Book recommendations

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stuartpicken
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Book recommendations

Post by stuartpicken »

So, who doesn't love a good salty tale?

My bookshelf by the bed is getting lean, so what are people's favourite maritime odyssey they would recommend?

Personally, I recently read The Brendan Voyage, which was tremendous. Not a kayaking trip, but i suppose it is a skin on frame boat. An awesome journey which makes you think!
PlymouthDamo
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by PlymouthDamo »

I've never read any books about kayaking, but I go diving with an old guy down here who's wife's uncle got captured and killed in Operation Frankton. That was the name of the famous 1942 Commando operation where (initially) 6 folding kayaks were to be launched from a submarine and paddled up river to Bordeaux to attach mines to German ships. I've seen documentaries, but I'm sure the true story of what happened would be a pretty terrifying/humbling read - and I'd be interested in recommendations for any well-researched books on it.

The story of Donald Crowhurst is another fascinating and disturbing seafaring story, which I thought had a very tenuous link to kayaking as I assumed he must be some relative of Nick's. (It turns out he isn't - Nick's got the book, but hasn't been able to trace any family connection to Donald.) The book is called 'the two voyages of Donald Crowhurst' which is a reference to the mythical voyage he was reporting live to the world in order to win a round-the-world yacht race, as well as the real voyage he was actually making around the Atlantic, gradually losing his mind as his problems closed in on him. There's a great film about it, currently available on BBC iPlayer called 'The Mercy.' https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m ... /the-mercy
Owen
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Owen »

Argonauts of the Western Isles, by Robin Lloyd-Jones. Tails of sea kayaking in the seventy's around Scotland.

Alone at Sea, by Dr Hannes Lindemann. About two Atlantic crossing in a Dugout canoe and a folding kayak.

Blue water summer, by Krista Nicholson and David Johnson. About paddling the inside passage of Canada/Alaska west coast.

A boat in our baggage, by Maria Coffey. Globe trotting with a folding kayak.

Visions of the wild, by Maria Coffey. A voyage around Vancouver Island by Kayak.

Commitment and open crossings, by Bill Taylor. A testosterone fuelled circumnavigation of Britain and Ireland.

Blazing Paddles, by Brian Wilson. A kayak journey around Scotland.

That lot should keep you quite for sometime.
charleston14
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by charleston14 »

Brian Wilson’s books ; dances with waves and blazing paddles are both really excellent.

Also “fearless” by joe glickman, about the exploits of Freya hofmeister is worth a read.
Mac50L
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Mac50L »

Book reviews -
https://paulcaffyn.co.nz/book-reviews/

Kayaking books -
http://paulcaffyn.co.nz/paddling-books/

and on this page -
https://paulcaffyn.co.nz/book-lists-reviews/

the link to the PDF with about 1000 books listed -
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http ... f&pdf=true

Military kayaking -
https://paulcaffyn.co.nz/military-books ... ng-kayaks/

Listing of East Greenland Books -
https://paulcaffyn.co.nz/listing-of-eas ... and-books/

Paul also has a few books for sale -
https://paulcaffyn.co.nz/book-sales/

Enough books there?
Franky
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Franky »

PlymouthDamo wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 4:40 pm
The story of Donald Crowhurst is another fascinating and disturbing seafaring story, which I thought had a very tenuous link to kayaking as I assumed he must be some relative of Nick's. (It turns out he isn't - Nick's got the book, but hasn't been able to trace any family connection to Donald.) The book is called 'the two voyages of Donald Crowhurst' which is a reference to the mythical voyage he was reporting live to the world in order to win a round-the-world yacht race, as well as the real voyage he was actually making around the Atlantic, gradually losing his mind as his problems closed in on him. There's a great film about it, currently available on BBC iPlayer called 'The Mercy.' https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m ... /the-mercy
I read the book "The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, which is indeed a fascinating read. It looks as though "The Two Voyages of Donald Crowhurst" is an "Arena" documentary from 1994.

