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OFF THE DEEP END.
A History of Madness at Sea
By Nic Compton. Paperback, 0.46 kgs, 160mm x 235mm, 280 pages. Black & White / Colour photographs. Published 2017
Confined in a small space for months on end, subject to ship's discipline and living on limited food supplies, many sailors of old lost their minds – and no wonder. Many still do.
The result in some instances was bloodthirsty mutinies, such as the whaleboat Sharon whose captain was butchered and fed to the ship's pigs in a crazed attack in the Pacific. Or mob violence, such as the 147 survivors on the raft of the Medusa, who slaughtered each other in a two-week orgy of violence. So serious was the problem that the Royal Navy's own physician claimed sailors were seven times more likely to go mad than the rest of the population.
Historic figures such as Christopher Columbus, George Vancouver, Fletcher Christian (leader of the munity of the Bounty) and Robert FitzRoy (founder of the Met Office) have all had their sanity questioned.
More recently, sailors in today's round-the-world races often experience disturbing hallucinations, including seeing elephants floating in the sea and strangers taking the helm, or suffer complete psychological breakdown, like Donald Crowhurst. Others become hypnotised by the sea and jump to their deaths.
Off the Deep End looks at the sea's physical character, how it confuses our senses and makes rational thought difficult. It explores the long history of madness at sea and how that is echoed in many of today's yacht races. It looks at the often-marginal behaviour of sailors living both figuratively and literally outside society's usual rules. And it also looks at the sea's power to heal, as well as cause, madness.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
A SPECK IN THE SEA.
A Story of Survival and Rescue
By John Aldrideg & Anthony Sosinski. Paperback, 154mm x 235mm, 262 pages. Published 2017
In the dead of night on July 24, 2013, John Aldridge was thrown off the back of the Anna Mary while his fishing partner, Anthony Sosinski, slept below. As desperate hours ticked by, Sosinski, the families, the local fishing community, and the U.S. Coast Guard in three states mobilized in an unprecedented search effort that culminated in a rare and exhilarating success.
A tale of survival, perseverance, and community, A Speck in the Sea tells of one man’s struggle to survive as friends and strangers work separately, and together, to bring him home. Aldridge’s wrenching first-person account intertwines with the narrative of the massive, constantly evolving rescue operation designed to save him.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
By Nicholas Gray. Paperback, 0.23 kgs, 128mm x 197mm, 236 pages. Black & White photographs. Published 2017
Looking back at the lives and sailing careers of some of our lifetime’s finest yachtsmen, this collection of eleven original, moving accounts is just as much a celebration of the good – tales of hope, achievement and courageous spirit – as it is an account of their tragic final voyages.
Included are world-renowned racers, like Eric Tabarly and Rob James, highly experienced cruisers and adventurers, like Peter Tangvald and Bill Tilman, and the notoriously ill-prepared Donald Crowhurst, as well as other famous and some less well-known sailors. Starting with the sad loss of Frank Davison and Reliance in 1949, the book concludes with the amazing last voyage of Philip Walwyn in 2015 – crossing the Atlantic single-handed in his 12 Metre yacht Kate.
All of the men and women described were friends with or known to the author, Nicholas Gray, who himself competed in several short-handed long distance races, where he met and raced against many of these fascinating characters.
Peppered with photographs showcasing the sailors and their yachts, this is a refreshing look at those who have helped to shape this sport’s history, honouring their lives and accomplishments before detailing their tragic last voyages.
NZ$28.00 + delivery.
An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea
By Jonathan Franklin . Paperback, 154mm x 235mm, 274 pages. Published 2015
On 17th November, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and carried him West, deeper into the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Alvarenga would not touch solid ground again for 14 months. When he was washed ashore on January 30th, 2014, he had drifted over 9,000 miles.
Three dozen cruise ships and container vessels passed nearby. Not one stopped for the stranded fisherman. He considered suicide on multiple occasions - including offering himself up to a pack of circling sharks. But Alvarenga developed a method of survival that kept his body and mind intact long enough for the Pacific Ocean to spit him up onto a remote palm-studded island. Crawling ashore, he was saved by a local couple living in their own private castaway paradise.
Based on dozens of hours of interviews with Alvarenga and his colleagues, search and rescue officials, the medical team that saved his life and the remote islanders who nursed him back to normality, this is an epic tale of survival and one man's incredible story of beating the ultimate odds.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
By Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff. Paperback, 0.47kg 153mm x 235mm, 328 pages.
