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Deep in southern latitudes, in a desolate corner of Cumberland Bay on the east coast of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, hard by the rotting quays of the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken and almost within a stone’s throw of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, lie three forsaken steam ships: rusting remnants of British industrial past, unique survivals from a vanished age of steam at sea.
One of these ships is Viola, the sole surviving Hull steam trawler from the huge fleet which put 'fish & chips' on Britain's plates more than a hundred years ago.
In this absorbing account, the authors describe her ancestry and origins in the Victorian and Edwardian North Sea fishery—vividly depicting life for her crew in the most dangerous industry of its time; they record her Great War service as a U-boat hunter—one of the many merchant vessels largely unsung for their contribution, and often sacrifice, in wartime; and they recount her subsequent career hunting whales off West Africa, then later sealing and exploration work in the South Atlantic, before her final abandonment in South Georgia.
Here she became quarry for the infamous Argentine scrap metal expedition of 1982, in the initiating action of the Falklands War.
This improbable yet true story of a humble working vessel and those involved with her is a highly readable work of social, as well as maritime, history.
$36.00 + Delivery
TRAVELS WITH MY NAN.
By Nick Imber, Softback, 0.29 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 170 pages. Colour Photos. Published 2019
One Family's Life with a Barge Yacht.
I first met her in Tollesbury and immediately fell for her. She was an Essex girl through and through but not like all the others, although she was shallow. As far as I could see then there were only two problems. There was a big age difference—fifty-five years. She was born in 1904 and I was ten back then in 1959. None of this mattered to me but the second problem would be trickier: my Dad loved her too...
So begins Nick Imber’s affectionate account of his family’s love affair with the barge yacht Nan, who was to give so much pleasure to three generations, across twenty years from the 1950s to the 1970s.
$45.00 + Delivery
FOR THE LOVE OF SAUNTRESS.
By Martin O'Scannell, Softback, 0.25 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 142 pages. Colour & Black /White Photos. Published 2014
A Forty Year Affair
In 1973, Martin O'Scannall's love affair with Sauntress, voted in 2013 one of Classic Boat magazine's Top 250 Boats. Here, in a series of delightful, engaging episodes ranging from Anglesey to Galicia by way of the West Country, the East Coast, the Netherlands, Norway and south-west Ireland, is what it is like to restore and sail—and be possessed by—a modest yet glorious 28ft gaffer dating from the golden age of Edwardian yachting.
Illustrated with a gallery of outrageously beautiful photographs depicting Sauntress in all her present-day glory, and were taken on a single, perfect August evening off the Galician coast during her annual match race.
$36.00 + Delivery
MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS.
By John R Muir, Softback, 0.32 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 208 pages. Black & White Images. First Published 1938. This Edition 2016
Out of print since the late 1940s, Messing About in Boats is one of the most charming and evocative accounts of work and leisure afloat in the years either side of the Great War.
John Muir describes with humanity and humour the perils of boat acquisition and ownership by the impecunious, and the somewhat mixed talents of the Paid Hand...
Muir provides two valuable first-hand accounts of work afloat under steam and sail before the War, while he was on half-paid leave between assignments in the Royal Navy: In the North Sea ‘boxing’ fleet of trawlers which remained on station for weeks on end, where he served in his medical capacity, and later in the Bristol Channel Pilot service, where he crewed on a cutter, delivering the pilot to incoming ships in all weathers.
$36.00 + Delivery
SWIN, SWALE & SWATCHWAY.
By H Lewis Jones, Softback, 0.23 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 144 pages. Black & White Images. First Published 1892. This Edition 2014
Published in 1892 in a small and now scarce edition, Swin, Swale & Swatchway pre-dates and inspires both Maurice Griffiths and Francis B. Cooke in giving us the sailor’s experience of London’s doorstep wilderness, the Thames Estuary, and the boats and characters inhabiting it in late Victorian times.
$36.00 + Delivery
GOOD LITTLE SHIP.
By Peter Willis, Softback, 0.36 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 218 pages. Black & White/ Colour Photographs & Images. Published 2017
Peter Willis combines an analysis of a classic of maritime literature - We didn't Mean to go to Sea' (Arthur Ransome) with the story of the Nancy Blackett, Ransome’s own boat which appears as the Goblin in his story.
He describes her life, near-death and restoration, and her renaissance as an ambassador for Ransome and his tales.
(There’s more than a touch of irony about the title of Arthur Ransome’s We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea. The book came about precisely because that’s just what he had intended to do,’ Generations of children and their parents have delighted in Arthur Ransome’s series of twelve ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books, but one of them stands out from the rest as being of a different order altogether...)
