover owned by George Boldt (who built Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the Thousand islands), and the 126 ft. steam yacht Cangarda, which was owned by the Fulford family from Brockville and still sails after being restored. The book begins with the tale of Carcagne, a female spirit from the lake with a wolf’s head, vampire’s fangs and the black wings of a bat. Sailors claim to have seen her flying during storms. And there’s the spirit of a long-dead soldier who walks the ramparts of Oswego’s Fort Ontario who likes to wander around. The author writes in a folksy style and there are black-and-white photos and graphics. This is for those enthused about history (textbook or otherwise) and sailing on Lake Ontario.
Your First Channel Crossing
By Andy Du Port
Adlard Coles Nautical
Softcover, 144 pages
This U.K. publishing company offers up a comprehensive and detailed book to help English sailors or visitors to the area to cross the Channel to France. Many of the tips offered here on a passage can be applied anywhere in the world, although there are some specific details on places to cross from the southern U.K (the popular 12- to 18-hour route from the sheltered Solent port of Yarmouth or Gosport to Cherbourg or St. Vaast in France) and the paperwork and other details needed to land with little extra effort on the other side. The book is written by Andy Du Port, a former editor of Reeds Nautical Almanac and sailor who crosses the Channel regularly with his family and crew. He advises to work out the tides when you depart and land, and lay a course for steering, along with alternative ports for landing. There are general details on passagemaking, like briefing the crew, watchkeeping and dealing with emergencies like a man-overboard situation. The book details various ports with GPS coordinates, harbour entrance details, and distances and times for a crossing. There are colourful photos and graphics and a pleasing layout.
Along the Shore: Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront Heritage
By Jane Fairburn
Toronto lawyer Jane Fairburn, who lives near the Scarborough Bluffs with her husband and three kids, says the city lost its connection with the waterfront beginning in the 1930s. That’s when people paid to get into the old Sunnyside Amusement Park near the Palaise Royal to see the burning and sinking of the last of the Great Lakes schooners, the Lyman M. Davis. It was the waterfront’s first “body blow” followed by the closing of Sunnyside theme park, the building of the Gardiner Expressway and the littering of buildings along the waterfront that blocked the view of the lake for many area residents and visitors. One of the biggest challenges for the future “will be to envision Toronto again as a waterfront community,” the author says. Fairburn enjoys history and celebrates the city’s shoreline in this book, detailing the historical and geological features that have shaped the shoreline from Scarborough to Long Branch (including the Beach, Humber Bay and the islands). She begins the detailed and researched work with the formation of the shore, the early aboriginal and French eras, followed by European settlement, the area’s “resort” period when the city came to recreate along the water’s edge, and details the area right up to its present-day uses. She draws on the writings, observations and historical records of many locals, including artists like the late classical pianist Glenn Gould and filmmaker Norman Jewison, to pioneer Mrs. John Graves Simcoe, lifesaver William Ward and sculler Ned Hanlan (areas in the Toronto islands bear their family names). Talk a walk back in time along Toronto’s shoreline with this book.