YARNS, NARRATIVES AND BIOGRAPHIES. Page One.


NEW ZEALAND



See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

  • Classic Penguin
  • South Sea Vagabonds
  • Swirly World Sails South
  • Passages
  • Sir Peter Blake - An Amazing Life
  • The Last Great Adventure of Sir Peter Blake
  • The Story of Sir Peter Blake
  • Trial by Tasman
  • Blue Water
  • To the Ice and Beyond
  • Te Kaitoa
  • The Boating Disease
  • The Sea is my Wife
  • Creeping Up on Auckland
  • Where Giants Dwell
  • From Kauri Trees to Sunlit Seas
  • Just Sea & Sky
  • Into the Midnight Sun
  • Da Boat
  • Growing Up a Chatham Islander

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    CLASSIC PENGUIN.
    By Peter 'Penguin' Blackwell, Paperback, 0.51kg, 148mm x 210mm, 231 pages. Colour and Black and White Photographs. Published September 2020.
    The miscellaneous memoir of 'Penguin, a boy from Aotea-Great Barrier Island.

    A few words from Sir Graham Henry in the forword to this memoir...
    Peter'Penguin' Blackwell to his mates. Why 'Penguin?', well, he has the body of a penguin, walks like a penguin and loves the sea - like a penguin. So penguin he is....

    Peter is a descendant of one of early settler families- The Blackwells. He grew up on the island and has been a long standing member of the community all his life.
    His book is laced with fantastic stories of his early days on Great Barrier Island, tales of where his Barrier 'can do' attitude has taken him and the unequivocal changes the island and NZ have seen throughout his lifetime.

    This is a marvellous, highly illustrated memoir (part history)with many wonderful photographs.
    Immensely readable and a joy to read, Peter pulls no punches and calls a spade a spade...We loved it!

    NZ$46.00 + delivery.

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    SOUTH SEA VAGABONDS.
    By J.(Johnny) W. Wray. Softback, 0.28 kgs, 128mm x 200mm, 356 pages, Black & White Photographs. Published 2016.
    South Sea Vagabonds, the book that inspired generations of New Zealand sailors, is reprinted on its 75th anniversary.

    "This book is written primarily for dreamers, and they don't mind if a man can write or not as long as the facts are there. It is written for the man who works in a city office and dreams about sparkling blue waters and coconut palms and white sails bellying to the warm trade-winds. It will, perhaps, show him how it is possible to break away from the ties of civilization, build himself a boat and sail in her wherever he wills. I was a dreamer once, but now my dreams have come true, and I am satisfied and happy." ~ excerpt from the preface of South Sea Vagabonds by Johnny Wray

    When unemployed Aucklander Johnny Wray wrote and published South Sea Vagabonds in 1939 he probably had no idea of the effect his story would have on generations of New Zealand back-yard sailors. The book charted his building of the 35 foot yacht Ngataki in his backyard from materials scavenged throughout the city, his cruises around the Hauraki Gulf and subsequently with crews of young New Zealanders, his adventures in the South Pacific, cruising the Islands, racing, trading, even hunting for treasure.

    Johnny’s tale of those adventures, South Sea Vagabonds, is funny and unafraid. Not surprisingly, it was an instant success. Four editions and seventy five years later the book is fondly remembered and often sought

    Johnny died on Waiheke Island in 1986 but the legend he created for New Zealand sailors lives on: with spirit and determination they can do anything. The Ngataki survived, number eight wire and all, and has been restored by the Tino Rawa Trust.

    NZ$28.00 + delivery.

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    SWIRLY WORLD SAILS SOUTH.
    By Andrew Fagan, Paperback, 0.42kg, 153mm x 233mm, 288 pages. Published June 2012.
    In 2007, Kiwi musician and radio personality Andrew Fagan set sail in his tiny 5.4-metre plywood yacht to circumnavigate New Zealand. And just to make it more difficult, he included a leg to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands in the notorious Southern Ocean.
    All in all he sailed over 3000 miles (around 5000km) in two months. facing such potentially lethal conditions in such a tiny craft took careful planning mixed with extreme determination, serious fortitude and uncommon daring.
    In this account of his voyage, Fagan tells of having to avoid icebergs, sail through a force ten storm and visit sites of shipwercks at Port Ross in the Auckland Island Group. 'With the genuine concern of a very fatigued person, I was sailing for my life and I knew it!'
    Swirly World Sails South is a sharply accurate and humorous narrative that offers a unique and refreshing perspective on the world of solo sailing.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    PASSAGES
    By Linda Trubridge, Softback, 0.54kg, 150mm x 230mm, 444 pages. 2019.

