Adventures on the High Seas

Three sailing books I’ve run across lately (peripheral to working on our new book Tiny Homes on the Move: Water & Wheels):

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. Amazing true story of a Nantucket whaleship being rammed by an 85-foot whale, sinking, and lifeboat survivor cannibalism.

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin and Malachy McCourt. Epic adventure, re-creation (in the 1970s) of what is believed to have been the voyage of a sixth century Irish monk across the Atlantic (1000 years before Columbus) in an open, leather-skinned two-masted sailboat.

Mingming & the Tonic of Wilderness by Roger D. Taylor. Single-handed sailing for four months in the North Atlantic in a tiny junk-rigged yacht.

11 Responses to Adventures on the High Seas

  1. BK says:

    Hi Lloyd,
    Allen and Sharie Farrell seem to be the perfect intersection between your past work and your latest project. The Farrells built four boats on BC coast from the 50s through the 80s using driftwood and hand tools. The boats took shape organically, without extensive plans/lofting. The Farrells sailed as far Mexico, the South Pacific, and New Zealand. Their story was published in the book "Salt on the wind: The sailing life of Allen and Sharie Farrell". In the book, there is reference to Godfrey Stevens, so perhaps they are on your radar.

  2. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Thanks for the reference. Yes, I know about Allen Farrell. I believe it was 40 boats he built, including the very beautiful China Cloud, which was featured in our book Builders of the Pacific Coast (p. 241). The book "Sailing Back in Time" is a well-known account of the China Cloud.

  3. Carol says:

    I liked The Water In Between, too. And of course A Perfect Storm.

  4. Hi Mr Kahn
    A friend of mine, who first exposed me to your books, just sent me this link. I am very happy to read of your new book project, Water & Wheels. I have been living on and off of small sailboats since 2008, after deciding I no longer wanted all my money in the city going to paying rent. The lifestyle has consumed me, and not until moving to the Pacific Northwest have I been able to share common interest with others who live the Tiny lifestyle in cabins, yurts, boats, and tiny houses. I think the sailboat seastead is a realistic shelter alternative. I wish you a most enjoyable time assembling the book and meeting the kind of people who offer me inspiration.

  5. You would love the books by John Bockstoce. He explored in the Arctic by sail and walrus hide canoe. I follow your blog regularly and have read all his stuff, you would really enjoy it. He ran the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA (the launching harbor of Moby Dick). His out of print stuff is all available used pretty easily and cheaply. Very well produced books in my opinion as well. A true historian of whaling, commerce in the Arctic, First Nation people, etc.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If your are exploring the genre of castaways, the "Last Voyage of the Karluk" and Ernest Shackleton's voyage on the Nimrod (video from PBS) – two explorations with very different outcomes – are very highly recommended.

    Both are testaments to human inqenuity and perseverance.

    Do read both.

  7. Anonymous says:

    May I add to your list of maritime adventure books, "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana, a fantastic auto-biographical recount of a "green" sailor's voyage from Boston, 'round Cape Horn, to the California coast circa early 1800's. This book vividly illustrates the the great challenges of sailors of that era and it serves as a wonderful lesson of early California life.


  8. Peter Rorvig says:

    Lloyd…if you get a chance, seek out the book/and or video called "Atchafalaya Houseboat" (I think I spelled it right…) Not a big maritime adventure…just the story of a young couple's creative life on the river in the 70's. Made me think of you when I saw it. I saw the video on PBS a couple of months back….not sure how often they run it.

  9. Nate Track says:

    Thanks for the reading list Lloyd,

    Perhaps you already know the tale, but to other faithful readers of your blog..

    Sailing Alone Around the World (1900) is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray.

    The Spray, a 36-foot-9-inch oyster sloop was originally a rotting hulk located in a Fairhaven Mass field. Slocum rebuilt the Spray by hand before his historic voyage. (the first solo voyage of its kind)

    Shambala Press makes a pocket sized version perfect for any tiny dwelling.


  10. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Nate, Thanks, just ordered it. (Some great books mentioned in these comments.)

  11. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Frugal sailor, if you see this, please contact us with email address) for the book.

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