Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies page seven.


CRUISING NARRATIVES



See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

  • Sea Change
  • Ocean of Insight
  • Box Wine Sailors
  • Down Channel and Orion
  • In the Dolphin's Wake
  • Of Foreign Build
  • Blown Away
  • Sea Legs
  • Sailing Ancient Seas
  • One Girl One DreamMore New Tales of the South Pacific
  • Sail with Me
  • Sea Trials
  • Sailing Sabbatical
  • A Mile Down
  • The Boat who wouldn't Float
  • A Sail of Two Idiots
  • Sea Legs
  • Casting Off
  • Outrageous Grace
  • Canvas Flying, Seagulls Crying
  • Phoenix from the Ashes
  • True Spirit
  • Living the Dream
  • Two Girls Two Catamarans
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    SEA CHANGE.

    By Peter Nichols. Paperback, 0.49kg, 148mm x 225mm, 238 pages. First Published 1997. This edition 2010
    Alone across the Atlantic in a wooden boat.

    Peter Nichols and his wife bought and restored an old wooden sailboat, Toad, and lived aboard it for five years, sailing through the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to Europe, where their marriage broke up.
    Sea Change is the story of Nichols's return to the sea alone. In the middle of the ocean, the twenty-seven-foot engineless, with a shallow 4ft draft, Toad springs a leak, and Nichols struggles to keep his boat afloat. As he tests the limits of his courage and the depths of his fear, he discovers more than he knew about his marriage, his boat, and himself.

    Excerpt from the New York Times book review...

    ''Sea Change'' is the story of that voyage told in the form of a ship's log. But the book is more than an account of sightings and positions, as Nichols reflects on his marriage and the loving restoration of the Toad, offers a fine condensed history of small-boat journeys and explains simply and clearly what it is like to sail across the ocean by yourself. He is marvelous at describing the feelings of awe and loneliness that the sea inspires. One of the hardest things to endure on a transoceanic solo voyage is lack of sleep. The careful sailor will sleep only in 15- to 30-minute stints. One of the greatest dangers to a ''singlehander'' is the prospect of being run down by a large ship. Powerful cargo ships are now able to head directly toward their destinations against prevailing winds and currents and no longer need to stay within regular shipping lanes. The radar on these ships often doesn't pick up a small boat, and the tiny craft is unlikely to be seen until the large ship is almost on top of it, with no time to alter course. Nichols has pretty good luck with the weather, but about midway, the Toad starts to take on water, a leak he traces to the hull's faulty sheathing. Three hundred miles northeast of Bermuda, he realizes he can't keep the Toad afloat and sends out a mayday call. Within a few hours he's picked up by a container ship. From its deck, Nichols sees the Toad, low in the water and its bow ''pointing straight at Maine.'' ''With every screw and bolt and pass of a paintbrush that J. and I gave it,'' he writes, ''this boat made these its own, and added something of itself. It has absorbed more love into its fibers than any amount of paint or varnish. . . . What Toad is to me now is a thing that was made and lives from that love.''

    In the end, Nichols loses the two things he has treasured most. One, his marriage, he may not have worked at enough. The other, his boat, he may have worked at too much. But in his understated telling of the story, he never seeks your sympathy. He just breaks your heart.

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    OCEAN OF INSIGHT.

    By Heather Lyn Mann. Paperback, 0.49kg, 140mm x 210mm, 382 pages. Published 2016.
    A Sailor's Voyage from Despair to Hope.

    Heather Lyn Mann was a battle–weary environmental advocate in Madison, Wisconsin, struggling over what to do about climate change when she and her husband decided to explore the Atlantic on a small sloop. This memoir of six years living afloat is a chronological unfolding of disasters and discoveries—life–threatening storms, the boredom of isolation, societies on the brink of extinction, sinking ships, colorful Caribbean characters, near collisions, a pirate scare, and more. Throughout, the ocean becomes Mann’s teacher, transforming her with uncompromising lessons on how to harmonize with natural order, the exact moments and ways to let in fearlessness, resilience, happiness, impermanence, balance, compassion, skillful action, and beginner’s mind.

    Her suspenseful, sometimes hilarious, and always heart–warming journey of body and mind, shaped by ancient Buddhist teachings, entertains as it charts reality’s depths and danger zones so arm–chair adventurers, spiritual seekers, and the climate concerned can navigate tumultuous waters and arrive together on the shore of planetary well–being.

