See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

  • Born to be Hanged
  • Superyacht Captain
  • The Dolphin
  • Running Free
  • Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific
  • The Notorious Captain Hayes
  • Where the Hell is Tuvalu?
  • James Cook - The Journals
  • James Cook - Peter Fitzsimons
  • Captain James Cook - Richard Hough
  • Captain James Cook - Rob Mundle
  • Bligh - Master Mariner
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    By Keith Thomson. Hardback, 0.60kg, 160mm x 245mm, 371 pages. Published 2022.

    The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune.

    The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates, a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers, gather on a remote Caribbean island. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Pacific coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become legends.
    So begins one of the greatest piratical adventures of the era.

    Inspired by the intrepid forays of pirate turned Jamaican governor Captain Henry Morgan (yes, that Captain Morgan) the company crosses Panama on foot, slashing its way through the Darien Isthmus, one of the thickest jungles on the planet, and liberating a native princess along the way. After reaching the South Sea, the buccaneers, primarily Englishmen, plunder the Spanish Main in a series of historic assaults, often prevailing against staggering odds and superior firepower. A collective shudder racks the western coastline of South America as the English pirates, waging a kind of proxy war against the Spaniards, gleefully undertake a brief reign over Pacific waters, marauding up and down the continent.

    Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates’ legendary two-year odyssey. Witness the buccaneers evading Indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and sometimes even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured.

    By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged offers a rollicking account of one of the most astonishing pirate expeditions of all time.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By Brendan O'Shannassy. Softback, 0.41kg, 155mm x 235mm, 252 pages. Published 2022.

    This book is the tale of an ordinary boy whose career takes him on a most extraordinary journey. One that begins with messing about in boats in a sleepy coastal Australian town, and ends as one of the most successful and respected superyacht captains in the industry. Spanning two decades and circling the globe, his story draws readers into the real world of superyachts, their crew and their owners, in the most intimate of ways. Much of the book is comprised of fascinating and jaw-dropping insights and revelations about the real lives of the super wealthy – what is that sort of life really like? Does it make you happy? What's it like to work with people for whom there can be no delays; no mistakes (would you fancy manoeuvring a two hundred million euro boat into a tiny spot in Monaco harbour, in front of your boss and Prince Albert?).

    A brilliant read for all the many superyacht fans out there, as well as anyone interested in leadership and management techniques from someone at the top of their game, working for those who define the rules of the game.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    The Life of David Lewis
    By Ben Lowings. Softback, 158mm x 215mm, 0.47kg, 285 pages. Black & White Images. Published 2020

    This British-born New Zealander was the first person to sail a catamaran around the world, the first — in Ice Bird — to reach Antarctica solo under sail, and the first to produce a comprehensive academic analysis of how ancient navigators reached — and could reach again — the Pacific islands.

    His many voyages resulted in thirteen books published and translated worldwide; many were bestsellers — We, the Navigators has not been out of print since first publication in 1972.
    David Lewis’s achievements have been acknowledged with a series of awards, including that of Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

    But the price of his adventures had ultimately to be paid by others, in the succession of families he created, then broke apart; and many of his actions brought him into conflict with the feelings of friends and contemporaries.

    Dame Naomi James comments
    ..."It is said that 'madness' is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. His many voyages, and marriages, show the meaning of good intention that never quite works out the way they were intended.
    David Lewis was an unstoppable man, a thinking man, a man who examined his conscience owned his failings, without the power to change them..."

    This is the first Biography of David Henry Lewis.

    Was NZ$50.00 + delivery.
    Now NZ$30.00 + delivery.

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    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$45.00 + delivery.

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    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.

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    By Joan Druett. Paperback, 0.42kg, 154mm x 234mm, 314 pages, Published 2016.

    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.

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    By Phillip Ells. Paperback , 0.15kg, 128mm x 198mm, 278 pages, Updated Edition Published 2006.
    How does a young City lawyer end up as the People's Lawyer of the fourth-smallest country in the world, 18,000 kilometres from home? We've all thought about getting off the treadmill, turning life on its head and doing something worthwhile. Philip Ells dreamed of turquoise seas, sandy beaches and palm trees, and he found these in the tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu. But neither his Voluntary Service Overseas briefing pack nor his legal training could prepare him for what happened there.

    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$35.00 + delivery.

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    By James Cook. Paperback. 130mm x 198mm, 658 pages, 2003

    This reprinting of selections from Cook's journals, edited by A. Grenfell Price, celebrates the bicentennial anniversary of his explorations.

    It abounds in descriptions of newly discovered plant species, particulars of coastline and land features, details of navigation, and impressions of the various Pacific peoples he encountered. Cook was a many-faceted genius, able at once to grasp the complexities of mathematics necessary for navigation and mapping and the subtle intricacies of politics and negotiation.

