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post #51 of 541 Old 10-04-2006
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An American Practical Navigator

Universally known as "Bowditch" after it's original author. The bible of marine navigation, but not nearly as weighty to read as it's name would suggest. Volume 1 discusses all aspects of marine navigation as well as history of same, weather, oceanography, and about a million fun facts to know and tell. It's worth the price of admission just for the biography of Bowditch and the section on hurricanes. Vol. 2, formerly Bowditch tables, is the vol. to carry coasting and offshore. It has all the tables needed for piloting as well as numerous articles explaining their use. No electronics-no problem, this volume acqaints one with bow and beam bearings, etc... If you can't use that sextant on stars vol. 2 will tell you how to use it to measure your distance offshore from that radio tower. All good stuff for winter reading.
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post #52 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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Now look, I know I could get into serious trouble here, but I find O'Brien tedious and Hornblower to be utter rubbish. There I've said it. Quite cathartic really. I'm too far away for any of you to find me and keel haul me so I'll thumb my nose at general consensus and be done with it. ;-)

I'd like to second however those who suggested the likes of Moitessier , Villiers, Adlard Coles and Hal Roth.

Possibly a bit too English for many Americans but J D Sleightholme's books are always good for a laugh and can be very educational.

Under the heading of "How could they not have been mentioned before ?" would have to be anything by Eric and Susan Hiscock and if you can still get them Irving and Electra Johnson's books particularly the voyages of Yankee (one , two and three) .

Also worth a read is Don Holm's "The Circumnavigators". Again I'm not sure if it is still in print but it is available as an E-Book free of charge, as is Slocum and Jack London's "Voyage of the Snark." If anyone wishes to find them please PM me and I'll send you the URLs.

Somewhat left of centre and if you havn't read him you should, is the English author now domiciled in the USA , Jonathan Raban. On a nautical theme there is 'Coasting' , 'Passage to Juneau' and 'Old Glory'. Old Glory is a trip down the Mississippi in a tinny so not really sailing but the other two are about voyages under sail. In Passage to Juneau, Raban tells how he decided to buy his current boat when he saw she had some 16 lineal metres of bookshelves. I like his attitude. Raban may be a little bit left wing politically for some of you but he's by no means Joseph Stalin reincarnate, just a damn fine read.
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post #53 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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On the subject of those that have "been there done that" are several books by Myles and Beryl Smeeton, British ex-pat Canadians who bought a boat in England, sailed it to BC as "newbies" and then went on various adventures including a Pacific circumnav and 'round the horn attempts with John Guzwell as crew. Some of these trips included very high drama. Easy reading, admirable resilient people, remarkable accomplishments. The titles escape me at the moment, there are two or three books.
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post #54 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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It's interesitng that nobody has mentioned Tristan Jones. I don't particularly care for his books though I've read plenty of them. I also read his biography which is better than some of his books. I'm just curious, since he has been outed as a quasi fraud, has his popularity declined? I would think that his work still has some merrit as fiction.
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post #55 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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The Barefoot Navigator by Jack Lagan is a great new book...back to basics navigation that everyone should read before they go out and buy a chart plotter! I love it!
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post #56 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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The best of the Smeetons work (credited just to Miles actually) is "Once is Enough". available in a series called "Sailors Classics", edited by one of my favourites,Jonathan Raban. Miles Smeeton only wrote a couple of books on sailing, most of his later work was to do with conservation of the environment. John Guzzwell's books are also quite good. He sailed around the world single handed in a 21 foot yawl named "Trekka" and then built himself a much larger boat named "Treasure".

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On the subject of those that have "been there done that" are several books by Myles and Beryl Smeeton, British ex-pat Canadians who bought a boat in England, sailed it to BC as "newbies" and then went on various adventures including a Pacific circumnav and 'round the horn attempts with John Guzwell as crew. Some of these trips included very high drama. Easy reading, admirable resilient people, remarkable accomplishments. The titles escape me at the moment, there are two or three books.

Andrew B

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― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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post #57 of 541 Old 10-06-2006
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I read several of the O'Brian books, including one featuring the messaging system along the southern European coast comprising a series of towers with checkerboards facing each way, on which the operators could instantly duplicate the sending tower's black and white pattern and send it along. Months later, I moved into an apartment house in Estepona, Spain, and one of those towers was still standing in the parking lot!
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post #58 of 541 Old 10-09-2006
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To Rule the Waves

I just finished "To Rule the Waves" by Arthur Herman. It is a wonderful history of the British Royal Navy and how it shaped the modern world!
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post #59 of 541 Old 10-10-2006
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For me this is slightlly from left field as I don't have kids, have never wanted to have kids indeed even when I was one I didn't particularly like kids BUT...that freudian slip out of the way I would have thought that parents with sprogs in tow would have been interested in books with a maritime bent aimed at said anklebiters. I am informed, how reliably I cannot attest to that there is, well was, a fellow by the name of Arthur Ransome who wrote an entire series of books on sailing aimed at children."http://arthur-ransome.org/ar/" is the place to go apparently.
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post #60 of 541 Old 10-17-2006
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"Tinkerbelle" by Robert Manry. True tale of a newspaperman with limited sailing experience crossing the Atlantic in a 13 foot sailboat. As opposed to many books of this type Manry has some truly insightful things to say and an eye for the telling particular. He left the U.S. on the sly as he didn't want his friends to think he was crazy, only 3 or 4 people knew he was going in a 13 foot boat. He was at sea and out of radio contact for 78 days; in that time the story travelled around the world, he was expecting a quiet arrival in England and was shocked when the Royal Navy and 50,000 people were waiting to greet him.

"Longitude" by Dava Sobel. Another true tale, this one about John Harrison who spent 42 years solving the puzzle of determining longitude. If you like "Bowditch" and other navigation geek books you'll love this one.

"Modern Seamanship" by Don Dodds, specifically the chapter on anchoring. If you're a geek or engineer this is the most fascinatingly technical explanation of proper anchoring technique I've ever read. Also "Modern Cruising Under Sail" by the same author.
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