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By Robin Knox-Johnston. Softback, 0.51kg, 155mm x 223mm, 404 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2019.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston burst to fame when he became the first man ever to complete a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Now, 50 years on from that famous voyage, he reveals the true, extraordinary story of his life.
After leaving school, he immediately joined the Royal Naval Reserve before serving in the merchant navy and travelling the world. During that time, he spied for the British government in the Gulf, worked in the South African dockyards, and built his boat Suhaili in Bombay, before sailing home to England. In June 1968, he set sail in Suhaili in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, and Running Free vividly brings to life that remarkable voyage, where he was the only person to finish the race, completing his journey on 22 April 1969 and thus entering the record books. Once back home, he set up a hugely successful business and continued his naval adventures, completing a second solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2007 - at 68, he became the oldest to complete this feat.
Knox-Johnston's insatiable appetite for life and adventure shines through these pages, making this book a must for all sailing enthusiasts!
NZ$38.00 + delivery.
By Jonathon Gornall. Hardback, 0.43kg, 150mm x 220mm, 324 pages. Published 2019.
Once an essential skill, the ability to build a clinker boat, first innovated by the Vikings, can seem incomprehensible today. Yet it was the clinker, with its overlapping planks, that afforded us access to the oceans, and its construction has become a lost art that calls to the do-it-yourselfer in all of us. John Gornall heard the call.
A thoroughly unskilled modern man, Gornall set out to build a traditional wooden boat as a gift for his newborn daughter. It was, he recognized, a ridiculously quixotic challenge for a man who knew little about woodworking and even less about boat-building. He wasn’t even sure what type of wood he should use, the tools he’d need, or where on earth he'd build the boat. He had much to consider…and even more to learn.
Part ode to building something with one’s hands in the modern age, part celebration of the beauty and function of boats, and part moving father-daughter story,
How to Build a Boat celebrates the art of boat-building, the simple pleasures of working with your hands, and the aspirations and glory of new fatherhood.
NZ$55.00 + delivery.
By Kitiara Pascoe. Softback, 0.26kg, 130mm x 200mm, 255 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2019.
In Bed with the Atlantic is a travel memoir of a young woman, Kitiara Pascoe, as she goes from never having stepped on a yacht, to sailing over 18,000 miles – across the Atlantic, around the Caribbean and then back – in three years with her partner.
At first, she was dogged by doubt, a belief that she wasn’t a ‘sailor’, never would be and that she was in no way capable of such an undertaking. She believed that the ocean was out to get her, that weather needed to be battled with and that she would forever be ruled by anxieties that plagued her.
Woven into the narrative of the journey’s progression are stories from Kit’s childhood and life before the voyage, explaining her battles with anxiety and the feelings of being lost as a graduate in post-recession Britain. The book also relays her struggle with reconciling a life of travel with the expectations and experiences of those back home, at an age when most of her contemporaries were starting corporate careers and families.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
By John Dunmore. Softback, 0.50kg, 150mm x 235mm, 192 pages. Black & White Images. Published 2018.
Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific delves into the lives of the adventurers who once made the great Pacific their playground – from likeable dreamers to outright conmen, slavers and pirates, and even one self-titled Queen Emma. There’s the extraordinary tale of James Proctor who used his wooden leg to trick natives in coming aboard his ship so he could spirit them away as slaves; or French priest Fr Rougier who used his position to amass a fortune, eventually became the “King of Christmas Island”. But there are sad accounts as well, of Chinese or Indians fallen victim to human trafficking, goldfield fever and unscrupulous traders.
This is a collection of the tales that have been told of the men, and in some cases the women, who sought to benefit from the discoveries of the early explorers; scoundrels and rogues with little conscience but great craftiness, and those who as a result found themselves victims of situations they could hardly imagine. It shows that mankind, in whatever period and whatever part of the world, may have its heroes, but always has its villains.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
Maud Berridge (née Timperley) was the wife of Henry Berridge, Master Mariner and Captain of three three-masted sailing ships: Walmer Castle (built in 1836), Highflyer (built in 1861) and Superb (built in 1866), all owned by Greens at Blackwall Yard, London.
Most of Henry and Maud's voyages were undertaken in the three-masted clipper Superb, sailing from Gravesend at the start of summer and leaving Melbourne for home at the end of the year (the southern summer, best for heading east with the trade winds and rounding Cape Horn).
