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Main : Books : Boating : Nautical Stories

The Perfect Storm : A True Story of Men Against the Sea The Perfect Storm : A True Story of Men Against the Sea
by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm is the tale of a doomed ship caught in the middle of what some meteorologists have called the storm of the century. At its heart is a gripping narrative about struggling for survival in a tempest of ferocious winds and 100-foot waves. But author Sebastian Junger does more than simply spin a good yarn. His account of how fishermen ply their trade and lead their lives in the 1990s is fascinating.

The Hungry Ocean : A Swordboat Captain's Journey The Hungry Ocean : A Swordboat Captain's Journey
by Linda Greenlaw

Greenlaw's boat, the Hannah Boden, was the sister ship to the doomed Andrea Gail, which disappeared in the mother of all storms in 1991 and became the focus of Junger's book. The Hungry Ocean, Greenlaw's account of a monthlong swordfishing trip over 1,000 nautical miles out to sea, tells the story of what happens when things go right - proving, in the process, that every successful voyage is a study in narrowly averted disaster.

First You Have to Row a Little Boat First You Have to Row a Little Boat
Reflections on Life & Living
by Richard Bode

The author explores the parallels between navigating on the sea and navigating through life, gleaning inspiring insights into the age-old search for meaning and the self.

Sailboat Races
Fatal Storm Fatal Storm
The Inside Story of the Tragic Sydney-Hobart Race
by Rob Mundle

One of the world's three major offshore races (along with the Fastnet out of England and America's Newport Race to Bermuda), the 630-mile course from Sydney, Australia, to Hobart, Tasmania, is a test of skills, guts, and endurance in notoriously unpredictable, fickle waters - and in any weather.

The Proving Ground The Proving Ground
The Inside Story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race
by G. Bruce Knecht

In The Proving Ground, journalist and lifelong sailor G. Bruce Knecht tells the staggering story of the 54th Sydney to Hobart yacht race--an annual event that is always an extreme test of courage and skill in some of the world's most treacherous seas, but which in 1998 would become the most disastrous race in modern yachting history.

Fastnet, Force 10 Fastnet, Force 10
The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing, New Edition
by John Rousmaniere

First, it is a gripping account of ocean racing in fierce storm conditions, and secondly, it is a dramatic series of the personal stories of the various people who survived, died, completed the race, and won the race.

A World of My Own A World of My Own
by Robin Knox-Johnston

The true adventure of Robin Knox-Johnston's solo sail around the world. The first man to do so non-stop and unassisted.

A Voyage for Madmen A Voyage for Madmen
by Peter Nichols

In 1968 there remained one major nautical challenge yet to be accomplished: sailing single-handedly nonstop around the world. Nine men set out to achieve it in one of the most widely publicized yacht races. What could possess nine otherwise sane and responsible men to risk their lives, careers, and the well-being of their families by undertaking such a reckless endeavor?

Close to the Wind Close to the Wind
by Pete Goss

On 25 December, 1996, Pete Goss turned his 50-foot yacht Aqua Quorum back into a hurricane-force headwind to rescue French sailor Raphael Dinelli. He risked his life and any chance of winning one of the world's great yachting challenges - the Vendee Globe nonstop, single-handed, round-the-world race. Instead, he was awarded France's highest honor, the Legion d'Honneur.

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (The Sailor's Classics #4)
by Nicholas Tomalin, Ron Hall, Jonathan Raban (Introduction

Tomalin's reconstruction of Crowhuurst's life & death, now a classic of the sea, is reprinted here under McGraw's International Marine imprint.

Adrift : Seventy Six Days Lost at Sea Adrift : Seventy Six Days Lost at Sea
by Steven Callahan

On the night of January 29, 1982, Steven Callahan set sail in his small sloop from the Canary Islands bound for the Caribbean. Thus began one of the most remarkable sea adventures of all time. Six days out, the sloop sank, and Callahan found himself adrift in the Atlantic in a five-and-a-half-foot inflatable raft with only three pounds of food and eight pints of water. He would drift for seventy-six days over eighteen hundred miles of ocean before he reached land and rescue.

