818 Bod (c1993)

Row a Little Boat CoverSarah P’s comments:  Loads has already been written about this little gem of a book which is considered literature (hence the 818). However, from a water travel point of view it is a basic primer so I can’t get too far with this blog without including a post about it. If you are considering doing anything on the water, read this first…

Favorite Quotes:

I had to judge where I was going from where I had been…all too often I am forced to move toward [my goals] backward, like a boy in a rowboat, guiding myself by an inner sense of direction which tells me I’m tending toward the place I want to be.

To be at one with the wind is to be at home in the world…

For the truth is that to sail, to even contemplate sailing, calls for a fundamental faith in one’s self.

I seek in friends, partners, and mates what I seek in a sloop; a forgiving relationship in which I automatically compensate for their shortcomings and they for mine.

The destination…is the journey itself and not the final stopping place. How I get there is more important than whether I arrive, although I will arrive, and what I must remember is to listen to the wind, and the wind will tell me what to do.

 
WaterBug letters

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784.42 Sub

Off the chart…thesubdudesweb2016

Sarah P’s comments:  Last night I was introduced to The Subdudes who played a show at the superb Boothbay Opera House. Holy Cow…what a performance. Brought me right back to when I lived in Baton Rouge and we used to cruise down to N’leans to hear music. (LA is not an ocean boat-friendly place so other entertainment needed.) Anyway, their style, attitude & coming out into the audience to play…is special. Tom Malone actually skipped down the aisle with his guitar and said, “Skipping is the most economical way to move.”

Definition of skipping: to move along lightly…

Since my logo is:     WaterBug letters     I just had to add this post.

 

910.4 Gra (c1972)

Dove Cover

Sarah P’s commentsDove is the story of Robin Lee Graham’s solo circumnavigation. At the time his story was sensational because of his age; he was only sixteen when he set off (from California) in 1965. His exploits were chronicled in National Geographic and his story became a movie in 1974. Since then he has been followed by ever younger sailors which has caused questions to be raised about whether this is ethical. Whatever you think about it, their adventures make for good reading, starting with Dove.  (I will be writing more about the others in subsequent posts.)

YouTube movie: The Dove

SAIL article: Robin Lee Graham on the Latest Teen Circumnavs

Wikipedia List of youth solo sailing circumnavigations

Favorite quotes:

Life would be pretty monotonous if the sky was always blue.

At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.

Happiness has no frontiers, that it’s a state of mind and not a possession, not a set route through life, not a goal to be gained but something that steals in gently like an evening mist or the morning sunlight—something beyond our control.

WaterBug letters

 

F Tol (c2017)

Sarah P’s comments:  This blog mainly focuses on true, non-fiction sailing tales. Not because I don’t like sailing fiction but because, other than the classics (Moby Dick, Captains Courageous, etc.), I haven’t found much current stuff worthy of reading. This book is exceptional in the way that this author captures the ‘feel’ of sailing and water; both river and sea.

Song of the Current coverBOOK TRAILER

Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

“Caro’s description of her boat home, the Cormorant, will make even readers unfamiliar with sailing feel as though they belong on the water with her. Tolcser blends the right amount of epic fantasy, sea voyage, and romance for a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure. – Kirkus (starred review)

Favorite Quotes:

A fair day with a fresh wind has a magic all its own.

To a captain, a ship is more than just something that carries cargo from place to place…you understand the life in her, and it calls out to you…

In spite of everything, my heavy mood lifted as the wind filled Cormorant’s sail.

From the author:

To go forward, sometimes you have to go back. I went back to the folk songs and the sailing adventures I loved, the ones that inspired a girl with dreams of being a pirate.

Map Song of the Current

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910.4 Slo (c1898)

Sarah P’s comments:  Joshua Slocum sailing around the world on his sloop Spray from 1895-1898, is where it all began. As this blog is about collecting and documenting great individual sailing stories and ventures in all forms (books, movies, and now websites, blogs, podcasts, and videos), I really can’t go too far without paying homage to this story of the first (documented) solo circumnavigator…who then wrote a book about it. This book is timeless and a must-read for anyone contemplating voyaging of any kind. It is the Moby Dick of sailing literature and his adventures spawned the genre of modern sailing stories.

It’s easy to grab a copy of this book from a library or Amazon however, I love to read older versions, so here’s a picture of my favorite cover from the c1900 version:

 

 

 

The ebook is available for free from Project Gutenberg. There’s also a great YouTube video about Slocum’s life and adventures, and the Joshua Slocum Society (now unfortunately disbanded) site contains a wealth of information.