In 1880, Maud and Henry took their two sons (aged six and eight) with them. In 1883, they sailed on from Melbourne to Newcastle in New South Wales to take on a load of coal, then on through the Windward Isles to San Francisco. Here they stayed for two months exploring SF and surrounds, unloaded the coal and took on a load of wheat. They then sailed down the west coast of the Americas, around Cape Horn and on to Queenstown in County Cork. The whole voyage took 14 months.
Maud wrote diaries of these voyages of which one in particular, that of the 1883 voyage, comprise some 50 000 words.
This book tells Maud's story through her own words and through a number of relevant contemporary documents and paints a picture of the life of a captain's wife in the Victorian era as well as aspects of society in Britain, the US and Australia at the time.
NZ$27.00 + delivery.
By William Trubridge. Softback, 0.44kg, 150mm x 235mm, 326 pages, Colour Photographs. Published 2017.
The incredible under-water world of William Trubridge. A memoir of an aquatic affinity, the power of the subconscious mind and testing the limits of human physiology.
New Zealander William Trubridge has reached depths never thought possible on the precipice of low oxygen. In a sport where failure usually means blacking out, it is a freediver's daily life to contend with suffocation, narcosis, hallucinations, lactic acidosis, compressed lungs, and immense water-column pressure - all while diving into depths of ink black ocean.
Exquisitely written, Oxygen is a mind-altering and immersive coming-of-age story about a boy who grew up on a sailing boat, with the sea his classroom and playground. It is about fighting the trappings of life on land, and pushing the limits of human physiology, to become the world's greatest freediver.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
By A.N. Wilson. Softback, 0.58kg, 155mm x 235mm, 438 pages, Colour/ Black and White Photographs. Published 2017.
Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers?
Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a 'symbol'. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson's portrait, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything.
But was Darwin's 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of nature's grand plan?
Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn't afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.
NZ$43.00 + delivery.
By Joseph Farrell. Paperback, 0.25 kgs, 127mm x 195mm, 352 pages, Black & White Photographs. Published 2017.
Almost every adult and child is familiar with his Treasure Island, but few know that Robert Louis Stevenson lived out his last years on an equally remote island, which was squabbled over by colonial powers much as Captain Flint's treasure was contested by the mongrel crew of the Hispaniola.
In 1890 Stevenson settled in Upolu, an island in Samoa, after two years sailing round the South Pacific. He was given a Samoan name and became a fierce critic of the interference of Germany, Britain and the U.S.A. in Samoan affairs - a stance that earned him Oscar Wilde's sneers, and brought him into conflict with the Colonial Office, who regarded him as a menace and even threatened him with expulsion from the island.
This pioneering study of Stevenson's twilight years stands apart from previous biographies by giving as much weight to the Samoa and the Samoans - their culture, their manners, their history - as to the life and work of the man himself..
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
By Helen Butters, Niki Doeg, Frances Davies and Janette Benadddi. 0.45 kgs, Paperback, 154mm x 234mm, 296 pages, Full coloure Photographs. Published 2017.
The incredible true story of four ordinary working mums from Yorkshire who took on an extraordinary challenge and broke a world record along the way. Janette, Frances, Helen and Niki, though all from Yorkshire, were four very different women, all juggling full time jobs alongside being mothers to each of their 2 children. They could never be described as athletes, but they were determined to be busy and the local Saturday morning rowing club was the perfect place to go to have a laugh and a gossip, get the blood pumping in the open air, and feel invigorated.
Brought together by their love of rowing, they quickly became firm friends, and it wasn't long before they cooked up a crazy idea over a few glasses of wine: together, they were going to do something that fewer people than had gone into space or climbed Everest had succeeded in doing. They were going to cross 3,000 miles of treacherous ocean in the toughest row in the world, The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Yes, they had children and husbands that they would be leaving behind for two months, yes they had businesses to run, mortgages to pay, responsibilities. And there was that little thing of them all being in their 40s and 50s.
But two years of planning, preparation, fundraising, training and difficult conversations later, and they found themselves standing on the edge of the San Sebastian harbour in the Canary Islands, petrified, exhilarated and ready to head up the race of their lives.
This is the story of how four friends together had the audacity to go on a wild, terrifying and beautiful adventure, not to escape life, but for life not to escape them.
Was NZ$40.00 + delivery.
Now NZ$10.00 + delivery.
By Emma Smith. Softback, .20kg, 130mm x 197mm, 225 pages, Black & White Photographs. Published 2019.
