Posted on

Guest Blog Post: Explorer Charts

We would like to thank Sara Lewis, co-creator of the Explorer Chart Book series, for this guest blog.
M&S MA2We are so thankful to be cruising the Bahamas again this winter season after missing last year, having sold our boat. Our beloved Saranade has gone to live in Staniel Cay and be enjoyed by the Millers there, while we get to experience cruising on a power catamaran. Miss Agnes is doing nicely with a safe crossing from Florida to Bimini then the short leaps across the Bank to the Berry Islands and through Nassau to the Exumas. Ahhhh! Then we can sigh and relax and slow the pace with staying awhile in our favorite places and visiting friends on land and at sea. Now we are in Salt Pond, Long Island, which is where we began to conceive the idea of doing the Explorer charts.

Initially, we were using Klein’s Yachtsman’s Guide and the BBA Chartkit, both of which were lacking in hydrographic detail. Wanting to go farther afield into lesser known parts, such as the Ragged Islands and Bight of Acklins, we were fortunate to have some older and more salty sailor friends who had been there and pointed out on the topographical maps where we could and couldn’t go with our draft. That knowledge was enhanced by getting together with some of the Long Island fishermen, who also shared their local knowledge of these areas. So we ventured forth and started making notes. Our friends would ask to trace the primitive charts (none of us had copiers aboard back then!) and then began suggesting that we publish what we were charting out for ourselves.

That led to the first iteration—20 placemat charts of the Exumas, which eventually had text added and became the first Explorer Chartbook Exumas and Ragged Islands in 1995. Of course, then we had to cover the rest of the Bahamas, which led to the Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas (the islands closest to Florida) and the Explorer Chartbook Far Bahamas (the easternmost and southernmost islands). Now the Exumas and the Near Bahamas books are in their 7th editions and the Far Bahamas its 6th. We continue to survey and update both the hydrographic data as well as the Need-to-Know Info for land facilities and services.

We are blessed to be able to share this beautiful country of aquamarine waters, powder blue skies and its lovely people.

Sara and Monty Lewis

Posted on (Updated )

New Website!

Good news everyone: we’ve got a new website.  After considered development, we’ve got a whole new way of presenting you with our huge inventory of great nautical books and charts. We’re slowly setting sail, but here are some of the features you can enjoy now:

  • Simplified check out
  • Easier account management
  • Responsive design so it works on iPads, smart phones, and the like
  • Way faster load times
  • Improved search
  • Better integration with the blog
  • More pictures of Blue the dog

All while being more secure, stable, and 2015 Web Standards compliant than before.  We’ve also got more planned once the dust settled. We hope you like it. Let us know what you think!

 

Important Note About Accounts
For reasons of practicality and security, we haven’t transferred over accounts from the old site.  This means you won’t be able to log in until you re-register your email address, and that your delivery and billing addresses won’t be on file until you re-enter them. Sorry for the inconvenience! Once you’ve entered them, the improved accounts on our new site will also allow you to view all your orders and their statuses.

 

 

 

 

Posted on (Updated )

Ontario Sailor Book Reviews: January 2015

Once again, we’re pleased to present the book reviews from the January 2015 Ontario Sailor magazine.

SeaTrialsCoverSea Trials
By Peter Bourke
International Marine
Hardcover, 226 pages
First-time author Peter Bourke, who was born in London, England and moved as a young boy to Rhode Island with his family, bought a sailboat after his wife’s sudden death — leaving him a single parent with two kids. He tried sailing for the first time in his 40s, and found something that was missing in his life. This book recounts his Atlantic crossing in the 2009 Oldest Singlehanded Trans Atlantic Race (OSTAR) from the U.K. to Rhode Island at the age of 57. The author weaves a sailing narrative of equipment breakdowns, seasickness, canvas problems with a gamut of his raw emotions, from joy and elation to deep sadness. He lays bare his life, including the death of his wife from a seizure, his military service and Vietnam, and what it was like to drop out of his financial career and jump into his 44 ft. yacht and rip across an ocean alone while racing against 31 others. Bourke is on a voyage of personal exploration and discovery, and for readers it’s worth taking the ride with him across the waves.

