Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bookshelf (cont'd)

Back to the bookcase . . . On the left, Clipper Ships and their Makers, by Alexander Laing.This book is a wonderful survey of the clipper ships, the first ships to log 400 nautical miles in 24 hours. (The record is Champion of the Sea's 465 miles noon to noon, a record which no sailing ship bested until the last decade or two, and that a purpose-built yacht.) The book is to a great extent the story of Captain Nat Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut, the genius designer. His Great Republic was, at 4,555 gross tons, the largest wooden sailing ship that ever was built or ever will be built.

Then, Salamina by the artist/author Rockwell Kent. This 1935 book is a first edition and a book of some modest value. It is elegantly illustrated, of course, and a pretty good tale of Greenland voyaging.

Surely most of us keep a copy of Knight's Modern Seamanship close at hand. For ship handling, working with tugs, salvage, mooring to an ice shelf, and helicopter operations, there are few better resources. First published in 1901, my 1972 edition is the sixteenth.

Of Heavy Weather Sailing I have previously written.

In 1934 my father was in the 8th grade at the Newman School, Lakewood, New Jersey. He was given this copy of Moby Dick as a prize for "Highest General Average." Years and years later, he had it rebound and gave the book to me. It too is illustrated by Rockwell Kent.

Next is a compendium of Joshua Slocum's Sailing Alone Around the World and Voyage of the Liberdade, London, published by Rupert Davis in 1948, with an introduction by Arthur Ransome of Swallows and Amazons fame! The author dedicated Sailing Alone Around the World thus: "TO THE ONE WHO SAID 'THE SPRAY WILL COME BACK.'" Amen.

A Sea of Words is a "lexicon and companion for Patrick O'Brien's seafaring tales." I have not used it much.

Finally, Dutton's Navigation and Piloting, a 1969 edition. The book is the definitive treatise on those subjects, and I believe is still the text at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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