True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality.
Disaster strikes. A ship goes down, a plane crashes, a party of travellers is cut off. But when the panic and confusion subside and the dead are counted, the survivors must find a way to keep surviving. And in desperation, unconstrained by law or conventional authority, the tactics they resort to can be both horrifying and ultimately self-destructive.
Learmonth and Tabakoff outline the physical and neurological changes that typically affect the victims of disaster. Then, using true stories from history as case studies, they investigate the scenario famously imagined by William Golding in Lord of the Flies and borne out by the extraordinary Robbers Cave experiments of the 1950s. As this fascinating book unfolds the awful truth becomes clear. In extremis, humans are capable of a swift descent into murderous savagery that is both hard to believe-and impossible to forget.
Featuring shipwrecks such as the Raft of the Medusa, the Wreck of the Wager, the lifeboat William Brown, and the shipwreck survivors of the Auckland Islands, this book is an eye opener to human behaviour and the extent of self-preservation some so called 'civilised' people will adopt.
The Lord of the Flies Principle is as follows:
Groups will inevitably fragment into factions.
Leaders frequently become obsessed with maintaining control rather than leading.
If the strong are battling to survive, they will not waste care and resources on the weak.
Morality, mercy and compassion are the expendable luxuries of civilisation
Individuals will passively sanction evil actions by others to avoid becoming the next victim.
In the long run, there is only one rule: Self-preservation.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
HELL ON HIGH SEAS.
By Rob Mundle. Paperback, 127mm x 197mm, 444 pages. Black & White Photographs. First Published 2009.
This book chronicles some of the most remarkable stories of survival and daring the world's oceans have ever hosted. Amazing feats of courage: some verging on madness, others where death is eluded through sheer bravery, determination and innovation - or even divine intervention?
NZ$32.00 + delivery.
Edited By Tom Lochhaas, Paperback, 152mm x 228mm, 378 pages.
Eighteen chronicles from men and women who sailed to the ends of the earth and returned to tell about it.
They risked everything to break a record, win a race, prove a point, test themselves, or for reasons they can't explain. They include the first sailor to survive a Cape Horn rounding alone, the doctor who crossed the Atlantic in a tiny rubber raft without food or water, they twenty-four-year-old who became the fastest woman to sail around the world alone, and fifteen other singular adventurers whose stories have an enduring capacity to inspire and amaze.
NZ$47.00 + delivery.
SUNK WITHOUT TRACE..
By Paul Gelder. Paperback, 128mm x 198mm, 246 pages.
By the same author as the bestselling Total Loss, this new collection of terrifying and compelling accounts of yachts lost at sea contains invaluable life-saving lessons for sailors in peril.
Paul Gelder, editor of Yachting Monthly magazine, has compiled 30 gripping first-hand accounts of shipwreck and sinking caused by severe storms, navigational blunders, collision, gear failure, fire and crew exhaustion.
If your yacht is holed, would your bilge pumps cope?
In a dismasting, could you cut the rig away and make a new one?
If your rudder dropped off, could you create an emergency steering system?
Do you carry a knife? If your lifeline became dangerously tangled, could you cut yourself free?
Sunk Without Trace chronicles accidents from the extraordinary to the everyday. There are fires, explosions, a hurricane, deadly encounters with coral reefs, capsizes and encounters with UFOs.
There are some truly remarkable accounts here - and some amazing demonstrations of courage, initiative and dogged determination, as well as thought-provoking lessons from which we can all learn.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
By Michael J. Tougias. Paperback, 0.21kgs, 140mm x 213mm, 212 pages. Published 2011.
In May 2005, Tom Tighe, captain of a forty-five-foot-long sailboat named the Almeisan, and his first mate, Loch Reidy, welcomed three new crewmembers for a five-day voyage from Connecticut across the blue waters of the Gulf Stream to sun-drenched Bermuda. The new crew included 46-year-old Kathy Gilchrist, 70-year-old Ron Burd, and 34-year old Chris Ferrer. Although Tighe had made the trip 48 times, with Reidy accompanying him on twenty of those voyages, the rest of the crew had joined to learn more about offshore sailing.
Four days into the voyage, an enormous storm struck, sweeping two of the crew into the towering sea. The remaining crew members managed to stay aboard the vessel as it was slowly torn apart by the rampaging ocean. Overboard! follows the simultaneous desperate struggles of both those still on the boat and those fighting for their lives in the sea.