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    BOX WINE SAILORS.

    By Amy McCullough. Paperback, 0.35kg, 150mm x 230mm, 256 pages. Published 2015.
    Misadventures of a broke young couple at sea.

    Amy and Jimmie were not sailors. Their experience included reading a few books, watching a couple of instructional videos, and sailing once a week for a year. They were land-lubberly, middle-class twentysomethings, audacious and in love. All they wanted was to be together and do something extraordinary. They quit their jobs, bought a boat that was categorically considered "too small" for ocean sailing, and left Portland, Oregon, for the Sea of Cortez.

    The Box Wine Sailors tells the true story of their ramshackle trip down the coast, with all the exulting highs and terrifying lows of sailing a small boat on the Pacific. From nearly being rammed by a pair of whales on Thanksgiving morning and the terrifying experience of rounding Punta Gorda—hanging on to the mast for dear life and looking about at what seemed like the apocalypse—to having their tiller snap off while accidentally surfing coastal breakers and finding ultimate joy in a $5 pizza.

    It also tells the story of two very normal people doing what most people only dream of, settling the argument that if you want something bad enough you can make it happen.

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    DOWN CHANNEL AND ORION.
    or "How I came to sail Alone in a 19-ton Yacht"

    By R T McMullen. Paperback, 0.37kgs, 312 pages, 140mm x 220mm. Reprint published 2014.

    This book was first published in 1869, and for anyone interested in single-handed sailing, this is considered to be essential reading. An abiding classic of sailing literature.

    The cruises described were made in seven yachts; Leo- 18ft and 2 ¾ tons, Sirius 32ft and 11 tons and Orion, 38ft and 16 ½ tons were all conventional gaff cutters of their time, heavily sparred and deeply ballasted with running topmasts and bowsprits. Orion was later lengthened to 44ft and 19 ½ tons and re-rigged as a yawl. In these yachts McMullan sailed with a paid crew, a boy only in Leo and man and a boy in Sirius and two men in Orion. It is perfectly clear that he himself was the master and ship manager and that the crew were just that.

    Later in his career he took to cruising single handed in the English Channel aboard the lug rigged yawls Procyon and Perseus. Procyon was a clinker built in 1867 as a 21 ft dipping lugger with a centerboard.Perseus was a straight stemmed , transom stern, deep ballasted 27 ft. 7 ton lugger in which he cruised to Devon single handed in 1890.

    In these yachts, from his base at Erith on the Thames, McMullan cruised the English Channel, the east and west coasts of Scotland and the south west coast of Ireland. Generally he made long passages to and from his destination where he spent most of the summer in detailed exploration of the area. He cruised from the Thames to Lands End aboard Leo in 1857, around Great Britain aboard Sirius in 1863; around England, Wales and southern Scotland (passing through the Bowling Canal) aboard Orion in 1871, and around the British Isles non stop aboard Orion in 1887. There are accounts of cruises to the south west coast of Ireland aboard Sirius in 1861 and Orion in 1869.

    He passed away at the helm of Perseus on the night of 14 June 1891- a fine night with a light breeze and a young moon shimmering on the placid sea. He is buried in the graveyard of the protestant church at Beuzeval in Normandy.

    Perhaps the greatest pioneer of cruising in small yachts, McMullan maintained the highest standards of seamanship and ships husbandry, his cruising was bold and adventurous, meticulously planned and stubbornly executed. By his example and writings he showed that small yachts were safe at sea in heavy weather so long as they kept adequate sea room. It was largely he who freed cruising yachtsmen from timid and dangerous dependance on making harbor in heavy weather - and for that, his successors are indebted.

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    IN THE DOLPHIN'S WAKE.

    By Harry Bucknall. Paperback, 0.32kg, 126mm x 197mm, 299 pages. Published 2011.
    Cocktails, Calamities & Caiques in the Greek Islands.

    An amusing and erudite account of Harry Bucknall's 183-day journey through the Greek islands from Venice, in the West, to Istanbul, in the East. In the summer of 2006, Harry Bucknall traveled from Venice to Istanbul--a journey across the Aegean of more than 5,500 miles that included the glories of Mount Athos, 36 islands, and every island chain in the Greek Archipelago. It also involved 57 sea passages on 35 ferries, four landing craft, three hydrofoils, a fishing caique, a sea plane, 11 buses, two trains, an open-top Land Rover, and a duck egg blue 1961 Morris Oxford.