    Passages is a personal, yet universal story of a life in harmony with nature. When Linda Trubridge, her husband David, and their two small boys, Sam and William, bought a yacht called Hornpipe and set sail for tropical waters, they cast off from all security.
    So began a nomadic adventure when they had to depend on their own resources, navigating by the sun and stars.

    This beautifully illustrated book presents a thrillingly honest, yet poetic reflection on the challenges of fulfilling a dream, as seen from a mother's perspective. Those ocean passages were a non stop roller coaster ride: "There were times when they plunged into the deepest trough of the wave and there were times when they rode, in exhilaration, the highest crest".

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    SIR PETER BLAKE An Amazing Life
    By Alan Sefton, Paperback, 0.66kg, 150mm x 228mm, 444 pages. Published 2005.
    Sir Peter Blake was the outstanding sailor/adventure of his time. In a 30-year sailing carer, he won every significant bluewater race on the planet, including the America’s Cup and the Whitbread Round the World race, and slashed the record for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation under sail. Knighted for his achievements and accorded celebrity status in many countries, Sir Peter turned away from competitive sailing in the last years of his life to pursue a passion to help protect the environment that he had enjoyed so much
    Alan Sefton traces Blake’s extraordinary life – from the rigors of ocean racing around the world to the high drama of the America;s Cup triumphs, where the egos of the world’s greatest sailors clash. Sefton describes those controversial years in vivid detail. Blake made the decision to devote his life to saving the world’s oceans, using Seamaster as his classroom. On his last expedition in December 2001, he war tragically murdered by pirates on the Amazon River.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF SIR PETER BLAKE.
    By Alan Sefton. Paperback, 130mm x 198mm, 280 pages.
    This captivating book follows the late Sir Peter Blake - legendary yachtsman and adventurer - on his final, ill-fated voyage. It tracks him and his dedicated team on the blakexpeditions exploration vessel Seamaster to the environmental pulse points of the planet as they look to generate greater awareness of the need to take better care of our world.
    Sir Peter's last adventure began in New Zealand in late 2000 when he set out to once again cross the Southern Ocean to Cape Horn. After exploring the breathtaking Beagle Channel at the foot of South American, he took Seamaster to 70 degrees south, among the icebergs of Antarctica, then headed north, up the coast of South America, to the rain forests of Amazonia where Seamaster navigated 1400 miles up the Amazon and Negro Rivers.
    As the world knows, Sir Peter was murdered by river pirates on the eve of Seamaster's departure from the Amazon in Decemebr 2001.
    Drawn from the logbooks kept by Sir Peter, and edited by his colleague and close friend Alan Sefton, this book relives that last, fateful voyage and at the same time celebrates both Sir Peter's passion and concern for the world in which we live.

    NZ$33.00 + delivery.

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    THE STORY OF SIR PETER BLAKE.
    By Tessa Duder. Paperback, 0.29kg, 115mm x 234mm, 134 pages, black & white and colour photographs. Published 2012.
    Aimed at the young adult reader but by no means limited to that particular age group, this story of Sir Peter Blake shows us that ordinary New Zealanders can achieve extraordinary things.
    Peter Blake was a New Zealand hero - sailor, adventurer, leader and environmentalist.
    Competing in classic ocean races, he clocked up as many sea miles as any seafarer in history. Among his prizes were the Whitbread Round-the-World Trophy (on his fifth attempt), and the Trophee Jules Verne for the fastest voyage around the world. Then he led his small country to win the famous America's Cup (twice!), and gave his last years to helping the environment.

    Award-winning author Tessa Duder tells the gripping story of Sir Peter's life, revealing how his vision, courage, persistence and sense of fun combined to make him an inspirational leader.

    NZ$26.00 + delivery.

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    TRIAL BY TASMAN.
    By Lindsay Wright. Paperback. 0.49kg, 254 pages, 152mm x 230mm, Published 2014.
    The singlehanded trans-Tasman yacht trace is a unique and special event. The first race was in 1970 and it is still the only singlehanded ocean race in the Southern hemisphere and the second oldest singlehanded ocean race in the world.

