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Told through a series of tall ship voyages, Reading the Glass takes readers from the icy seas of Greenland to the Roaring Forties, places where one can experience all four seasons in an hour. He navigates the turbulent waters of the Straight of Gibraltar, en route to storied port cities of the Mediteranean. In the vast Pacific he crosses the equator, where heat, moisture, and unsettled winds churn out powerfull squalls, and drops anchor in isolated ports of call. He explores wide swathes of ocean to explain how the trade winds have carried ships westward for centuries, and how ancient Polynesian explorers pushed back the other way. Written in stunning prose, brimming with wisdom, curiousity, and humour, Reading The Glass brilliantly blends science and memoir to reveal how weather has shaped our oceans, our history, and ourselves.
$65.00 + Delivery
11 June, 1930. On a ship floating near the Atlantic Island of Nonsuch, a curious steel ball is lowered 3000 feet into the sea. Crumpled up inside, gazing through three-inch thick quartz windows, sits the famed zoologist William Beebe. With uncontrollable excitement, he watches as bizarre, never-before seen creatures flit out of the inky blackness, illuminated by explosions of bioluminescence. He is the first person to witness this alien world.
Beebe’s dives take place against the backdrop of a transforming and paradoxical America, home to ground-breaking scientists, eccentric adventurers and eugenicist billionaires, Yet under the ocean’s crushing pressure, scientific expectations disintegrate; the colour spectrum shatters into new dimensions; outlandish organisms thrive where no one expects them.
The Bathysphere Book blends research, storytelling, and poetic experiments, travelling through entangled histories of scientific discovery into the bottomless magic of the deep unknown.
$50.00 + Delivery
A spell was cast over Graeme Cocks when he was summoned to coffee and cinnamon biscuits at an unassuming house in Freemantle, Western Australia, in 1994. For the next 20 years, he could not release himself from the grip of a little sailing ship called Duyfken – the Little Dove.
Against all odds a magnificent 16th century Dutch sailing ship was conceived and constructed in the heart of the old port city of Freemantle. Hailed as the finest ‘Age of Discovery’ replica ship ever built, Duyfken was sailed on two momentous voyages across the world’s great oceans to Indonesia and then to Europe. Along the way the old narrative of the first ship recorded in history to visit Australia was rewritten.
This book documents the Triumphant highs and tragic lows with the incredible cast of personalities who shared the Duyfken dream.
$95.00 + Delivery
THE FRONTIER BELOW
The Past, Present and Future of our Quest to go Deeper Underwater.
By Jeff Maynard, Paperback, 0.43 kg, 152mm x 234mm, 298 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2023
We do not see the ocean when we look at the water that blankets more than two thirds of our planet.
We only see the entrance to it. Beyond that entrance is a world hostile to humans, yet critical to our survival.
The first divers to enter that world held their breath and splashed beneath the surface, often clutching rocks to pull them down. Over centuries, they invented wooden diving bells, clumsy diving suits, and unwieldy contraptions in attempts to go deeper and stay longer. But each advance was fraught with danger, as the intruders had to survive the crushing weight of water, or the deadly physiological effects of breathing compressed air.
The vertical odyssey continued when explorers squeezed into heavy steel balls dangling on cables, or slung beneath floats filled with flammable gasoline. Plunging into the narrow trenches between the tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust, they eventually reached the bottom of the ocean in the same decade that men first walked on the moon.
Meticulously researched and drawing extensively on unpublished sources and personal interviews, The Frontier Below is the untold story of the pioneers who had the right stuff, but were forgotten because they went in the wrong direction.
$45.00 + Delivery
THE FIRST ASTRONOMERS
How Indigenous Elders read the Stars
By Duane Hamacher, Paperback, 0.40 kg, 152mm x 234mm, 290 pages. Full Colour Photographs. Published 2022
Our eyes have been drawn away from the skies to our screens.
We no longer look to the stars to forecast the weather, predict the seasons or plant our gardens. Most of us cannot even see the Milky Way. But First Nation Elders around the world still maintain this knowledge, and there is much we can learn from them.
These Elders are expert observers of the stars. They teach that everything on the land is reflected in the sky, and everything in the sky is reflected on the land. How does this work, and how can we better understand our place in the Universe?
Guided by six First Nation Elders, Duane Hamacher takes us on a journey across space and time to reveal the wisdom of the first astronomers. These living systems of knowledge challenge conventional ideas about the nature of science and the longevity of oral tradition. Indigenous science is dynamic, adapting to changes in the skies and on earth, pointing the way for a world facing the profound disruptions of climate change.
$40.00 + Delivery
The Astonishing Adventure that Shaped the World
By Nicholas Crane, Paperback, 0.22 kg, 130mm x 195mm, 257 pages. Sepia/ Colour Photographs.This Edition Published 2022
By knowing the shape of our earth we can create maps, survive the oceans, follow rivers, navigate the skies, and travel across the globe.
This is the story of our world, of how we discovered what no one thought possible - the shape of the earth.
The year is 1735. Twelve unruly men board ships bound for South America. Their mission? To discover the true shape of the earth. They will be exposed to a wilderness of dangers none can imagine. The survivors won't return for ten years.
The world's first international team of scientists was sent to a continent of unmapped rainforests and ice-shrouded volcanoes where they attempted to measure the length on the ground of one degree of latitude. Beset by egos and disease, storms and earthquakes, mutiny and murder, they struggled for ten years to reach the single figure they sought.