    Recounted with humor, pathos, and at times drama, this is not only a journey through the Greek islands but also a journey through Greek history, mythology, custom, and folklore.

    This Greek island companion is loaded with adventure, mishap, and laughter, offering a contemporary image of Aegean life.

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    OF FOREIGN BUILD.

    By Jackie Parry. Paperback, 0.49kg, 147mm x 209mm, 393 pages, full colour photographs. Published 2014.

    After suffering an emotionally-brutal bereavement and against her counsellor’s advice, Jackie ran away. Suddenly within a new culture, with a new husband, and no friends, she was living in the obscure world of cruising with zero knowledge of boats.
    Crashing within the first twenty-four hours, Jackie realised life would never be the same again; a floating home with no fridge or hot water, and with a dinghy instead of a car. Suffering self doubts, she became fearful of her new world. Not only did Jackie deal successfully with the challenges of her new existence, she also battled with the testosterone fuelled nautical world to become both a professional captain and a qualified maritime teacher.

    Most importantly, Jackie found herself.

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    BLOWN AWAY. 35th Anniversary edition.

    By Herb Payson. Paperback, 0.34kg, 153mm x 226mm, 230 pages, Black and white photographs. Published 2015.

    The older I get, the more things there are that tend to make me nervous. I don't see myself as full of cowardice, but as lacking in courage. Given death on one hand and destruction on the other, I have occasionally behaved in manly fashion, but show me an easy way out and I take it. Thus the Payson credo. And thus, behind the self-effacement, a sensible attitude for anyone tackling the formidable challenges and risk of sailboat cruising.
    The bare outline of Payson's story is a familiar one but with a unique twist: at middle age, a couple decides to take four of their six children on a 38 foot boat, depart work ashore (in the Paysons' case, the smoky nightclubs of L.A.) and take up the cruising life. But the fleshing out of the story - a blend of uproarious mishaps and white-knuckled action - is pure Payson with his style that gained him loyal followers in Sail magazine and others around the world.
    In nearly seven years of South Pacific island-hopping, the author not only has refined diverse boat-handling and boat-living skills, but has learned that adversity can be funny (to readers, anyway). He applies this outlook to such universal problems as broken-down heads, dilatory customs officials, dubious navigational fixes and coping with gale-force headwinds when a boat (his own beloved Sea Foam) is shaped more like a bowling ball than a 12-meter.
    His shaky self-esteem notwithstanding, Herb Payson is a sailor with the kind of hard-earned wisdom that only thousands of tough miles can confer, and his sage advice on the hows and how-nots of cruising is well worth heeding. His story, told with eloquence and humour, will surely rank as a classic of nautical literature. This special 35th anniversary edition is enhanced with a foreword by Lin Pardey plus Herb’ s reflections on how cruising affected his children and his relationship with his determined, lifelong partner/wife Nancy.

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    SEA LEGS.
    By Simon Bliss. Paperback, 0.68kgs, 357 pages, 148mm x 210mm. Published 2014. Coloured Photographs.

    Sea Legs – A Boat’s Story was written by Simon Bliss about how he came to own and sail a boat called Rivale halfway around the world in the 1970s. Not just a story about a boat – it is a boat’s story. The book starts with Rivale as the narrator during her construction in post-war Holland. The tale is picked up then by the author Simon Bliss, a young man from Whangarei in New Zealand who travels to England where man and boat first meet. Their journey across oceans and through many trials and challenges is one that delivers humour, humility and the hardest of life’s lessons in the most unexpected places along the way.

    This is a story of journeys - across decades, oceans and the human capacity for going forward. With the narrative skills of a natural born navigator and a quirky honesty that is uniquely his own, author Simon Bliss draws us into his own story of trials and triumphs on land and sea. Like any good mariner's yarn, the truth in it is what makes it all the more fantastic...

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    SAILING ANCIENT SEAS.
    By Rod Heikell. Paperback, 0.31kgs, 164 pages, 148mm x 210mm. Colour Photographs.