I haven't seen that, but before reading the book I saw the excellent film documentary "Deep Waters", from I think 2006:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Water_(2006_film)

It's in a similar style to "Touching the Void" (it had the same producer). It's a very sad and haunting story about a complex man who was looking not just for adventure, but for an answer to life's mysteries.
MartinG
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by MartinG »

Continuing the round the world sailing theme, 'The Long Way' by Bernard Moitessier is fantastic. I also read Robin Knox-Johnston's book about the same race and the contrast between them is striking. Both worth reading along with, 'The Strange Last Voyage...'
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MikeB
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by MikeB »

The Canoe Boys (of course)
Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak. ISBN: 9780888012180. Author: Victoria Jason. Utterly bizarre, yet intriguing tale!
On a sailing / mountaineering theme, look for H.W.Tillman's books, based around his boat Mischief. Amazing and eccentric.
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Krautsgalore
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Krautsgalore »

I just started to read "Blokes up North", written by two(then) Royal Marines sailing/rowing/dragging their 17' open boat through the arctic from Inuvik to Resolute. Interesting read so far.
KevinM
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by KevinM »

Last week "Moderate Becoming Good Later" by Toby and Katie Carr was published. It documents the journey started by Toby to paddle in all the Shipping Forecast areas. Sadly Toby died in January 2022 but his sister Katie completed the book and is in the process of completing the challenge. This is so much more than a book about sea kayaking. Highly recommended.
stuartpicken
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by stuartpicken »

Love it!
Thanks folks.
I'm really a sailor first of all, and there is a great tradition of some really good literature (as well as some rubbish) around sailing trips. I've always wondered if that's because so much of long-distance sailing is quite boring and you've nothing to but sit around and think.

Blazing paddles was actually the book that got me interested in sea kayaking age 18! I was bumming around on big sailing boats all that year, and i remember wandering around Oban with empty pockets and stumbling across Oban Sea Kayak. I spend ages looking at the fibreglass balistic missiles they called kayaks (I'd spent a decent amount of time in river boats) and i remember skipping dinner so i could buy Blazing Paddles. Wanted to go paddling ever since.

Unfortunately bumming around on sailing boats became something of a habbit, and it was a long time before i could get a good run at going paddling.

Of book recommendations i recently read 'One Wild Song: A Voyage in a Lost Son's Wake'. Very much enjoyed it. More than just a sailing adventure.
Jonathan.
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Jonathan. »

I recommend James Castrission’s Crossing the Ditch.

The ditch in question is the Tasman Sea which separates New Zealand from Australia and is notoriously unpredictable. The book tells of the meticulous planning that enabled James, with Justin Jones, to become the first to successfully kayak between the two countries, but it’s also a story of endurance and what the Aussies call mateship.

I remember smiling at the tale of how, after an unfriendly weather system had spun them round in a huge circle, the two finally arrived in New Zealand to be greeted by banners that read: “Where the Bloody Hell You Been?”
Mark Graham
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by Mark Graham »

https://www.climbers-shop.com/publicati ... __11110435
This is worth a read - equally about mountaineering and expeditions. Sadly the copy I had at least was very poorly edited or proof read which made for a difficult read at times. But having said that there's some inspirational stuff if you can get past the style.
It's in Kendal library for anyone Lakes based.
on the rocks
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by on the rocks »

I’ve just finished reading Alistair Wilson’s recent book “Behind the Paddle” and really enjoyed it. Alistair was/is a double olympian K1 paddler, sea kayaker, founder and owner of Lendal paddles and many other things too. I read it on Kindle
EdSmith
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by EdSmith »

Not kayaking but maritime

Last Man Off: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas
by Matt Lewis

In the depths of Antarctic winter, hundreds of miles from land or rescue, a small fishing boat is swallowed by waves as high as houses.
seawolf856
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by seawolf856 »

'Adrift - 76 days lost at sea' by Steven Callahan is another maritime related story of survival and was a New York Times best seller. Its nothing to do with kayaking but there's plenty of survival skills, bravery and beating the odds mixed in with the mental strength of lone sailors and the search for answers to life's big questions, highly recommended.
I also rate the books and films about Donald Crowhurst mentioned above, what a fascinating and deeply human story is told in the 2006 film "Deep Water". Its on YouTube and well worth checking out.
simon64
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Re: Book recommendations

Post by simon64 »

Nigel Foster has a new book, Iceland by Kayak: The First Circumnavigation of Iceland by Kayak
This was quite an epic trip in 1977, he told me to get the kayaks there they had to saw them in half and glass them back together on arrival, should be worth a read.
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