New and Neglected Nautical Writing

An invitation I couldn’t resist

An invitation I couldn’t resist

Charlie Stock was a sin­gu­lar sail­or, who was for sixty years a part of the scenery on his home waters of the Thames Estuary. In his last book, pub­lished posthum­ously, he describes and handles the local fea­tures and haz­ards meet­ing the small boat sail­or, not only in…

Handy with a toolbox

Handy with a toolbox

Martin O’Scannall has enjoyed a love affair of more than forty years with his 1913 gaff cut­ter Sauntress, begin­ning with her rebuild and cul­min­at­ing in the glor­ies pic­tured here. Below is his account of her sojourn in a boat­yard at Brentford on the Thames in west…

Hole Haven

Hole Haven

Despite its unpre­pos­sess­ing name Hole Haven, the creek to the west side of Canvey Island on the lower Thames, is a wel­come bolt-hole for those bound up- or down­river need­ing to get some rest or wait out a tide. It has ful­filled this ser­vice since at least the 1890s…

In all weathers by a crew of two

In all weathers by a crew of two

Tom Cunliffe writes:For fifty glor­i­ous years from the time of the 1861 Pilotage Act until the Great War nailed down the coffin lid on com­mer­cial sail, the Bristol Channel was a free-for-all for com­pet­it­ive pilot­ing. This great fun­nel of tide-swept water stood wide…

The rough with the smooth

The rough with the smooth

Bob Comlay is a vet­er­an of two Tilman exped­i­tions to Greenland, and has cajoled many sail­ors, climbers and writers into con­trib­ut­ing fore­words and after­words to our new Collected Edition of Tilman, shed­ding fresh light on a fre­quently mis­un­der­stood fig­ure: I…

A legacy of riches

A legacy of riches

When barely six­teen I spent two months with my slightly young­er broth­er Dave hitch-hik­ing, and often rough sleep­ing, around Scotland watch­ing birds. We went as far north as the Shetland isle Fetlar to see the snowy owls which bred there, and man­aged to cadge an…

Loft Floor launch party

Loft Floor launch party

We had a great turnout at arts venue The Cornish Bank in Falmouth on Saturday, to cel­eb­rate the launch of Christian Topf’s book From the Loft Floor to the Sea, on the build­ing of the Falmouth pilot cut­ter Pellew. Taking pic­tures was not our pri­or­ity, but here are…

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Then three come along…

Then three come along…

We did­n’t plan it this way, but events con­spired to make three block­busters (by our mod­est stand­ards) turn up from the print­er in one month. All are now in stock and avail­able to order. The big one weighs in at just under two kilo­grammes, and it upset our…

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The running sheets are in

The running sheets are in

No, not a sail­ing expres­sion; this week we received the run­ning sheets for our largest and most visu­ally ambi­tious pro­duc­tion: From the Loft Floor to the Sea. These are a com­plete set of the prin­ted pages, fol­ded and trimmed, but not bound. At this stage…

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Loft Floor launch party

Loft Floor launch party

We had a great turnout at arts venue The Cornish Bank in Falmouth on Saturday, to cel­eb­rate the launch of Christian Topf’s book From the Loft Floor to the Sea, on the build­ing of the Falmouth pilot cut­ter Pellew. Taking pic­tures was not our pri­or­ity, but here are…

read more
Then three come along…

Then three come along…

We did­n’t plan it this way, but events con­spired to make three block­busters (by our mod­est stand­ards) turn up from the print­er in one month. All are now in stock and avail­able to order. The big one weighs in at just under two kilo­grammes, and it upset our…

read more
The running sheets are in

The running sheets are in

No, not a sail­ing expres­sion; this week we received the run­ning sheets for our largest and most visu­ally ambi­tious pro­duc­tion: From the Loft Floor to the Sea. These are a com­plete set of the prin­ted pages, fol­ded and trimmed, but not bound. At this stage…

read more