    A crippled boat and a lot of broken dreams. A broken marriage and a hunger to sail down into the Indian Ocean. This is both a love story about a boat, his beloved Tetranora and a story of a voyage out of love and into life. Along the way it explores ancient sailing routes from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Just how did ancient trading vessels get around the Mediterranean and up and down the Red Sea and across and back from India and Southeast Asia? If boats of this era only had a squaresail, how on earth did they make to weather against the prevailing winds that headed them? And just how did a navigator cross these foreign seas riddled with reefs and beset by tides and winds?

    In many ways the highs and lows of life on board an old 31 foot sailing boat mirror some of the experiences of the ancients. Sitting in the cockpit of a small sailing boat you are a lot closer to the same seas that the ancients sailed on and the same winds and storms that rattled their halyards than you are in a library. This book tells not only of life after love and of the love of an old wooden sailing boat, but of the adventure of the voyage and of ancient voyagers as well.

    Exciting, awe-inspiring and inspirational, this is a real life adventure for readers of all ages.

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    ONE GIRL ONE DREAM.
    By Laura Dekker. Paperback, 0.45kgs, 319 pages, 150mm x 234mm. Coloured Photographs.

    The amazing autobiographical story of Laura Dekker. In 2012, at the age of just 16, New Zealand-born Laura Dekker defied the authorities and braved the open oceans to realise her dream of becoming the youngest ever sailor to circumnavigate the Earth. In realising her long-held dream, she not only braved the wild oceans and long weeks of solitude at sea, but also the doubts and sometimes hostile resistance of officials.

    This is Laura's remarkable account of her record-breaking voyage - for the first time in English (previously published in Dutch), chronicling in her own words what it is like to sail solo at such a young age, and the determination (and hurdles) it took to achieve this controversial journey.

    Exciting, awe-inspiring and inspirational, this is a real life adventure for readers of all ages.

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    MORE NEW TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC.
    By Graeme Kennedy. Paperback, 0.35kgs, 175 pages, 150mm x 230mm. This combined, expanded and illustrated edition published in 2014.
    This combined volume features the complete collection of Graeme Kennedy's short stories, based on an intriguing cast of characters and their triumphant and tragic experiences in a region many believe to be Paradise. This collection includes a new tale The Adventurer, which pays tribute to John William Fox Walton, an old and dear friend of Graeme's, and also a a short look at the island of Niue.

    The first part of the book begins with a brief history of the Oceania region, and some of the cultures that have made the South Pacific their home. The second part highlights the 'Queen of the South Seas' - the legendary Aggie Grey.

    Island hopping at its best. Hilarious, heart-breaking and thought provoking. Welcome to Graeme Kennedy's world.

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    SAIL WITH ME.
    By Rebecca Burg. Paperback, 0.26kgs, 235 pages, 130mm x 205mm. Black and White illustrations. Published 2014.
    Bill is a gruff combat veteran and loner who fishes for a living. Rebecca's a shy, young woman who'd just given up a promising career and home ownership. The two become unlikely friends and discover that they have more in common than they'd realized. They both own antique, live-aboard sailboats and shared the dream of cruising. Working together, they finally escape over the horizon and spur each other into experiencing a new and radically different life. A bond of friendship and trust develops.

    Informative, entertaining, suspenseful, and even titillating at times, this book shares a decade's worth of sailing travels. Not independently wealthy, Bill and Rebecca still work to earn a living during and in between their island-hopping journeys. Sailing side by side, they anchor out to save money and rely on their own determination and skill, and each other, to survive.

    This intriguing story shares the usual: storms, serene moments under sail, moonlit nights at sea, different cultures and people, and endless stretches of white sand beaches. There's also the uncommon: a bizarre rescue attempt, hurricanes, squirrel attacks, mysterious wrecks, an exploding sailboat, and a deceased outlaw grandmother. This is a fresh, new take on the usual sailing narrative.

    NZ$28.00 + delivery.

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    SEA TRIALS.
    By Peter J Bourke. Hardback. 0.40 kg 150mm x 220mm, 225 pages, Black & White photographs.
    A Lone Sailor's Race towards Home.

