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By John Cook. Softback, 0.51kg, 155mm x 223mm, 339 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2020.
In Tasmania, John Cook is known as 'The Keeper of the Flame'. As one of Australia's longest-serving lighthouse keepers, John spent 26 years tending Tasmania's well-known kerosene 'lights' at Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island.
From sleepless nights keeping the lights alive, battling the wind and sea as they ripped at gutters and flooded stores, raising a joey, tending sheep and keeping ducks and chickens, the life of a keeper was one of unexpected joy and heartbreak. But for John, nothing was more heartbreaking than the introduction of electric lights, and the lighthouses that were left empty forever.
Evocatively told, The Last Lighthouse Keeper is a love story between a man and a dying way of life, as well as a celebration of wilderness and solitude.
NZ$37.00 + delivery.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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$32.00 + 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.
'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.
Was NZ$45.00 + delivery.
Now NZ$25.00 + 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.
See also Other Nautical Tales