Survive the Savage Sea Survive the Savage Sea (Sailing Classics)
by Dougal Robertson

After their 43-foot schooner was stove in by a pod of killer whales, the six members of the Robertson family spent 37 days adrift in the Pacific. With no maps, compass, or navigational instruments, and rations for only three days, they used every survival technique they could as they battled 20-foot waves, marauding sharks, thirst, starvation, and exhaustion. 

Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls
True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors
by Edward E. Leslie (Introduction), Sterling Seagrave

Authentic accounts of survivors from the 1500s to the present show penetrating explorations of the moral dilemmas they faced, the personalities of those who survive in desperate situations, and the influence of survivors on society. 50 photos and drawings.

Shackleton's Boat Journey Shackleton's Boat Journey
by Frank Arthur Worsley, Edmund Hillary (Introduction)

"This remarkable book... shows [Shackleton] both luckless and lucky, and supremely cool and courageous throughout. Worsley writes without heroics... but makes us feel to the marrow the conditions that the party endured before all hands were rescued." - The New Yorker

In Harm's Way In Harm's Way
The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
by Doug Stanton

"You don't have to be a history buff to be fascinated by Doug Stanton's compelling chronicle of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, the worst catastrophe in the history of the US Navy. Shortly after delivering the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima and hastened the end of World War II, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank within minutes, leaving approximately 900 crewmen stranded at sea. After battling vicious shark attacks, dehydration, exposure and exhaustion for days, 321 men were eventually rescued." - A reader

Ice! Ice!
by Tristan Jones

A classic tale ranking with the greatest seafaring adventures.

Aka Aka
by Tristan Jones

Aka is Jones's novel of a small-boat sailor who agrees to enter a solo race around the world, replacing his friend who was killed in a highway accident. In a parallel story, Aka and his school of bottle-nose dolphins follow their customary itinerary in their annual migration to the calving ground at St. Paul's Rocks in the equatorial mid-Atlantic, which, according to Tristan Jones, is what is left of the lost continent of Atlantis.

Sailing Alone Around the World Sailing Alone Around the World
by Joshua Slocum, Thomas Fogarty (Illustrator), George Varian (Illustrator)

Get out your world atlas to accompany Joshua Slocum on an incredible journey in his sloop, "Spray," circumnavigating the globe in 1895-98. Joshua Slocum is one of the great adventurers of all time. His solo circumnavigation of the globe was the first and he describes his adventures in a way that draws you into his world, as if he takes you along.

Two Years Before the Mast : A Personal Narrative Two Years Before the Mast : A Personal Narrative
by Richard Henry Dana

On August 14, 1834, Dana set off from Boston bound for the coast of California. Here is the result a book recognized in the U.S. and England as the most vivid and accurate depiction of sea life at that time.

Following the Equator : A Journey Around the World Following the Equator : A Journey Around the World
by Mark Twain

This book is a treasure. Twain's story-telling is laced with subtle humor recounting his meandering journey (as in no great hurry to get to a particular destination) around the world.

Lone Voyager Lone Voyager
The Extraordinary Adventures of Howard Blackburn, Hero Fisherman of Gloucester
by Joseph E. Garland

Lone Voyager is a Homeric saga of survival at sea and a thrilling portrait of the world's most fabled fishing port in the age of sail.

Wanderer Wanderer
by Sterling Hayden

Since its publication in 1963, Sterling Hayden's autobiography, Wanderer, has been surrounded by controversy. The author was at the peak of his earning power as a movie star when he suddenly quit. He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts, broke as an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer - bound for the South Seas.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
by Nathaniel Philbrick

The story that inspired Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick has a lot going for it - derring-do, cannibalism, rescue - and Philbrick proves an amiable and well-informed narrator, providing both context and detail.