    Sailing form New Plymouth (New Zealand) to Mooloolaba near Brisbane (Australia) it has spawned a rich harvest of great stories from the athletes, eccentrics, daredevils, sportspeople and visionaries who have competed, including the first woman to compete in a singlehanded ocean race and, somewhat confusingly, a one-legged, singlehanded sailor.

    The races have been both exhilarating and terrifying. There have been a number of dramatic rescues, a stranding on Middleton Reef and several boats have been lost.

    Every race is covered and most chapters include race participants’ own accounts of their race. Readers are given an insight into what makes people want to sail alone across one of the roughest pieces of water in the world and how individual skippers have tackled loneliness and the practical aspects of sailing, as well as cooking, keeping dry and finding time to sleep.

    Lindsay Wright has been Secretary of the Race Organising Committee since 2006. He is also a former race entrant but had to abandon the race after suffering serious damage to his small yacht from hitting a whale. He has raced yachts out of Wellington, sailed round Cape Horn and worked as a professional raving skipper in the Caribbean. He has worked on oilrig supply vessels, as skipper of research ships, on seismic survey vessels, Greenpeace vessels and as a yacht and fishing boat delivery skipper. He is the author of Blue Water (see entry below), Red Sails, No Sunset and numerous articles for Boating New Zealand, Trade A Boat, NZ Listener, North and South and overseas magazines. He and his partner Kay live aboard their yacht Southern Cross.

    $35.00 + delivery.

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    BLUE WATER.
    Stories from a life Afloat.
    By Lindsay Wright. Paperback. 0.49kg, 336 pages, 152mm x 230mm, Colour Photographs. Published 2010.
    Blue Water is a collection of true adventure stories from a writer in love with the sea ...

    This collection of stories includes a novella inspired by a lifetime of sailing adventures and misadventures.
    Lindsay Wright is a sailor whose love of the sea has brought him back time and time again, despite mishap, mayhem and the occasional life-threatening disaster.
    A book for those with saltwater in their veins, this personal selection is the perfect book to take on board - or to read at home when you can't make it to the sea.
    In all, a collection of 23 autobiographical stories from Lindsay Wright's working life as a professional yachtsman, delivery skipper, charter skipper and shipmaster.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    TO THE ICE AND BEYOND.
    Sailing Solo Across 32 Oceans and Seaways..
    By Graeme Kendall. Paperback. 0.37kg, 205 pages, 160mm x 238mm, Colour photographs, Published 2017.

    Kiwi yachtsman Graeme Kendall was the first person to sail the Northwest Passage solo non-stop. Sailing east to west, he knocked off the "Everest of sailing" in just 12 days - the fastest recorded - as part of his extraordinary solo circumnavigation of the globe. This is a story of determination, meticulous planning and rugged courage. All alone for 193 days in his purpose-built yacht Astral Express, Kendall crossed 28,000 miles of ocean, facing some of the Earth's most terrifying seas. An enthralling adventure, To The Ice And Beyond is an inspiration to all of us to live our dreams, and never to give up.

    Graeme Kendall MNZM (Member of the New Zealand order of merit) is a highly experienced sailor who has sailed in many different parts of the world, including ocean racing. Born in Christchurch, he has sailed since he was a teenager and as an adult has owned several well-known classic heritage yachts including Galatea and Pastime. In 1986 he sailed in the Whitbread Round the World Race with Digby Taylor aboard NZI Enterprise. The following year Graeme and his friend Stan Pearson sailed his yacht Astral Rose in the inaugural two-handed Melbourne-to-Osaka race. He has been self-employed since the age of 25, with a business career that culminated in farming and residential property. Graeme currently lives in Auckland where he is a charter yacht skipper. His boyhood dream has always been to sail solo through the Northwest Passage.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    TE KAITOA. ZM 5256.
    By Geoff Nevill. Paperback. 0.76kg, 429 pages, 150mm x 220mm, colour photographs, Publ 2016.
    This is the story of an Auckland family who,in 1986,and for seven years, turned their backs on solid careers, sold up and went sailing, intending to circumnavigate the planet in their 43' ferro-cement sloop Te Kaitoa... Launched in 1971, the Te Kaitoa was designed and built by professional boatbuilder Jack Stone.