Quotes:

To young men [& women] contemplating a voyage I would say go. The tales of rough usage are for the most part exaggerations, as also are the tales of sea danger. To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that it was made to be sailed over.

But where, after all, would be the poetry of the sea were there no wild waves?

I once knew a writer who, after saying beautiful things about the sea, passed through a Pacific hurricane, and he became a changed man.

The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.

 

 

781.5 Qui (c1997-2005)

Sarah P’s comments: Music about the sea tends to be sea shanties or modern romantic (Southern Cross – Crosby, Stills & Nash, etc.).  Good but…

And then I found Eileen Quinn – who has five CD’s of music about cruising, sailing andEileen Quinn the sea that is original, relevant, funny, and sung with a great voice.

How I find Eileen: We were hauled out at McCotter’s Boatyard in Washington, NC slogging through a long list of ‘must-be-done’ or projects. Somewhere along we had a chat with someone else there doing boatwork (part of the whole boatyard scene is chatting…) where the ‘people don’t understand this love of boats thing’ came up and one sailor scoffed, “Oh, their just dirt-dwellers!”

What a fabulous word! Beats ‘landlubbers’ by a mile. I just had to look it up…and Eileen Quinn’s song ‘Dirt Dweller’ popped up as one of the first links. Hilarious. So, I spent the rest of the night tracking down all her music and the next day, as we sweat and swore our way through some awful, crappy project, we listened and loved her even more.

Best for the day was ‘The Hard’ because it exactly describes the boatyard scene…but really, her stuff is ALL good. Sadly, Eileen has now passed but her music lives on timelessly. Out of deference to her as an artist, and being a bit old-fashioned, I purchased her CD’s, however most of her music is available via YouTube.

YouTube Playlist (61 songs)

Lyrics:

THE HARD

Refrain:
It’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, Lord it’s a hard.
It’s hard, hard life, life on the hard.

Sun and salt take their toll on the boat and me.
She needs a coat of bottom paint and a little TLC.
Ain’t no way around it, gotta haul out on the land.
It’s time to go cruisin’ in the working yard.

Scraping off the bottom paint and sanding down the hull
Shortening my life span with some toxic chemical.
Sanding off my fingertips along with all the paint.
It’s good to see a job well done but darling fun it ain’t!

Varnishing my brightwork, what a pretty boat.
Now the guy upwind, has just begun to grind off his gelcoat.
So I sand again, coat again, look’s wonderful…
Just in time to take the overspray when he paints his hull.

Midnight down the ladder to the johnny-on-the-spot.
Hope they keep the Doberman locked in the long-term loft.
Now the night watchman is trigger happy, hope he don’t shoot me.
Hate to think I bought it, going for a pee.

For every job crossed off my list, I seem to add two more.
I blinked and one week in the yard somehow turned into four.
With a credit card and a little luck, soon we’ll be afloat.
Please mister lift-driver, please don’t drop my boat!

Dewey: 910.4 Joh (c1929)

Sarah P’s comments:  Yesterday, I discussed my favorite book by acclaimed circumnavigators Irving & Exy Johnson.  Today, I want to talk about their movies. An interesting aspect of their unique lives was that Irving documented a lot of it using a movie camera.

One of the best sailing movies ever made (in my opinion) is The Peking Battles Cape Horn which has made it onto YouTube! This movie chronicles Irving’s stormy rounding of the Horn aboard the German windjammer in 1929 and is both a historical record of sailing and documentary filmmaking.

Peking Battles Cape HornJohnson also kept a journal of his experience which was the basis for the book of the same name, originally published in 1929 and re-issued by the Mystic Seaport Museum (1997).

Irving & Exy went on to make many more movies some of which became National Geographic specials. All of their material is now housed at the Mystic Seaport Museum inunfurling-the-world-dvd Mystic, CT.  They sell a narrated compilation of the Johnson’s movies: Unfurling the World . It is well-worth the $29.95 price tag as it not only contains great sailing shots but is a visual record of sailing in what is now a by-gone era.

Quotes:

‘Look at this, the open ocean! The forces involved are fantastic! There’s no words that I can use in any language that will tell you what it’s like. If you’ve been there it’s the only way you’ll know because the forces are beyond anything you’ve ever experienced or thought was possible.’