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  #31  
Old 10-12-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlTomasik
So, as someone who's never done a long passage, how many books is enough? I think reading would be my primary pastime (while getting rid of the tanlines, of course), and I'm curious how many non-useful, purely for pleasure, unread books get carted along on the average passage.

Mainly because I'm trying to convince my partner to let me bring more than two.
I noted in another thread that one of my favourite authors (Jonathon Raban) bought his last boat because the first thing he noticed about it was sixteen lineal metres of bookshelves. I'm getting ready to rip out a whole bunch of cupboards on the old dear to make way for more books. Funnily enough however, while I am one voracious reader, I find that I read a lot at anchor but not a lot on passage. What I miss most when I am out and about is my daily cryptic crossword fix. Having said that. I'd probably take along half as many books as I am allowing days for the cruise figuring that non fiction (which would account for say twenty five percent of the total ) take a lot longer to read than fiction.
Other than that there would be a few hundred CDs, Scrabble and my Ukelele. I believe Ms TDW has stocked up on earplugs.
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Old 10-12-2006
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" I cannot do this if I am on the patch (absolutely cannot focus). " Scop is good drugs but it does often have that problem. Ask your doctor for an Rx for "Scopace", which is the *oral* form, back on the market now. That gives you an alternative with some control over the dosage. (Or, instead of putting the patch on bare skin, you apply it over a bit of duct tape or waterproof bandaid, so you only get 3/4 of the dose. If you need more or less...you just move it further on/off bare skin.)

Books are great if your hands & eyes can be idle but don't forget audiobooks if you just want to break up long hours at the helm, etc. Most libraries have them available (CD and tape) and with all the new little MP3 players...there are two projects now that make "audiobooks" available for download at little or no cost. They're trying to get the entire Guttenburg Project onto audio for free now, using volunteer readers.
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Old 10-14-2006
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Of course I'll be helping, but I couldn't help but notice that most people say that's their number one leisure occupation on long passages--my question was half answered when I read recently in the Pardeys' Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew that they took two shopping bags full of unread paperback books for their Pacific crossing. That sounds about right.

Although I think anyone would be just about set with one copy of Finnegan's Wake for the rest of their waking lives. Aside from that, sixteen linear meters of bookshelves sounds like a pretty ideal quality for a boat...
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Old 10-20-2006
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Reading

Karl,
Just found your blog-looks good!
Spent 20 yrs at sea and love to read. Bring Bowditch, you can read it in small bites, and you'll learn alot of things you should know as well as fun facts to know and tell. Like what causes the green flash.
Bring volumes that you always wanted to read but never buckled down on. Shakespeare comes to mind. I've sailed with guys with no high school diploma who could quote Shakespeare for six months and not repeat a quote! You'll have the time to read and concentrate, in a way you don't on shore. Things like Plato's Republic you can read a few pages of and discuss for a whole day. If space is a consideration, I'd bring War and Peace. I've started it 12 times and never gotten more than a third of the way through. Kept losing track of all the characters with four names. I always figured that would be the one I'd get in the lifeboat with. If I finished it, I'd know we're in really big trouble! Foreign language courses and tapes fit in this category.

Of course you'll want some fun things to read. Avoid books like Louis L"Amour, even if you like westerns. They go too fast for the space they take up. If you find a series, or author, you think you might like bring them all. The Patrick O"Brien series comes to mind. Authors like Michener or James Clavell are good choices as they write long novels and have written quite a few. In novels, chances are that you'll like most of the works of the same novellist, so guys like Tom Clancy or Elmore Leonard are good because they've written about thirty of 'em. The previous post on knot-tieing was good; I hear the Ashley Book of Knots has been re-issued and that's all you'll ever need on knots and fancy-work. Also, the suggestion on carving was good. You can buy a block of briar, pre-drilled with stem, at a Tinder Box or tobacco store and carve your own pipe! If you're artistic, you can get a block of meerschaum the same way. Don't forget a couple of GOOD knives and your whet-stone.
Oh, on "square-knotting", bring a half dozen spools of small stuff and some loose belt buckles. Belts are fairly straight forward to tie, take a while to do, and look really famous when done. Besides, all your leather belts go to pot after getting wet all the time and you'll look really "squared away" with the one you make. Scrimshaw buckles aren't too hard to find. Small stuff should be maybe a 1/32 to 1/16th of an inch in dia.-that's how you get a nice fine pattern.
Take paperbacks, so you won't mind swapping them with people you meet.
Also take the Bible. After you've read Bowditch's description of hurricanes at sea, and looked at your first weather fax with milli-bars in the 890 range, you may find it has a new immediacy to it!
Hope this gives some ideas and, as always, I wish you

Fair winds and following seas,
Guy
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