    He often recorded his keen judgments of both subordinates and native chieftains and priests in a way that displays his own great spirit and humanity. Always solicitous of the health of his crewmen, he took great pains to insure proper diet and conditions of cleanliness, and he carefully described these measures in his journal.

    His tragic death at the hands of Hawaiian islanders is fully rendered from eyewitness accounts, and the implications of his discoveries to the expansion of scientific knowledge are clearly presented by the editor.

    Although Cook's journals will prove of inestimable value to historians, anthropologists, and students of the history of science, they can be enjoyed equally as lively narratives of high adventure and discovery. Any sympathetically roving imagination will take unbounded delight in this great classic of exploration by a most "curious and restless son of Earth."

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    JAMES COOK - The Story behind theMman who Mapped the World
    By Peter Fitzsimons. Paperback. 154mm x 235mm, 492 pages, 2019

    The name Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in history - an almost mythic figure who is often discussed, celebrated, reviled and debated.
    But who was the real James Cook?

    This Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, scientist, navigator and cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe. His great voyages of discovery were incredible feats of seamanship and navigation. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best and worst of humanity as he took himself and his crew to the edge of the known world - and beyond.

    With his masterful storytelling talent, Peter FitzSimons brings the real James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, where Cook first set foot on Australian and New Zealand soil, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist.

    As they left England, Banks, a rich, famous playboy, was everything that Cook was not. The voyage tested Cook's character and would help define his legacy.

    Now, 240 years after James Cook's death, FitzSimons reveals what kind of man James was at heart. His strengths, his weaknesses, his passions and pursuits, failures and successes.

    James Cook reveals the man behind the myth.

    NZ$42.00 + delivery.

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    By Richard Hough. Paperback. 130mm x 198mm, 492 pages, Black & White illustrations. 1994

    In Cook's relatively short but adventurous life (1728-79) he voyaged to the eastern and western seaboards of North America, the North and South Pacific and the Artic and Antarctic, bringing about a new comprehension of the world's geography and its peoples.

    He was a linking figure between the grey speculation of the early 18th century and the industrial age of the first half of the 19th century.

    This biography provides insights and interpretations of the life of one of the world's greatest mariners.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    CAPTAIN JAMES COOK From Sailor to Legend
    By Rob Mundle. Paperback, 0.40kgs, 412 pages, 127mm x 198mm, This Paperback edition published 2017
    Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime explorers of all time. Over three remarkable voyages of discovery into the Pacific in the latter part of the 18th century, Cook unravelled the centuries-old mystery surrounding the existence of Terra Australis Incognita - the great south land; became the first explorer to circumnavigate New Zealand and established that it was two main islands; discovered the Hawaiian Islands for the British Empire; and left an enduring legacy.
    Rob Mundle, bestseling maritime biographer of Fatal Storm, Bligh and Flinders, introduces us to an unlikely sailor in a teenage Cook who through the combination of hard-won skills as a seafarer, the talents of a self-taught navigator and surveyor, and an exceptional ability to lead and care for his men, climbed the ranks of the Royal Navy to achieve legendary status among all who sailed and mapped the world.
    Written with colour, sweep and the authority of Rob's five decades as a competitive sailor, maritime journalist and broadcaster, this extensively researched new biography of Cook will put you on the quarterdeck with the great navigator as he painstakingly guides his ship through dangerous, reef-strewn waters. You will also be alongside the Captain when his ship is a wave-width away from annihilation; and at the helm, when he calls for the anchor to be weighed and his men to heave hard on the lines, at the start of an exciting new voyage

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.
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    by Rob Mundle. Paperback, 0.42 kg, 130mm x 200mm, 400 pages, full colour illustrations, This ediiton published.2017.
    The eighteenth century was an era when brave mariners took their ships beyond the horizon in search of an unknown world. Those chosen to lead these expeditions were exceptional navigators, men who had shown brilliance as they ascended the ranks in the Royal Navy. They were also bloody good sailors.
    From ship's boy to vice-admiral, discover how much more there was to Captain Bligh than his infamous bad temper. Meet a 24 year-old Master Bligh as he witnesses the demise of his captain and mentor, Cook; a 34-year-old Lieutenant Bligh at the helm of the famous Bounty then cast adrift by Fletcher Christian on an epic 47-day open-boat voyage from Tonga to Timor; and a 36-year-old Captain Bligh as he takes HMS Providence, in the company of a young Matthew Flinders, on a grand voyage to Tahiti and back. And all this before he was forty.
    Rob Mundle's Bligh puts you at the heart of a great nautical life - it's a story that embraces the romance of the sea, bravery in battle, the adventure of exploration under sail and the cost of having the courage of your convictions.

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