    This story is not so much about the weathering of storms rather than it details the day to day lives of the couple and how they dealt with the wins and losses that go with the cruising life. A good 'splash' of nautical fare is documented with an equal sum of the 'down & dirty' life of living in a foreign port, town and city. There are many characters depicted that shape and influence their lives both aboard and ashore, (and for better and for worse). This is a factual account written in a style that is endearing, honest, and often just out and out funny!

    After the circumnavigation, Te Kaitoa skippered by Geoff Nevill's stepson Richard Raea, and with a crew of six, she joined the 1995 flotilla protesting French Nuclear testing at Muroroa.

    Te Kaitoa now lies at Gulf Harbour and is owned by Grant Stone. who helped his father build her.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    THE BOATING DISEASE.
    By Bill Mansbridge. Paperback, 0.77kg, 158mm x 221mm, 420 pages, black & white photographs, published 2011.
    This light-hearted and totally unpolitically correct yarn will transport the reader under full sail from rural NZ, in the early nineteen fifties, to all of Godzone's coastline and some of the more remote islands of the Pacific ocean, with plenty of life's ups and downs along the way.

    Written by a typical kiwi, low budget, do it yourself yachty, the story, besides a lot of other entertaining stuff, relates the coming into being of two large sailing vessels, necessary appendages to the author's endless pursuit of the ultimate freedom. That being, the living on and cruising to, where ever the wind may blow, on your own self-sufficient go anywhere ship.

    Certainly a well illustrated and re-readable addition to any boatie's bookshelf.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    THE SEA IS MY WIFE - the life of Donald Cairncross Todd.
    By Gordon Berry. Paperback, 0.4kg, 148mm x 207mm, 285 pages, black & white photographs, published 2007.
    Donald (Don) Cairncross Todd was born in Wellington and lived his formative years there before being sent to Nelson College for his secondary education.

    During hs growing up in Eastbourne he and a friend built a small launch that they steamed across Cook Strait to the Marlborough Sounds. After serving an electrical apprenticeship and a time in the Chatham Islands he went back to the "Sounds" where he became involved in a Guest House and Launch charter work.

    Later an Electrical contracting business was started and covered the top of the South island. The sea was always his first love and after many years and vessels, Don is now officially "Retired" form both Electrical and Commercial boating. This book follows the life and escapades of this larger than life person and his sometimes, in hindsight, foolish practical jokes played by him and on him.

    This is intended to be an easy reading, light hearted look, at a sometimes hard but fruitful life of a recent past and never to be repeated era.

    This from the author, Gordon Berry, I enjoyed writing this - I hope you enjoy reading it.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    CREEPING UP ON AUCKLAND.
    By C.A.Latimer. Paperback, 135mm x 213mm, 167 pages, monochrome photographs.
    In late 1959, twelve people set out on a voyage halfway round the world, from England to New Zealand. It was not a sailing adventure but a commercial project. The boat was the Aberdeen Anzac, a seventy-foot North Sea trawler, and the plan was to make a good profit by selling her to the Wellington Fishermen's Cooperative. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn't quite work out like that. In this book, with the benefit of forty-five years' hindsight, C.A. latimer tells the story of an ill-prepared and prolonged passage, certainly not to be emulated - but one which proved to be strangly enjoyable for a variety of unexpected reasons.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    WHERE GIANTS DWELL.
    By Gerry Evans. Paperback, 0.32kg, 153mm x 230mm, 216 pages, Black & White Images. Published 1999. 0.32 kg.
    Where Giants Dwell is about ships and the men who worked them, of gales and strikes and lockouts, fist fights and murder. It gives a personal and sometimes hunorous account of life at sea and in new Zealand's toughest unions.

    Born in a small coastal town in West Wales, Gerry Evans had a prevailing dream of going to sea. He spent thirty years as a seaman, ten as a watersider and served on the executive of both Unions. His story of men as wild as the sea and as tough and ruthless as their employers, creating in their struggle a colourful part of history that has led us to where we now stand with increasing uncertainty.

    NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    FROM KAURI TREES TO SUNLIT SEAS.
    Shoestring Shipping in the South Pacific.
    By Don Silk, Paperback, 0.55kg, 155mm x 235mm, 234 pages.First Published 1994. Reprinted 2014 .
    (Note: We have been fortunate to be in contact with Don Silks family and acquire copies of this book, which is now out of print)

    From Kauri Trees to Sunlit Seas recounts Don Silks adventures in the Pacific over neary four decades. During this time, vessels were bought and sold, rebuilt and wrecked, cargos of coconuts and corned beef, pineapples and pearl shells were transported, along with crazy English beachcombers and Mormon Missionaries complete with bicycles. The excitement of hurricanes and shipwrecks, stoways and drunken sea captains was matched by the challenge of outwitting officialdom.

    A born storyteller, Don Silk has written a rip roaring yarn, awash with thrilling adventurres and mishaps. It is the story of an exceptional way of life, now all but gone forever.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    JUST SEA & SKY
    By Ben Pester, Softback, 0.26kg, 129mm x 198mm, 192 pages. Full colour and black & white photographs. Reprinted 2011.

    Ben Pester’s enchanting account of his epic voyage from Plymouth to New Zealand in 1953 provides a fascinating glimpse into the bygone age of traditional seamanship. Without the modern luxuries we take for granted today, Ben and his crew, Peter Fox, set off with no onboard radio, GPS, electronics or even cabin lights, lifejackets or liferaft. Instead, they embarked on their 14,000-mile voyage aboard the 39ft gaff yawl Tern II relying solely on hand steering, cranking the engine by hand and navigating with sextant, oil lamps and torches.
    As Tern II made her way around the world ben and Peter stumbled across drunken harbourmasters, encountered the mafia, witnessed the legacy of slavery and experienced lost civilisations in the Pacific. This delightfully personal and very engaging account is a true adventure story, told in captivating detail and enriched with colour photographs and route maps of the voyage.
    Just Sea & Sky shows how it was, and still is, possible to appreciate the simple pleasures of traditional sailing without the complications of modern-day equipment. It will enchant the landlubber and transport today’s sailor back into the different world of only a few decades ago.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    INTO THE MIDNIGHT SUN.
    By Barbara Thomas. Paperback, 0.55Kg, 160mm x 237mm, 168 pages, full colour photographs, published 2011.
    We all have our dreams and most of us never turn them into reality - but this adventurous Kiwi couple did. Neil and Barbara Thomas's vision was to put to sea for an extended voyage across the Pacific Ocean, heading north, from New Zealand to Japan and Alaska. It is about life on board their 'tiny ship' Starlight, calling into beautiful exotic ports, and indeed one or two hell holes.
    But Barbara describes the extraordinary places and wildlife they encountered - from undisturbed remains of WWII Japanese submarines and zeroes to grizzly bears gorging themselves on salmon. It is a story of friendships formed and extraordinarily genereous locals who helped them along the way.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    DA BOAT
    A year in the life of a wannabe sailor's wife.
    By Rosalie Barber, Paperback, 0.18kg, 148mm x 210mm, 88 pages.Published 2013 .
    Going to live on a boat! Are you mad? You shouldn’t do that, not at your age!
    ’ I decided to write this book to help people, including family and friends, understand our life at sea and how we came to make the decision to live this way.

    NZ$20.00 + delivery.

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    GROWING UP A CHATHAM ISLANDER.
    By Val Mete. Paperback, 204 pages, 138mm x 212mm. Published in 2012.
    The Chatham Islands are New Zealand's most easterly region, consisting of an isolated archipelago of eleven islands (only two of which are inhabited) lying about 800 km east of Christchurch on NZ's south island. Many visitors experience a trip to the Chathams as a 'step back in time' and this is exactly what Val Mete has written about in her first book of memoirs from her childhood. Of Moriori descent, Mete's stories warmly depict the adventures of extended family life and wisdom of her elders, as well as the appreciation for the landscape and ever-present South Pacific with its crayfish, abalone, kina, and blue cod. The abundant historical photos in Mete's book show the island lifestyle in the 1930s - 1980s. From horse-drawn mail carts and fishing nets, to the days of the early horse races and crayfish industry, the reader gets a clear taste of the abundant 'kaimoala' (seafood) and other resources on the islands that the locals gathered, shared, and now value as they reflect back to a time when they were young and things were quite different.

    NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    YARNS, NARRATIVES AND BIOGRAPHIES. Page One.



    See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

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