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

The romance of a proper dinghy

The light north-east­erly breeze con­tin­ued dur­ing my watch until mid­night, and Juan­ita sailed on through the dark­ness, her jib shim­mer­ing with the phos­phor­es­cence of the lee bow wave, and little Punch, the 8’ dinghy fol­low­ing in our glisten­ing wake, with a…

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…

My last cruise in ‘Cherub II

Albert Strange had a gift for what might be styled ‘com­pan­ion­able writ­ing;’ the abil­ity to take the read­er with him, in ima­gin­a­tion, on his voy­aging remin­is­cences. One of these exper­i­ences is related here, a cruise in the Cher­ub II, “My most beloved boat” as Strange…

Too fast for accurate navigation

The year was 1955 and H W Tilman was under­tak­ing his first ‘sail to climb’ exped­i­tion, aim­ing to cross the Patago­ni­an ice-cap in both directions—starting from the ‘other side’. This would neces­sit­ate a trans­it of the Magel­lan Strait; as Sir Robin Knox-John­ston puts it…

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,…

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…

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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The Yorkshire Coble

Per­haps the most curi­ous craft which is found in use by the fish­er­men round the coasts of Bri­tain is the York­shire coble [writes George Holmes in 1912]. Along with the Sher­ing­ham boat—referred to and described in a former number—this type is used for crab­bing by the…

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…

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…

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,…