    Peter Bourke first heard the siren call of the sea as a young boy when he crossed the Atlantic from England with his family. Decades later, three years after his wife's sudden death, he bought a boat - even thought he did not know how to sail. His friends thought was crazy, but for Peter, buying his first sailboat was a lifeline, a glimmer of hope in a world turned upside down. Learning to juggle single parenting, a career in finance, and a growing urge to set sail was akin to walking a tightrope of sanity. Small voyage by small voyage he gained his sea legs, balancing the risks of singlehanding while raising children , holding his sailing dream lightly until his children had safely transited out of high school.

    Peter entered the Oldest Singlehanded Trans-Atlantic race (OSTAR) at age 57.

    Sea Trials is the humble account of those 40 days of racing on his 44-foot sailboat Rubicon. As he shares his highs and lows at sea, he also weaves his intimate story of grief and rediscovery into the narrative: pain and joy, seasickness, fear, and his boundless gratitude.

    At the core of this book, Bourke's offshore passage is a passage home. As he crosses the finish line in Newport, Rhode island, the world has been simultaneously opened wide and brought closer. To dream and to sail the dream is to journey off and come home again, changed.

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    SAILING SABBATICAL.
    By Dr. Karen Eriksen. Paperback, .057 kg 150mm x 230mm, 403 pages, Black & White photographs.
    This is the story of one family's sabbatical. After many years planning, John, Karen, Finn (9) and Lizzie (6) set out from Australia on an escape from everyday life with a precise objective: for the four of them to live 24/7 with each other without the framework , creature comforts , and the endless minutiae and activities that dominate modern family existence.

    To secure the neccesary European passports, the family head for Copenhagen for a brief stay until they step aboard the 46 foot sailing yacht Senta, and the real family adventure begins. The challenges and organisational difficulties, the hard yards, the emotional disruptions and the expectations of the trip are well documented. Sharing similiar goals, John and Karen explore, discover and share 10 months of their lives, aboard the cramped quarters of the yacht, notwithstanding the eccentricites of a son with Aspergers, ( and children who aren't that thrilled about the whole idea anyway), the family visit uncountable countries, ancient ruins, socialist archtecture, stunning scenery and nature, other cultures and strange foods, before finally crossing oceans. For them, the biggest challenge of all.

    Sailor or not, this is an enjoyable unflinching account. The family sabbatical took years to plan, and this book offers practical tips on organising yourself. it gives valuable information on cruising and travelling as a family, and includes some insights into home schooling your children on a day to day basis.

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    A MILE DOWN.
    By David Vann. Paperback, 0.22kgs, 240 pages, 130mm x 198mm. This revised edition published in 2014.
    David Vann has loved boats all his life. So when the opportunity arises to start an educational charter business, teaching creative writing workshops aboard a sailboat, he leaps at it. But a trip to Turkey sees him dreaming bigger- and before he knows it, he is at the helm of a ninety foot boat, running charters along the Turkish Coast.

    And here is where his troubles begin. Sinking deep into debt and encountering everything from a lost rudder to freak storms. Vann is on the verge of losing everything-including his life.

    Part high-Seas adventure, part journey of self discovery, A Mile Down is a gripping and unforgettable story of struggle and redemption.

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    THE BOAT WHO WOULDN'T FLOAT.
    By Farley Mowat. Paperback, 243 pages, 106mm x 174mm. This edition published in 2004.
    Happy Adventure was a schooner with one fatal flaw. It leaked like a sieve. So why would anyone repeatedly expose himself and his friends to the elements of the North Atlantic in a treacherous, stubborn, uncomfortable, unfloatable boat which, at last count, has sunk eight times.
    Any explanation of this appalling narrative seems outrageously unlikely. But the story is true. All too true. And it's decidedly the funniest story yet from Farley Mowat, whose books have sold over a million and a half copies in the US alone.