In 1943 Emma Smith joined the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company under their wartime scheme of employing women to replace the boaters. She set out with two friends on a big adventure: three eighteen-year-olds, freed from a middle-class background, precipitated into the boating fraternity. They learn how to handle a pair of seventy-two foot-long canal boats, how to carry a cargo of steel north from London to Birmingham and coal from Coventry; how to splice ropes, bail out bilge water, keep the engine ticking over and steer through tunnels. They live off kedgeree and fried bread and jam, adopt a kitten, lose their bicycles, laugh and quarrel and get progressively dirtier and tougher as the weeks go by.
Maidens' Trip is a classic memoir of the growth to maturity of three young women in the exceptional circumstances of Britain at war.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
By Kaci Cronkhite. Softback, 160mm x 240mm, 199 pages, Colour / Black & White Photographs. Published 2016.
On an island in Denmark where the oldest oak tree in Europe grows, a lone builder nicknamed “the perfectionist” crafted a boat with his hands. In 1936, the boat was finished and her journey began.
Seventy years later in Port Townsend, Washington—just minutes after a near catastrophe was averted in the marina outside her office window—Kaci Cronkhite opened an email. A Danish spidsgatter named Pax was for sale in Victoria, British Columbia.
The journey that brought the two together became a quest that connected families in three countries with history that had been lost.
What Kaci didn’t know—what no one knew—was where and how far Pax had journeyed, what she survived those seven decades and what those who loved her would always remember.
From 1994 to 2001, Kaci Cronkhite sailed more than 60,000 miles as hired crew on boats in oceans around the world, earned a Captain's license, conducted research, wrote articles, and taught all aspects of ocean passage-making.
She stayed in Port Townsend and a few months later, was asked to take the helm of the Festival. For a decade, she served as director of the event in addition to executive roles with Wooden Boat Foundation & Northwest Maritime Center.
In 2007, Pax entered her life..
The Boat Technically, Pax is a “spidsgatter,” a design term chosen in Denmark to brand a new sailboat racing class in 1926. In English, the word translates from Danish as “two pointy ends” or “two butts.” (“double-ender.”) Spidsgatters were built to specifications in six sizes, commissioned by individual owners. Pax represents the second-largest size, at twenty-eight feet long and nearly ten feet wide. Fewer than two hundred were built. Of the estimated twenty to thirty spidsgatters sold in the 1960s, only a dozen remain.
Was NZ$35.00 + delivery.
Now NZ$10.00 + delivery.
By Ian Strathcarron. Hardback, 1.18kg, 160mm x 240mm, 426 pages, Colour / Black & White Photographs. Published 2016.
Sir Francis Chichester (1901–72) lived a large-scale life, the stuff of boy’s adventure novels. With this biography, the first in more than thirty years, his incredible experiences get the treatment they deserve.
Born in rural Devon, Chichester suffered through a troubled childhood and an unhappy education before fleeing for New Zealand right after World War I. The move changed his life dramatically: within ten years he had built a successful business in mining, forestry, and development. He also took up the hobby that would come to define his life: flying. In 1930, he became the first pilot to fly solo from New Zealand to Australia, but his subsequent attempt to circumnavigate the globe was less successful: he crashed in Japan and was lucky to survive. Returning to England, Chichester served in the RAF during World War II, then, in his fifties, took up sailing—and quickly became the most famous yachtsman in the world, completing a trip in 1966 that made him the first man to officially sail around the world solo.
Never Fear tells all these stories in vivid detail, while also capturing the essence of the man himself, offering a rounded, compelling picture of this larger-than-life character
NZ$74.00 + delivery.
In 1938 a knockabout 11-year-old kid from Marrickville, Sydney, is suddenly confronted by mortality. His mother dies. His father has little time for him and at 14 he leaves school to learn a trade.
In 2016 that same boy is a multi-millionaire. He owns – and runs – the Australian Development Corporation, Sydney City Marine, a host of associated companies and countless office and housing blocks. He is also one of the world’s most successful sailors, having won Sydney–Hobart races in his Ragamuffin yachts and competed eight times for Australia in the Admiral’s Cup. He jointly holds the record for the most America’s Cup campaigns – all self-funded and managed personally.
He is Syd Fischer, the Ragamuffin man, and he's known as perhaps the toughest and most uncompromising Australian businessman and sportsman of the past half century. This is the story of Fischer’s remarkable life, and of his unrelenting quest to win the Sydney–Hobart Yacht Race one more time.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
Famous throughout the Pacific, from the US to Australia and all points in between, Captain Bully Hayes has been the inspiration for writers ranging from Robert Louis Stevenson to James A. Michener and Frank Clune. Rousing films have been based on his life, and his name adorns bars and hotels all over the Pacific...