The Cruise of the Snark: Jack London's South Sea Adventure The Cruise of the Snark: Jack London's South Sea Adventure
by Jack London

Inspired by Slocum's "Sailing Around the World Alone," London built a 45' schooner called the Snark, with the intent of sailing the world with his wife and crew. His first stop was Hawaii, where he learned to surf in 1907. He then went on to the South Seas and the Solomon Islands. This book is always insightful, and often hilarious.

Megayacht Megayacht
True Stories of Adventure, Drama and Tragedy at Sea
by Buddy Haack, Doug Hoogs

The true stories range from an intricate FBI sting to harrowing sinkings, all of which will have the hairs standing up on your neck and teach you new respect for the job captains and crew do every day.

Blown Away Blown Away
by Herb Payson

In Sea Foam, a 36-foot ketch, Herb and Nancy Payson and their large brood of teenage children cruised the Pacific for six and a half years. They experienced a certain a mount of stark terror, but their delights far outbalanced the drawbacks. The result is Blown Away, a kind of Swiss Family Robinson with overtones of the Marx Brothers.

Dove Dove
by Robin Lee Graham, Derek L. T. Gill (Contributor)

"Here was a wonderful tale of a sixteen year old boy who set off around the World on a 23 foot sail boat. There was none of the hype that surrounds such ventures nowadays. Robin didn't seek publicity and sponsorship. He was a brave and honest young man who grew up on a venture the majority of us would never dream of taking, he had guts."

Maiden Voyage Maiden Voyage
by Tania Aebi, Bernadette Brennan (Contributor)

The remarkable true adventure of the 18-year-old girl who left on a 27,000-mile, two-and-a-half-year solo sail around the globe, braving typhoons, pirates, and starvation to return home a woman, and a hero.

Kon-Tiki : Across the Pacific by Raft Kon-Tiki : Across the Pacific by Raft
by Thor Heyerdahl, F.H. Lyon

Kon-Tiki is the record of an astonishing adventure - a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage. On April 28, 1947, Heyerdahl and five other adventurers sailed from Peru on a balsa log raft. After three months on the open sea, encountering raging storms, whales, and sharks, they sighted land - the Polynesian island of Puka Puka. Kon-Tiki is a classic, inspiring tale of daring and courage -- a magnificent saga of men against the sea.

Gipsy Moth Circles the World Gipsy Moth Circles the World (The Sailor's Classics #1)
by Sir Francis Chichester, Jonathan Raban (Introduction)

"Chichester.. reawaken[s] the world to man's capacity to seek and to endure. He has served men by living their dreams..." - Time

The Saga of Cimba The Saga of Cimba (The Sailor's Classics #2)
by Richard Maury, Jonathan Raban (Introduction)

In 1934, 23-year-old Richard Maury set sail from New York Harbor in Cimba, a 35-foot Nova Scotia schooner, bound for Fiji. The Saga of Cimba, out of print for nearly three decades, tells the unforgettable story of Maury's voyage. Richard Maury's account is an extraordinary tale of high adventure, acclaimed for its exquisite depictions of the sea's almost unbearable beauty and annihilating fury.

40,00 Miles in a Canoe 40,00 Miles in a Canoe (The Sailor's Classics #3)
by John Claus Voss, Jonathan Raban (Introduction)

In May 1901, retired seaman Captain John C. Voss put to sea in the Tilikum, a Native American dugout war canoe converted to sail. Accompanied by a crew of one, Voss aimed to circle the globe in a boat smaller than the one in which Joshua Slocum had made his legendary solo round-the-world voyage three years before. Three years later, on September 2, 1904, Tilikum arrived in England after an astonishing voyage of 40,000 miles across three oceans, a journey that established Voss, alongside Slocum, as one of the great small boat voyagers of all time.

Staniel Cay Staniel Cay
by Nick Finneran

Old Nick Finneran finally tells his story of how, as a teenager in post-World War II 1948, he and his cousin Tony leave the cold Massachusetts winters behind to begin a life's journey. Along the way Nick and Tony do a lot of fishing, meet colorful characters from the pre-tourist days of Miami, and discover a wrecked sailboat in the mangroves, which they rebuild and sail to the Bahamas....

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