$45.00 + Delivery
THE FRAYED ATLANTIC EDGE.
By David Gange, Paperback, 0.32 kg, 130mm x 200mm, 388 pages. Published 2020
Over the course of a year, leading historian and nature writer David Gange kayaked the weather-ravaged coasts of
Atlantic Britain and Ireland from north to south: every cove, sound, inlet, island.
The idea was to travel slowly and close to the water: in touch with both the natural world and the histories of communities on Atlantic coastlines.
Paddling alone in sun and storms, among dozens of whales and countless seabirds, Gange and his kayak travelled through a Shetland summer, Scottish winter and Irish spring before reaching Wales and Cornwall. Sitting low in the water, as did millions in eras when coasts were the main arteries of trade and communication, Gange describes, in captivating prose and loving detail, the experiences of kayaking, coastal living and historical discovery.
The story of his journey is one of staggering adventure, range and beauty.
$30.00 + Delivery
By Charlie Connnelly, hardback, 0.52 kg, 165mm x 240mm, 297 pages. Published 2020
The Remarkable men and women who made it the most fascinating waterway in the world.
A bulwark against invasion, a conduit for exchange and a challenge to be conquered, the English Channel has always been many things to many people. Today it’s the busiest shipping lane in the world and hosts more than 30 million passenger crossings every year but this sliver of choppy brine, just 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, represents much more than a conductor of goods and people.
Criss-crossing the Channel – not to mention regularly throwing himself into it for a bracing swim – Charlie Connelly collects its stories and brings them vividly to life, from tailing Oscar Wilde’s shadow through the dark streets of Dieppe to unearthing Britain’s first beauty pageant at the end of Folkestone pier (it was won by a bloke called Wally). We learn that Louis Bleriot was actually a terrible pilot, the tragic fate of the first successful Channel swimmer, and that if a man with a buttered head and pigs’ bladders attached to his trousers hadn’t fought off an attack by dogfish we might never have had a Channel Tunnel.
Here is a cast of extraordinary characters – geniuses, cheats, dreamers, charlatans, visionaries, eccentrics and at least one pair of naked, cuddling balloonists – whose stories are all united by the English Channel.
$50.00 + Delivery
GETTING STONED WITH SAVAGES.
A TRIP THROUGH THE ISLANDS OF FIJI AND VANUATU
By J Maarten troost, Paperback, 0.24 kg, 130mm x 205mm, 240 pages. Published 2006
The laugh-out-loud true story of the author's years on the islands of Vanuatu and Fiji, among cannibals, volcanoes... and the world’s best narcotics.
Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost’s time on Vanuatu—a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to “eat the man.”
Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders.
When his wife Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living—in complete contrast to his dad.
$35.00 + Delivery
By Peter Grose, Softback, 0.35 kg, 155mm x 235mm, 229 pages. Published 2020
A band of convicts, a scoundrel by the name of Jimmy Porter, a stolen brig and a daring plan for escape.
From the grim docks of nineteenth-century London to the even grimmer shores of the brutal penal colony of Norfolk Island, this is a roller-coaster tale. It has everything: defiance of authority, treachery, piracy and mutiny, escape from the hangman's noose and even love.
Peopled with good men, buffoons, incompetents and larrikin convicts of the highest order, Ten Rogues is an unexpected and wickedly entertaining story.
Peter Grose brings to irresistible life the story of a small band of convicts who managed to escape the living hell of the Tasmanian penal colony of Sarah Island. Their getaway began by stealing the leaky and untested brig they had helped to build, and then sailing it across the Pacific from Tasmania to Chile with neither a map nor a chronometer.
Ten Rogues shines a light into some dark and previously well-hidden corners of colonial history...
$35.00 + Delivery
THE OUTLAW OCEAN
By Ian Urbina, Softback, 0.46 kg, 130mm x 200mm, 544 pages. Published in Paperback 2020
A riveting, adrenalin-fuelled tour of a vast, lawless and rampantly criminal world that few have ever seen: the high seas.
There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to the unbridled extremes of human behaviour and activity.
Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion-providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways: drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world and their risk-fraught lives. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely.
Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, this unique work of reportage brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.
$30.00 + Delivery
THE BOAT WHO WOULDN'T FLOAT
By Farley Mowat, Softback, 0.35 kg, 140mm x 215mm, 294 pages. New Edition 2018
It seemed like a good idea. Tired of everyday life ashore, Farley Mowat would find a sturdy boat in Newfoundland and roam the salt sea over, free as a bird. What he found was the worst boat in the world, and she nearly drove him mad. The Happy Adventure, despite all that Farley and his Newfoundland helpers could do, leaked like a sieve. Her engine only worked when she felt like it. Typically, on her maiden voyage, with the engine stuck in reverse, she backed out of the harbour under full sail. And she sank, regularly.