A breathtaking tale of courage in adversity, it is celebrated today as the first modern exploring expedition.
An epic story of survival and science set in mountain camps and remote observatories, featuring a gaggle of misfits who made breakthroughs in rubber and platinum, gravity, quinine and Inca Archaeology.
$30.00 + Delivery
IN OCEANS DEEP.
Courage, innovation and Adventure Beneath the Waves.
By Bill Streever, Softback, 0.54 kg, 140mm x 210mm, 303 pages. This Edition Published 2020
In an age of unprecedented exploration and innovation, our oceans remain largely unknown, and endlessly fascinating: full of mystery, danger, beauty, and inspiration. Bill Streever-a longtime deep-sea diver himself-has masterfully woven together the science and history of Earth's last remaining frontier: the sea.
In Oceans Deep celebrates the daring pioneers who tested the limits of what the human body can endure under water: free divers able to reach 300 feet on a single breath; engineers and scientists who uncovered the secrets of decompression; teenagers who built their own diving gear from discarded boilers and garden hoses in the 1930s; saturation divers who lived under water for weeks at a time in the 1960s; and the trailblazing men who voluntarily breathed experimental gases at pressures sufficient to trigger insanity.
Tracing both the little-known history and exciting future of how we travel and study the depths, Streever's captivating journey includes seventeenth-century leather-hulled submarines, their nuclear-powered descendants, a workshop where luxury submersibles are built for billionaire clients, and robots capable of roving unsupervised between continents, revolutionizing access to the ocean.
In this far-flung trip to the wild, night-dark place of shipwrecks, trapped submariners, oil wells, innovative technologies, and people willing to risk their lives while challenging the deep, we discover all the adventures our seas have to offer-and why they are in such dire need of conservation.
$30.00 + Delivery
SEEING FURTHER The Story of Science and the Royal Society.
By Bill Bryson. Paperback, 130mm x 200mm, 464 pages, 0.44 kgs.Colour Photographs. Published 2019.
The story of science and the Royal Society, edited and introduced by Bill Bryson-with contributions.
On a damp weeknight in November, 350 years ago, a dozen or so men gathered at Gresham College in London. A twenty-eight year old – and not widely famous – Christopher Wren was giving a lecture on astronomy. As his audience listened to him speak, they decided that it would be a good idea to create a Society to promote the accumulation of useful knowledge. With that, the Royal Society was born.
Since its birth, the Royal Society has pioneered scientific exploration and discovery. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, John Locke, Alexander Fleming – all were fellows. Bill Bryson’s favourite fellow was Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes’ theorem. Its complexity meant that it had little practical use in Bayes’ own lifetime, but today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics and stock market analysis. A milestone in mathematical history, it only exists because the Royal Society decided to preserve it – just in case.
The Royal Society continues to do today what it set out to do all those years ago. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix, the electron, the computer and the World Wide Web. Truly international in its outlook, it has created modern science.
Seeing Further celebrates its momentous history and achievements, bringing together the very best of science writing.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
WE, THE NAVIGATORS, The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific. Second Edition By David Lewis. Paperback. 0.64kg, 442 pages, 150mm x 230mm, black and white illustrations. Published 1994.
This fascinating work describes the ancient art of land-finding in the Pacific. It tells how Polynesians used the stars, swell patterns, and phosphorescence caused by wave reflections from distant islands, wind, birds, clouds. This book is very readable and beautifully illustrated. In addition to navigational details, it explains why they sailed and how their craft were constructed.
NZ$90.00 + Delivery.
David Barrie tells how and why the sextant was invented: how offshore navigators depended on it for their lives in wild and uncharted waters: and how it played a vital role in the stirring history of exploration.
Much of the Sextant is set amidst the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, where generations of explorers searched for the fabled Southern Continent and the North-West passage, eventually discovering Polynesia and charting the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Alaska. Stories of Captain Cook and the great French navigator La Perouse, (whose disappearance long remained a mystery), George Vancouver, Mathew Flinders and Captain Fitzroy of the Beagle. Great single-handed or open boat voyages feature with the heroic tales of Joshua Slocum, Captain Bligh and Ernest Shackleton.
Interwoven with the author's account of his own transatlantic voyage in a small yacht, Sextant is a heady mix of adventure, science, mathematics and derring-do. Infused with a sense of wonder and discovery,this is a tribute to the sea and sky, the ships and the sailors, and the difference this instrument made to the world. A marvellous book and a great read.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
Following one of the most intriguing and fascinating stories linked to the Ryal Observatory, Greenwich, the book centers on the life and achievement of John Harrison – designer and builder of the first accurate marine chronometers.
Inspired by the official prize offered in 1714 to anyone who could solve the problem of fining longitudinal position at sea. Harrison produced his four famous “H” timepieces. In doing so, he helped revolutionise navigation a sea, saving many thousands of lives.
This new edition contains beautiful technical drawings of the mechanisms of clocks and the technology involved in Harrison’s creations, bringing to life his inspiring story.
NZ$50.00 + Delivery
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NZ$35.00 + delivery.
No one has done more to shape our view of what makes us human than Charles Darwin, whose seismic theory of evolution turned the Victorian world upside down, utterly rewrote our notions of life on earth and is still attacked by religious creationists today.
NZ$20.00 + delivery.
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