The Coast Guard, alerted to the Almeisan distress, rushed to the storm-tossed scene. Their ensuing search and rescue mission proved so spectacularly difficult and dangerous that it was later selected - from among thousands of incidents - as the Guard's search and rescue case of the year. Highly trained helicopter pilots and rescue swimmers alike found themselves in almost as much trouble as those trapped by the ferocious ocean.
By turns tragic, thrilling, and deeply inspiring, this book is a riveting, fast-paced story of death and survival at sea - amazing, unforgettable, and all true.
NZ$35.00 + delivery.
ONCE IS ENOUGH.
By Miles Smeeton. Paperback, 0.21kg, 128mm x 198m, 244 pages. This edition published 2013.
"There was a sudden, sickening sense of disaster. I felt a great lurch and heel, and a thunder of sound filled my ears. I was conscious, in a terrified moment, of being driven into the front and side of my bunk with tremendous force. At the same time there was a tearing cracking sound, as if Tzu Hang was being ripped apart, and water burst solidly, raging into the cabin. There was darkness, black darkness, and I fought wildly to get out, thinking Tzu Hang had already gone. Then suddenly I was standing again, waist deep in water, and floorboards and cushions, mattresses and books were sloshing in wild confusion round me"
Miles Smeeton and his wife Beryl sailed their 46-foot bermuda ketch, Tzu Hang, in the wild seas of Cape Horn, following the tracks of the old sailing clippers through the world's most notorious waters. This is an exciting true story of survival against all odds, but it is also a thoughtful book which provides hard-learned lessons for other intrepid sailors. As Nevil Shute writes in his forword; "It has been left to Miles Smeeton to tell us in clear and simple language just where the limits of safety lie".
NZ$28.00 + delivery.
By Paul Gelder. Paperback, 128mm X 198mm, 274 pages.
Total Loss is an enthralling collection of dramatic stories of yachts lost at sea. From the tragic sinking of the yacht Ouzo, run down or swamped by a P&O ferry in the English Channel, to an eyewitness account of the wreck of Hooligan V, here are gripping tales of collisions with UFOs (Unidentified Floating Objects), fire, explosion, crew exhaustion, severe weather, navigational blunders, capsize and dismastings that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Total Loss holds the reader in morbid fascination whilst offering insights into strategies which could save the lives of skippers and crew. It is a compelling, thought-provoking read.
Paul Gelder is the editor of yachting Monthly and has sailed a wide variety of yachts from classics such as Gypsy Moth IV to ocean racers and family cruising yachts.
NZ$25.00 + Delivery
ON THE EDGE OF SURVIVAL.
By Spike Walker, Hardback, 0.39kg, 145mm x 216mm, 273 pages.
On December 8, 2004, during a brutal storm, a Malaysian cargo ship on its way from Seattle to China runs aground off the coast of Alaska's Aleutian Islands. One of the most incredible Coast Guard rescue missions of all times is set in motion.
Lifting off in the blinding snowstorm, two Coast Guard H-60 Jayhawk helicopters race to the scene to try to save as many of the vessel's crewmen as possible, before she sinks or rolls over. Through gale-force winds, all but nine are hoisted by rescue basket to safety. One of the Jayhawks is soon forced to return to base because of mechanical difficulties. With darkness closing in and the storm intensifying, the second chopper crew tries to complete the mission when a fifty-foot-high rogue wave emerges out of the darkness.
The monster wave plows into the side of the freighter, explodes several hundred feet into the air, and washes the chopper out of the sky and into the freezing sea. Some escape. Other die trying. But without survival suits, no one will last for long. In an attempt to do what no one else has in such massive seas, a pair of gusty H-65 Dolphin pilots take off from the teetering flight deck of the nearby Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley. After racing to the scene, they pluck survivors from the water one by one, just moments before they would have been carried off into the man-eating surf.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old rescue swimmer Aaron Bean - on his first Coast Guard mission - is left behind on the deck of the freighter to watch over the vessel's lone remaining survivor, the ship's captain. Before long the freighter beaneath them breaks in half in a reef. Bean and the captain are cast adrift in high seas and blizzard snows as thirty-foot breakers crash across the open deck. Often burying them completely, the icy waves threaten to sweep them away or drown them on the spot. Along with those in the water, their chances of surviving grow slimmer by the minute.