But the truth is both less noble and more intriguing than the myth. The Hayes of legend was a product of the popular press at the time, the construction of editors who were determined to create a romantic figure to feed their readers' appetites. This, the first proper biography of this legendary nineteenth-century figure, simultaneously sorts the facts from the fantasy and recounts an amazing true story of a genuine rogue and adventurer, against the backdrop of the Pacific during the great age of sail and trade.
This then, is the incredible true story of William 'Bully' Hayes, the so-called 'Pirate of the Pacific'. This is the story that separates the myth from the man.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
In 1938, 18 year old Eric Newby, desperate to escape the daily grind of London working Life, signed on as an apprentice aboard the four-masted ship Moshulu. She was the largest of the 13 sailing ships which still transported grain to Australia and took part in the formidable 'grain race' on the way home.
Newby's first-hand account of the hard graft, terrible danger and enthralling beauty of the high seas, illustrated with his own vivid photographs, and recounted with his trademark wit, was also to become a classic portrait of the last days of sail. This was a voyage that launched a lifetime of adventures - and a reputation as one of the great travel writers of all time.
First published in 1956, this is re-issued paperback edition was published in 2014.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
Opening with the disastrous fire that destroyed his yacht while he was ice-bound in Greenland, Bob then takes us back to his childhood and adolesence. Growing up in Malaysia, boarding school, The Royal Marines, and then the church. Rather than settle down to a peaceful Parish existence, Bob follows his instinct for adventure, sailing around the world, being dismasted off the Falklands, trapped in Ice, and climbing those mountains.
From desolate and strangely beautiful Arctic and Antarctic landscapes to stormy ocean crossings and terrifying ascents, this is a rare and insightful look at the life story of someone who is truly one of a kind. A wonderful true tale of adventure and 'derring-do'
Bob Shepton has sailed almost 130,000 miles and made over 100 first ascents. He lives in Scotland with his wife.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
He learned to deal with rapes, murders, incest, the unforgivable crime of pig theft and to look a shark in the eye. But he never dared ask the octogenarian Tuvaluan chief why he sat immobilised by a massive rock permanently resting on his groin.Well, you wouldn't, would you?
This is the story of a UK lawyer colliding with a Pacific island culture. The fallout is moving, dramatic, bewildering and often hilarious. (First Published in 2000)
NZ$32.00 + delivery.
Growing up in the Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth, Gerry Evans discovered his love of the sea. He joined the British merchant marine in 1954, when 95,000 seamen plied their trade under the 'red duster'.
Shipping out is the rollicking memoir of Gerry's life and times. He tells of exciting and exotic destinations. Of riotous nights ashore on the West African coast, and killer gales in the North Atlantic. Of rogue captains. rapaciopus employers and rascally shipmates. Of fun, fear and a way of life long since passed.
But this is more than just a story about the world's great oceans and the men that made their living sailing them. It is a story of a boy growing to manhood, on a journey that will eventually find Gerry settling down in this distant land.
NZ$31.00 + delivery.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
Philip Rentell is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and a Younger Brother at trinity House, and he has a law degree from the Open University. He has held a private pilot licence for fixed wing aircraft, and in his spare time he has recently built an autogyro. He is currently master of the classic cruise liner Saga Ruby. When he is not at sea he lives in Cornwall
NZ$41.00 + delivery.
Flinders brings to life the fascinating story of this exceptional maritime explorer - from the drama of epic voyages and devastating shipwrecks; his part in the naming of Australia; his cruel imprisonment by the French on Mauritius for six long and harrowing years; the heartbreaking seperation fom his beloved wife; and the comfort he received from his ever loyal cat, 'Trim', to his tragic death at just forty, before ever seeing the publication of his life's work.
Famous for his meticulous charts and superb navigational skills, Mathew Flinders was an exceptional sailor. He battled treacherous conditions in a boat hardly seaworthy, faced the loss of a number of his crewmen and, following the shipwreck on a reef off the Queensland coast, navigated the ship's cutter over 1000 kilometres back to Sydney to get help...
This is a truly gripping adventure biography of a true hero, a man whose name is forever woven into the fabric of Australian history, the man who put Australia on the map.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
NZ$32.00 + Delivery.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
In Bligh, the story of the most notorious of all Pacific explorers is told through a new lens as a significant episode in the history of the world, not simply of the West. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond recounts the triumphs and disasters of William Bligh's life and career in a riveting narrative that for the first time portrays the Pacific islanders as key players.
