Tall Ships

Tall ShipsAn International Guide

by Thad KozaWith a brilliant color photograph on each page, Thad Koza’s collection of the world’s most majestic sailing vessels will undoubtedly take its place in the libraries of sail aficionados.

From old fighting ships like the USS Constitution, to the Russian training ship Sedov, which is the largest sailing vessel afloat, the hardcover book includes scantlings and a description for each of the 150 featured ships. At 170 pages, the book costs $39.95 and is published by Tide-Mark, P.O. Box 280311, East Hartford, Conn. 06128; phone: 860-289-0363.CubaA Cruising Guide by Nigel CalderThe long-awaited, definitive cruising guide to the Shangri La of American voyagers is now available, replete with hundreds of charts and local connections. Nigel Calder’s thorough volume, which covers all of Cuba’s coastline, including outlying islands, is the product of several years of research, most of which the author performed with his family aboard their boat Nada.

Calder makes clear in the book that voyaging to Cuba for Americans is not illegal and many U.S. yachts are presently there. The guide offers advice on the complex legal issues that still exist between the two nations, however.

Published by Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, Ltd., in the U.K., the book costs $39.95 and is distributed in the U.S. by Bluewater Books and Charts, 1481 SE 17th St. Causeway, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33316; phone: 800-942-2583.A Bride’s PassageSusan Hathorn’s Year Under Sail

by Catherine PetroskiCatherine Petroski’s devotion to the details of one year in the life of Susan Hathorn, the wife of a merchant ship captain, adds to the important but scant personal accounts of women at sea.

Hathorn’s diary of the year 1855 describes her life on passages of the merchant bark J.J. Hathorn in the Caribbean and the North Atlantic. Petroski’s study of the diary examines the intricacies of a crucial role in maritime history, namely, the captain’s only confidant.

The book is 283 pages, includes diagrams and illustrations, and is published by Northeastern University Press, 360 Huntington Ave., 416CP, Boston, Mass. 02115; phone: 617-373-5481. Hardcover cost is $42.50 and paper is $15.95.Sea ChangeAlone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat

by Peter NicholsOn an ill-fated voyage across the Atlantic aboard a leaky boat, Peter Nichols reflects on the voyaging lifestyle, his failed marriage, and, ultimately, about the reasons for putting to sea at all.

Though the yacht Toad doesn’t quite make the hop from England to Maine (the vessel sinks before completing the voyage), Nichols’ honesty is refreshing, and in this way his tragedy becomes a triumph. The 256-page hardcover costs $23.95 and is published by Viking Penguin, 375 Hudson St., New York, N.Y. 10014-3657; phone: 212-366-2000.Below the ConvergenceVoyages Toward Antarctica 1699-1839 by Alan GurneyThe great southern land, Terra Australis Incognita, what is now known as Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica, was thought to be the largest and most fertile continent for several centuries until Capt. James Cook’s Antarctic voyage of 1773 determined otherwise.

Alan Gurney’s book chronicles the many intrepid explorers, seal hunters, and whalers who battled pack ice, growlers, and gales during a 140-year period, searching for Antarctica’s true shape.

At 315 pages the hardcover costs $27.50 and is published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10110; phone: 212-354-5500.E.A.S.Y.Emergency Astro Book

by Rob JamesThough we hesitate to recommend any book that condones venturing to sea without a thorough knowledge of celestial navigation, this pocket-sized volume includes enough basics for the black-box-bound mariner to find his/her way back to shore using a sextant and nautical almanac.

At only 30 pages, the softcover book fits well in a sextant case. It covers only sun shots but does so in a very manageable way. The book costs £4.95 and is available from the publisher at Thomas Reed Publications, 19 Bridge Rd., Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9EU England; phone: 011-44-181-941-7878. Note: This is a different company from Thomas Reed Publications in Boston. “We’re connected only in spirit,” said an official with the Boston company.

By Ocean Navigator