A short review of three of my favorite books. See my previous list of books here.
Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan (2002; Mariner Books; $10.68 print, $9.99 Kindle)
Shortly after leaving the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, sailing solo, Steve Callahan’s boat struck an object and sunk from beneath him. Callahan abandons ship into a life raft and survives for seventy-six days. He gives rich detail about his struggle to survive and encounters with birds, fish and more frightening sea life.
Longitude by Dava Sobel (2007; Walker Books; $11.34 print, $10.49 Kindle)
If you like history, you’ll love Dava Sobel’s story on longitude. Long before GPS-enabled smartphones, the oceans were a mysterious, frightening place littered with the bones of ships and mariners alike. Sailors had to know the time to find where they were. Problem was: in the 1700s a sloshing, rusty, swaying boat was a very difficult place to accurately tell time. Sobel takes us through the competitive and sometimes conniving invention of the chronometer. A fascinating book.
Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen (revised edition) by Mary Blewitt (1994; International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; $10.24 print, $7.49 Kindle)
A slim but excellent explanation of celestial navigation (I have many). Divided into theory and practice sections. A technical manual that requires intense study, but worth a look if you are interested in how cel nav truly works. I’ve read this one over and over.
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