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    A SAIL OF TWO IDIOTS.
    By Renee D. Petrillo. Paperback, 0.4kg, 290 pages, 152mm x 228mm. Published in 2012.
    Renee Petrillo and Michael Puceta are just like you: two dreamers who fantasized about saying goodbye to the rat race and sailing to their fantasy island. Not knowing how to sail didn't stop them.
    And it didn't help them either.
    With Renee as the captain and Michael as the first mate, the couple managed - in spite of themselves - to get from Miami to Grenada, eventually dropping anchor at the island of their dreams. Determined to save you from making the same mistakes, Renee shares the 101 lessons the couple learned the hardway - a true example of the proverb "do as I say, not as I do:"
  • Choose the right boat for you and your cruise
  • Maintain your boat without drowning in bills
  • Understand how things work before you discover how they break
  • Swallow your pride and turn back if conditions are out of your skill set
  • Rely on sailing guides but also trust what you observe
  • Make VHF your friend
  • Stop and smell the seaweed - sometimes repairs can wait
  • Drop anchor the right way
  • Mingle with the local without creating an international incident
    In her self-effacing manner, Renee brings you into the cockpit to experience this fantastic journey, and her honesty about the highs and lows will make you comfortable about making mistakes. A Sail of Two Idiots will give you the confidence to take a trip of a lifetime; because in this case, it isn't just the journey but also getting to your destination that is important - and in one piece, even better!

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    SEA LEGS, One family's Year on the Ocean.
    By Guy Grieve. Paperback, 0.31kg, 130mm x 198mm, 419 pages, section of full colour illustrations, published 2014.
    This is a true story about a family risking everything on the adventure of a lifetime.
    Three years after his return from the Alaskan wilderness, the author, his wife and 2 young sons, feel driven by the Scottish weather to swap their house for a boat called 'Forever'.

    Travelling around the Caribbean and then up the waterways of America the family have sublime and also very testing times. The couple learn to deal with children at sea and the various maladies, discomforts and mishaps that make up extended cruising.

    This is an excellent read for those who want to know first-hand what cruising is like, with its ups and its downs.

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    CASTING OFF. How a city girl found happiness on the high Seas.
    By Emma Bamford. Paperback, 0.29kg, 130mm x 198mm, 346 pages, Published 2014.
    As a journalist for the Independent Newspaper (UK), Emma Bamford is swept along with the London rat race, lost amongst the egos of Fleet Street. Surrounded by budget cuts and bullies, the thrill of a breaking news story is no longer enough. And at 31, still struggling to get to a fourth date and surrounded by friends settling down to married life and babies, Emma decides to grasp her life by the roots and reclaim her freedom...by running away to sea and joining a complete stranger (and his cat) on a yacht in Borneo.

    Reflective yet humorous and self-deprecating, we share Emma’s excitement and fear at leaving a good job for an unknown adventure, and join her as she travels to some of the most exotic places in the world and starts to realise what really matters in life. She discovers the supreme awkwardness of sharing a tiny space with total strangers, the unimaginable beauty of paradise islands and secret jungle rivers, glimpses lost tribes, works all hours for demanding superyacht owners, and has a terrifyingly near miss with pirates. Fending off romantic propositions from a Moldovan pig farmer and a Sri Lanken village chief amongst others, Emma finds adventure and happiness in the most unlikely places.

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    OUTRAGEOUS GRACE.
    By John Otterbacher. Paperback, 127mm x 198mm, 244 pages.
    Some people simply refuse to give up, and John Otterbacher is just such a man - former senator, family man, budding ocean sailor, and heart attack victim. But John is not a victim.
    After seven operations in eight months, the doctors are beginning to give up on John's heart. They're talking about a transplant and a move to a slower pace of life, but John is dreaming about the oceans, his beautiful yacht and a trip he's determined to make.
    This is a gritty account of a battle against letting outside events take control and one man's steely determination to do better than simply survive. Inspirational, incredibly moving and beautifully written, this book will change the way you think about death - and life.

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    CANVAS FLYING, SEAGULLS CRYING - from Scottish lochs to Celtic shores.
    By Justin RUthven-Tyers. Paperback, 0.21kg, 128mm x 198mm, 228 pages, published 2014.
    After Justin and Linda Tyers lost everything in a devastating house fire, they rebuilt their lives by building a classic wooden yacht from scratch – starting by felling the trees. This story was told in their first book, Phoenix from the Ashes.

    This sequel follows their voyage from the Scottish Islands across to Ireland, down the Irish Sea to Cornwall and thence to Brittany, meeting interesting, curious and larger-than-life characters along the way. Justin has an unceasing ability to attract the nearest eccentric wherever he goes, a brilliant eye for natural humour in any situation, as well as a wonderful, lyrical turn of phrase.

