New and Neglected Nautical Writing — All books Post-Free in the UK

Words written on water

Our first book had sold out a few years before, and we had the feel­ing it was time for a new edi­tion in our now-stand­ard robust soft­cov­er format, and that there remained an unplumbed audi­ence among people who, though per­haps not habitu­al read­ers of sail­ing books,…

Lonely backwaters

[Sea-Coun­try is now out of print but we thought you’d still enjoy this extract]Tony Smith is now the keep­er of Charlie Stock’s game little 16-foot gaff cut­ter Shoal Waters, and has made it his busi­ness to take her the length and breadth of the Thames estu­ary, and into…

Essex girl through and through

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…

That unique engagement

For most of my life my sail­ing was of the arm­chair kind, and in the mid-1970s much of it was in the delight­ful com­pany of Ken Duxbury, a writer whose light touch belies the skill and resource­ful­ness which under­pinned the voy­ages made by him and his wife B. in their…

Extreme limit of the credible

A cor­res­pond­ent famil­i­ar with the first edi­tion of Mess­ing About in Boats wrote to me: a delight­ful book of real sail­ing from a man who comes over as being kind, com­pas­sion­ate and con­sid­er­ate. He bought three cop­ies of our new edi­tion as gifts—an example worthy of…

Ghost ship of Grytviken

The Albert Strange Asso­ci­ation (bear with me), in which I am heav­ily implic­ated, held its Annu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing in Lin­coln a few years ago, and our very enga­ging guest speak­er was Dr Robb Robin­son, a mari­time his­tor­i­an at the Uni­ver­sity of Hull. His sub­ject was…

A sudden loss

Had we been more dili­gent with this blog you would know that in the autumn of 2019 Mar­tin O’Scannall, author of For the Love of Saunt­ress, and his part­ner Luis, had depar­ted their home in Galicia, the wet & windy north-west corner of Spain, to cross the Atlantic. The beau­ti­ful 1913 gaff cut­ter Saunt­ress has been Martin’s joy for some fifty years; she was seen at Porto Santo, Madeira, by anoth­er sail­or who spot­ted that her skip­per and crew wore the same T-shirt as him­self, namely the Lode­star Books one which, as we inten­ded, served to identi­fy each to the other as a per­son of impec­cable naut­ic­al taste. read more…

Sailing by the stars: David Lewis

Ben Low­ings, author of our David Lewis bio­graphy The Dol­phin, joined Lewis’s son, accom­plished sail­or Barry Lewis, and Dr Christina Thompson – Edit­or of Har­vard Review and writer on Poly­ne­sian sea­far­ing – in a recent BBC World Ser­vice Forum pro­gramme, the sub­ject being the many voy­ages of med­ic­al doc­tor and indefatig­able sail­or David Lewis. Click below to hear or even down­load the pro­gramme, which should remain online for a year or so.

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Extreme limit of the credible

A cor­res­pond­ent famil­i­ar with the first edi­tion of Mess­ing About in Boats wrote to me: a delight­ful book of real sail­ing from a man who comes over as being kind, com­pas­sion­ate and con­sid­er­ate. He bought three cop­ies of our new edi­tion as gifts—an example worthy of…

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…

Like a box of jewels

Someone, some­where wrote that George Mil­lar was incap­able of writ­ing a dull sen­tence, and never was that more true than in his three books of sail­ing mem­oirs. Oyster River, set in the Mor­bi­han in Brit­tany, and Isa­bel and the Sea, relat­ing a voy­age through the French…

A preposterous proposal

Philip Temple’s 1965 account of an out­rageously bold exped­i­tion was pub­lished without fan­fare, without many good pho­to­graphs, and without even the bene­fit of a copy-edit­or; it van­ished without trace. The Sea and The Snow came to our atten­tion a few years ago as we…