From 1777, Salmond charts Bligh's three Pacific voyages - with Captain James Cook in the Resolution, on board the Bounty and as commander of the Providence. Salmond offers new insights into the mutiny aboard the Bounty - and on Bligh's extraordinary 3000-mile journey across the Pacific in a small boat - through new revelations from unguarded letters between him and his wife Betsy. We learn of their passionate relationship, and her unstinting loyalty throughout the trials of his turbulent career and his fight to clear his name. This beautifully told story reveals Bligh as an important ethnographer, adding to the paradoxical legacy of the famed seaman. For the first time, we hear how Bligh and his men were changed by their experiences in the South Seas, and how in turn they changed that island world forever.
NZ$55.00 + Delivery.
The Voyages of Irving & Electa Johnson
DVD. 77 minutes. Black & White & colour.
Between 1933 and 1956, Irving and Electa Johnson sailed with young inexperienced sailors aboard two schooners, both named Yankee. Each time the Johnsons set sail for a voyage, they witnessed new and remote places that few people visited. World Class sailor and film producer Gary Jobson narrates the original footage shot by Captain Johnson and the Yankee crews which is now archived at Mystic Seaport. In exclusive new interviews some of the crew members pay tribute to the Johnsons and share their lifetime memories of the voyages around the world.
The travels took the Johnsons and the crews to the (then) mysterious Easter Island and beautiful Bali, to Indonesia, Africa, and all over the South Pacific where they met intriguing inhabitants, and experienced true maritime history when they raised the anchor of the HMS Bounty on Pitcairn Islands.
Unfurling the World is a wonderful DVD of a time long since vanished, of sailors long since passed, of schooners and lands. 77 Minutes of discovery, excitement and beauty.
NZ$60.00 + Delivery
'We are celebrating a hundred years since independence this year: how would you like to travel on a government icebreaker?'
A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic circle. Travelling with the crew of Icebreaker Otso Horatio, whose last adventure saw him embedded on Maersk container vessels for the bestseller Down to the Sea in Ships, discovers stories of Finland, of her mariners and of ice.
Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard Otso Horatio gets to know the men who make up her crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. Surrounded by the extraordinary colours and conditions of a frozen sea, he also comes to understand something of the complexity and fragile beauty of ice, a near-miraculous substance which cools the planet, gives the stars their twinkle and which may hold all our futures in its crystals.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
In this magnificent book a modern industry does battle with implacable forces, as the ships cross the seas of history and incident while seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, telling their personal tales and yarns.
A beautiful and terryifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects, part-travelogue, part-oral history, and a fascinating study of big business afloat.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
By Richard Henry Dana. Paperback, 105mm x 172mm, 407 pages.
In 1834, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., took time off from his studies at Harvard to sign on as a common seaman aboard the brig Pilgrim. This is his story recounting the treacherous voyage he embarked on around Cape Horn to California. It documents the singular joys and incredible hardships that sailors encounter. his daily journal endures as one of the most vivid accounts of the relationship between man and sea ever published. Dana's journey originally served as a poetic protest against the brutal injustices against sailors at that time. Today his story still rings true as a powerful portrayal of the testing of man's courage and endurance
NZ$15.50 + delivery.
By H W Tilman. Hardback, 1048 pages. Published 1989
Humorous, learned, devastatingly candid, and packed with information. Covering voyages to the Southern Oceans where he visited Patagonia, the Crozets, Kerguelen, Heard Island and the South Shetlands. No less important were his many trips to Greenland as well as forays to Spitzbergen, Baffin Island and other areas above the Arctic Circle.
The mountaineering highlights of his seafaring career were the crossing of the Patagonia ice-cap, the crossing of Bylot Island, and the ascent of Big Ben on Heard Island, where (although Tilman was not in the summit party), he contributed more than any of them to the success of the expedition. Not all of his voyages were successful or enjoyable. A valued crew member was lost overboard during one venture. There were the sad losses of his cutters, Mischief and Sea Breeze, and other occasions when crew members were unable to match Tilman's presistence, decided to desert or mutiny. Most of his crews were made of sterner stuff. They were rewarded with good fellowship and humour, the opportunity of learning seamanship and mountanineering from a great teacher, and a chance to see what may be done in rough waters and heavy ice in a little, old, unstrengthened ship.
NZ$90.00 + delivery.
See also Other Nautical Tales