How Farley and a varied crew, including the intrepid lady who married him, coaxed the boat from Newfoundland to Lake Ontario is a marvellous story. The encounters with sharks, rum-runners, rum and a host of unforgettable characters on land and sea make this a very funny book for readers of all ages
$40.00 + Delivery
The True Story of the World's Longest Sea Chase.
By Eskill Engdal & Kjetil Saeter, Paperback, 0.45 kg, 135mm x 210mm, 391 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2018.
December, 2014: In the forbidding waters off Antarctica, Captain Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker embarks on a voyage unlike any seen before. Across ten thousand miles of hazardous seas, Hammarstedt’s crew will relentlessly pursue the Thunder—an infamous illegal fishing ship—for what will become the longest chase in maritime history.
Wanted by Interpol, the Thunder has for years evaded justice: accumulating millions in profits, hunting endangered species and ruthlessly destroying ocean habitats. The authors follow this incredible expedition from the beginning. But even as seasoned journalists, they cannot anticipate what the chase will uncover, as the wake of the Thunder leads them to trail of criminal kingpins, rampant corruption, modern slavery, and an international community content to turn a blind eye. Very soon, apprehending Thunder becomes more than a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet.
A Scandinavian best-seller, Catching Thunder is a remarkable true story of courage and perseverance, and a wake-up call to act against the destruction of our environments.
$40.00 + Delivery
CRUSOE'S ISLAND A Rich and curious history of pirates, castaways and madness.
By Andrew Lambert, Paperback, 0.26 kg, 130mm x 198mm, 306 pages. Paperback Published 2017.
Acclaimed historian Andrew Lambert uncovers the fascinating truth about a faraway place that still haunts our imagination and culture: the island of Robinson Crusoe in the South Pacific Ocean.
Daniel Defoe's enduring novel Robinson Crusoe famously followed the adventures of a shipwrecked sailor. Yet the complex reality is more surprising, more colourful and considerably darker.
Drawing on voyage accounts, journal entries, maps and illustrations, Lambert brings to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists. There are the early encounters of the 1500s, the perilous journeys of the eighteenth-century explorers, the naval conflicts of the First World War and the environmental concerns of more recent years.
Crusoe’s Island reveals that the British relationship whit this distant, tiny island extends far beyond a single book. This true history helps us to understand why the British, still a naval power but no longer a great maritime empire, are not yet ready to give up the ocean – or on tiny specks of land at the far ends of the earth.
$25.00 + Delivery
MUTINY ON BOARD HMS BOUNTY..
By William Bligh. Paperback, 0.18kg, 130mm x 200mm, 187 pages. This edition published 2014.
First published in 1790, this edition includes a new map of the route of the Bounty before and after the mutiny, as well as that of Bligh and his loyal crew after being abandoned.
In 1789 the crew of the HMS Bounty mutinied against their captain, William Bligh. Bligh and his loyal crewmen survived a 1,000-mile journey in a small boat, but when he returned to England and several mutineers went on trial, different versions of the events began to emerge. This brand new edition brings together Bligh's account of the mutiny, responses from the lawyer Edward Christian (the brother of lead mutineer Fletcher Christian) and contridictory testimonies from Bounty crewmembers.
World-class yachtsman and racing sailor Pete Goss writes in the foreword to this edition of his own experience of a collapse in captain-crew relations as he explores the grey areas surrounding the mutiny on the Bounty
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
SAILING TO THE EDGE OF TIME
By John Kretschmer. Paperback, 0.21kg, 130mm x 200mm, 277 pages. This Ediiton Published 2020. Colour Photographs.
With hundreds of thousands of nautical miles under his keel, John Kretschmer's adventures have taken him several times around the world, with challenging crossings of the Atlantic and the Pacific, a narrow escape from a coup in Yemen, an unlikely deliverance from a coral reef off Belize as well as more serene, introspective passages where trade winds are blowing and stories are flowing. His crew has included CEOs, actors, writers, teachers, kids – in essence, everyone.
In this book he shares his simple profundities that will inspire those who live to sail, and those seeking something more rewarding from life. Interwoven with practical tips and advice in seamanship, but also, and just as importantly, his hard-won insights about making the most of our lives.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
NZ$50.00 + delivery.