    The book is peppered with amusingly told anecdotes of everyday cruising life and packed with the kind of inevitable dramatic incidents that happen when you have two inexperienced sailors trying to man a yacht that's really too big for them: running aground, losing a guest overboard and almost being shipwrecked – more than once.

    This is not a tale of intrepid on-the-edge sailing; it is a gentle, endearing and frequently amusing account of the sort of voyaging most cruisers can relate to and will greatly appreciate.

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    PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES - the boat that rebuilt our lives.
    By Justin RUthven-Tyers. Paperback, 0.23kg, 128mm x 198mm, 249 pages, published 2012.
    'Good will come of this'. I don't know why I said that.. the fire crew walked back down the hill - there was nothing they could do. As we stood there watching the house collapse in flames, I put my arms around Linda, who was sobbing uncontrollably. All we owned now were the tatty clothes in which we stood, and an old car for which we no longer had a key.

    After a fire destroyed their house, Justin and his wife Linda irrationally decided, as complete amateurs, to build a 15-ton classic yacht as their new home - starting by felling the trees. Guided by sheep farmers who couldn't put up a deck chair, how could they possibly fail?
    Living on board, they began to search out hidden paradises and wildernesses of Scotland, France, Cornwall and ireland, and meet the quirky, sometimes downright odd but always entertaining characters who inhabit the shoreline.
    Told through his beautiful narrative and exquisite illustrations, Justin's story is unexpected and quite extraordinary.

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    TRUE SPIRIT. Fully updated with more photos and Jess's latest adventures.
    By Jessica Watson. Paperback, 0.42kg, 127mm x 198mm, 386 pages, four sections of full colour photos.
    On 15 May 2010, after 210 days at sea and 24,285 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, triumphantly back into Sydney Harbour. She had become the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted and non-stop around the world. It seemed the whole country stopped to welcome her home.
    Inspired by the sailors who had gone before her, people of Joshua Slocum, Don McIntyre, Kay Cottee, Ellen MacArthur and, especially, Jesse Martin, she had spent years preparing for this moment, focused on achieving her dream.
    When she collided with a 63,000-tonne bulk carrier during her final sea trials, it seemed to many she'd failed before she'd even begun. But Jessica brushed herself off, held her head high and kept going.
    Never once did she lose sight of her goal.
    In her own words, True Spirit tells how a young girl from Queensland, once afraid of everything, decided to test herself. This extraordinary adventure would see her develop the mental strength to deal with knockdowns, loneliness, wild seas and endless days going nowhere. It is an inspiring story that ultimately proves that we all have the power to live our dreams - no matter how small or how big they are.

    NZ$30.00 + delivery
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    LIVING THE DREAM.
    By Vern & Connie Madison. Pbk, 152mm x 229mm, 368 pages, monochrome photos.
    This book is the true-life adventure story of a seven-year cruise from Newport, Oregon, to Phuket, Thailand in the 35-foot steel-hulled sailboat, Tainui. This book gives a true picture of what it's really like for a retired couple to live their dream of full time cruising to far away places: the highs of beautiful sailing days, snorkeling off pristine coral, anchoring in tropical lagoons, exotic cultural experiences, and the fellowship of the cruising community, but also fear in storms, the exhaustion of sleepless night watches, discouragement of endless boat maintenance, and a rusting through of Tainui's hull.
    Although Living the Dream is written for a general audience, serious sailors will find a wealth of helpful cruising information and steel boat owners will profit from significant learning experiences in the maintenance of a steel hull.

    NZ$60.00 + delivery.

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    TWO GIRLS TWO CATAMARANS .
    By James Wharram. Paperback, 170mm x 240mm, 180 pages. Black and white photographs.
    Written by James Wharram. A tale of adventure in the fifties, when James Wharram and two German girls, Ruth and Jutta, sailed from Falmouth in their homemade catamaran TANGAROA. The story of their stormy crossing of the Bay of Biscay, their winter in northern Spain living off the proceeds of magazine articles, and the dangers encountered in their unusually rough trade wind passage to Trinidad.
    In Trinidad, they first built a house raft out of bamboo and then built the 40ft catamaran Rongo, sailed her to New York and then across the North Atlantic back to Britain (the first catamaran successfully to do so). The book makes fascinating and compelling reading. A classic.

    NZ$65.00 + delivery.

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    Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies Page seven.


    CRUISING NARRATIVES



    See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

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