Notable New Titles

Notable New Titles

Finding Serendipity: An Adventure of Boating on North America’s Great Loop by John L. Gray JL Gray Co., 377 pages; $18.95 on Amazon John Gray’s Finding Serendipity recounts a journey on his 29-foot motor yacht, a compact Ranger Tug called Andiamo (Italian for “Let’s Go”). On a flawless February morning, the author and his wife, Laurie, set out on what boating enthusiasts describe as “looping,” a circuit beginning on Florida’s west coast. The couple then cruised north along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to Chesapeake Bay and New York’s Erie Canal. From there, the route crossed the Great Lakes before veering…
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Notable New Titles

Notable New Titles

The Backside of Normal: A Sailing Life of Adventure” by Roger Olson Seaworthy Publications $20 Like many fellow boating authors and journalists, I make a living wading through personal accounts of fellow writers, weighing their opinions and observations as part of my research for a potential new book or article. Most of what I read is well written and poignant. But every now and then, I find a book that goes beyond the predictable, forcing me to review my own motivation for pursuing sailing and adventure as a way of life. Roger Olson’s book, The Backside of Normal: A Sailing…
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The Deepest Map: The High-Stakes Race to Chart the World’s Oceans

The Deepest Map: The High-Stakes Race to Chart the World’s Oceans

The Deepest Map: The High-Stakes Race to Chart the World’s Oceans By Laura Trethewey HarperCollins 304 pgs. Seawater, writes Laura Trethewey, covers 71 percent of Earth, yet only 15 percent of the seafloor has been mapped and most of that is near the coast where nations have an interest. The coast is also where detailed mapping matters most for nautical chart makers but as sailors, and humans, we have a stake in knowing the wider ocean. Seabed 2030 is an international, crowd-sourced project that hopes to complete a global map by the end of this decade. Trethewey’s book The Deepest…
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Notable New Titles: Chanties: An American Dream

Notable New Titles: Chanties: An American Dream

Chanties: An American Dream by Eric Weiskott Bottlecap Press $10 I’ll admit it’s a stretch for me to review a book of poetry for Ocean Navigator. I am usually found writing the celestial navigation problems appearing at the back of the magazine. But when this small book (technically this type of book is called a chapbook, derived from the word chapman, the name given to itinerant dealers, who sold such books) of poems appeared in the mail, I wanted to share it with my fellow mariners. Chanties: An American Dream is a collection that I would recommend for an afternoon…
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Notable New Titles

Notable New Titles

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann Doubleday; $20.98 What is it about these terrible tales of suffering and privation that makes them so fascinating even 280 years after the fact? I’ll tell you: it’s the repeated mistakes made by military planners and leaders who rely on hope as a strategy; that despite knowledge gained from previous failures, somehow this one will be successful (e.g. press gangs are never a good way to obtain crew). It is a tale of extremes and contradictions: one of Britain’s greatest naval victories and failures occurred on the same…
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Notable New Titles

Notable New Titles

The Five-Year Voyage: Exploring Latin American Coasts and Rivers by Stephen Ladd Seekers Press 241 pages; $16.95  This is not a book written in the tradition of the great classics of blue-water voyaging—tales of writer-adventurers battling heavy Atlantic seas or running free before the Pacific trades in their wood-or-steel schooners, yawls or ketches. The Five-Year Voyage is hardly a sea story at all. It is instead a riveting account by author Stephen Ladd of the pleasures and pain of international coasting and river cruising in the equivalent of an oversized fishing dory. Based on an old Herreshoff design, Ladd’s 1985…
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