I’m knee deep in two awesome sailing books, and thought I’d share.
Adlard Coles’ Heavy Weather Sailing, Fourth Edition
This is a collection of real storm situations, first hand accounts, with commentary, explanation and discussion about each individual circumstance. It’s not a “how-to” book per se, but rather is designed to give you knowledge based on other’s harrowing experiences. The stories themselves are good reads. Each one provides the reader with many lessons, and reason to ponder the situation. In addition to discussion about vessel handling in storm conditions, there is ample discussion of weather, crew fatigue, rescue operations, and decision making. With a few review questions at the end of each chapter, this could easily turn into a classic high school style textbook. I’ve had this book forever, just never read it. I was often looking for the Step-By-Step guide to heavyweather sailing, and this isn’t that. This is learning by listening to stories.
N by E by Rockwell Kent
Now this is another classic. Written in the 1920s, this book takes you back to a simpler time when celestial navigation and dead reckoning were state of the art. It’s a time of a more rugged man. No blogs, no sat phones, no radar etc… Just pure sailing. And not easy sailing either. The subject of this book is a trip to Greenland. Three men on a 32′ gaff-cutter. Rockwell has a charming style, that is short and sweet. There’s no lengthy descriptions of emotions, just beautifully written accounts of sailing, scenery, discoveries and interactions with locals. Rockwell adorns the book with gorgeous wood cuts, that he himself cut. If you want a pure adventure/sailing story, without all the modern pretensions, this is a great choice.