Through interviews with many of the surviving participants of the disaster and with access to documents and photos, acclaimed author Spike Walker has crafted a devastating, white-knuckle tale of survival and death in the unforgiving Alaskan waters.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
SUDDENLY OVERBOARD- TRUE STORIES OF SAILORS IN FATAL TROUBLE
By Tom Lochhaas. Paperback, 0.24 kg, 140mm x 210mm x 15mm,185 pages, black and white photographs. Printed 2013
Rough waters may seem the clear choice to you, but docking on a sunny, calm day can turn just as deadly - all you have to do is fail to think! That is what happened to author Ton Lochhaas more than twenty years ago, when he fell off his boat in its harbour and struggled to get out of the frigid water, even with help from a friend. Without a personal floation device, he'd become a dead weight within moments. Complacency had turned a simple docking into a potentially fatal endeavor. Tom realised after this that he had to change attitude about sailing safety.
With Suddenly Overboard, Tom will change your atitude about water safety, sharing stories about sailors who experienced catastrophes when least expecting them and who were rescued, or who died, or who lived to tell the tale simply by good luck. With 50% of sailing fatalities happening when docking or anchoring this is an essential and insightful read for any sailor.
Was NZ$37.00 + delivery.
Now NZ$20.00 + delivery.
By Roger Meecham. Paperback, 169mm x 240mm, 227 pages.
Although the 40 separate stories in this book are accounts of what actually happened, they are each as astounding and gripping as any fiction. There are tales of shipwrecks and pirates, mutiny and murder, sunken submarines, lost treasure, cannibals, mysterious disappearances and wartime disasters.
Taking us all around the globe, these accounts relate not just the terrible dangers of the salty depths but also the many and varied human reactions to overwhelming circumstances. While some of the characters demonstrate the fallibility and frailty of mankind, other display the indomitable spirit of the natural hero. Tragic and terrifying at times, uplifting and humorous at others, these stories by ex-Royal Navy diver Roger Meecham bring to life the drama of the perilous seas.
NZ$31.00 + delivery.
LOST iN SHANGRI-LA.
By Mitchell Zuckoff. Paperback. 384 pages, 135mm x 215mm.
An astonishing true life adventure of three individuals, seemingly lost foreverin the hidden Baliem valley in New Guinea.
Three months before the end of World war 2, a U.S. Army plane crashed in uncharted territory, inhabited by a stone age tribe, in New Guinea. Nineteen passengers and crew were killed instantly. Two were mortally wounded. Three survived. For 7 weeks they trek through impassable mountains, relying on each others courage and the unexpected kindnesses shown to them by one of the world's most remote tribes, until they are rescued in a truly incredible glider mission. Rounding out this true-life cast is a rogue filmaker, a smart aleck pilot and a cowboy colonel who has a bizarre rescue plan which seems destined to fail.. A great read!
NZ$20.00 + delivery.
117 DAYS ADRIFT.
By Maurice and Maralyn Bailey. Paperback, 140mm X 216mm, 192 pages, monochrome illustrations.
When their yacht sank beneath them in the Pacific Ocean, the Bailey family were destined to enter the record books. Their survival for nearly four months in a rubber raft - relying on their own efforts to catch food and water - is a fantastic human story of adaptation to totally alien conditions. It is a story of amazing courage, resolution and endurance and , in their remarkable survival, an outstanding demonstration of the unconquerable human spirit.
Essential reading for all who love the sea and for all who enjoy a gripping true story. 117 Days Adrift was originally published in 1974 and remains a fascinating and inspiring tale that has become one of the classics of the sea.
NZ$40.00 + Delivery
By Peter Fitzsimons. Paperback, 0.66kg, 153mm x 233m, 490 pages. Published 2012.
In 1629, the magnificent Batavia - pride of the Dutch East India Company - is on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to ever leave the Dutch Republic. She is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to be put into action when, just off the coast of Western Australia, she strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night.
While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the longboat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second in command, Jeronimus Cornelisz, takes over, quickly deciding that 220 people on a small island is too many for the scant amount of supplies they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40-odd mutineers to save themselves by killing most of the rest, sparing only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jans - one of the noted beauties of the Dutch Republic - to service their sexual needs.
A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier, Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those prepared to do what it takes to survive...hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon return with the rescue yacht.
Extraordinary and terrible as it seems, it all happened, long ago, and it is with very good reason that Peter Fitzsimons has long maintained that this is one of the greatest stories in Australian's history.
NZ$48.00 + delivery.
Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies Page four.
SURVIVAL AND DISASTER