 CaseySlocumJoshua Slocum
By Quentin Casey
Nimbus Publishing
Softcover, 123 pages

In the sailing world, Joshua Slocum is a giant. The Nova Scotia-born mariner became the first person to sail solo around the world when he set out in 1895 with only $1.50 in his pocket to accomplish the feat in three years aboard his 36 ft. wooden sloop, Spray. The author, a Canadian East Coast sailor and journalist with a master’s in maritime history from Dalhousie University, digs into Slocum’s mysterious life and disappearance, unearthing troubles both on land and at sea. While working as a sea captain, hauling timber and other goods across oceans, Slocum faced shipwreck, indebtedness, the death of his first wife and some of their children, and the killing of a crew member during an onboard uprising. Slocum’s first wife, Virginia, gave birth to seven of their children, many while living aboard, with only four surviving. Slocum owned five working ships before purchasing a part interest in Northern Light, a three-masted, three-deck, 220 ft. vessel when he was only 36. He faced a mutiny aboard this ship. The book is well researched and illustrated with colourful photos and graphics.

 

SinglehandedSailingCoverSinglehanded Sailing
By Andrew Evans
International Marine
Softcover, 244 pages
A British Columbia-based lawyer and businessman, Andrew Evans sails his Olson 30 out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and often finds himself solo cruising and racing in many contests, including the Singlehanded Transpac across the Pacific Ocean. He has gathered together hundreds of “tips, techniques and tactics” to help others who by choice or chance find themselves shorthanded while onboard. He details ways to set up the boat for fewer hands, how to leave the dock (and how not to do it), handle sails, steering (log live the bungee!) and improve boat speed, power generation and many other topics. Evans admits to hitting rocks, shredding spinnakers and cracking hulls, but says he’s never had a bad day on the water. His heroes are Brit Ellen MacArthur, who set a record for fastest solo circumnavigation in 2005, and solo racer and fellow Brit Robin Knox-Johnston. The book offers lots of black/white photos and graphics to assist the reader.

 

Posted on (Updated )

New In: Brian Lavery’s Latest.

LaveryThis week, we finally received Brian Lavery’s The Ship of the Line: A History in Ship Models,  for which we have waited with bated breath.

Brian Lavery is one of the most important naval historians of the past few decades, and an expert on sailing warships and the Royal Navy from the early-modern period to the 20th century. For many years, he was a curator at the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, London. He has worked with the Smithsonian Museum on Ship: The Epic Story of Maritime Adventure, and has published important survey works on general maritime history like The Conquest of the Ocean, published in 2013. While he has written about the Second World War, in In Which They Served: The Royal Navy Officer Experience in the Second World War, his main focus is very much on warships in the age of sail, in the long 18th Century. His more historical publications include Nelson’s Navy: Its Ships, Men and Organization, 1793-1815, and Nelson’s Fleet at Trafalgar. The latter’s focus on the ships is further shown by his books on ship-modelling, including The Anatomy of the Ship: 74-Gun Ship Bellona.

The Ship of the Line: A History in Ship Models brings together Lavery’s strengths, and the strengths of the National Maritime Museum’s ship-model collection. Ship-models were an important tool for shipbuilding in the early modern period. By the 17th century, ship-models were being used to show craftsmen the design to build to, at a period when few would be able to understand written or drawn architectural plans. Lavery uses these constructor’s or Navy Board ship models to illustrate the physical and materiel development in English naval ship-building from prior to 1652 and the origins of the ‘ship of the line’, to the long peace following the Napoleonic Wars. Including many fantastic photos of the models, the book strikes a great balance between narrative, conceptual discussion, analysis of specific ships, but also between the developments of shipbuilding, and the developments in the use and creation of ship-models themselves. At 128 pages, the book averages greater than illustration or picture per page.

Ship models are an incredible source for historians to study the development of shipbuilding and design in a period where other sorts of documentation are difficult to come by. In this book Lavery uses them to great effect to discuss the developments in English warship design and construction during the age of sail.

 

Posted on (Updated )

A New NauticalMind.com

This May, we’ll be celebrating our twentieth (20th!) year on the Internet.  Over the decades, nauticalmind.com has gone through many different incarnations.  This February we’ll launch the latest new and thoughtfully improved version of the site.  Some things to look forward to are:

  • Phone and tablet friendly design
  • Easier checkout
  • Easier account management
  • Better search
  • Better recommendations
  • Snappier loading times
  • More Blue (the puppy)

Once that’s all settled, there are even more neat features and functions waiting to come online.

If there are any things you’d really like to see on the new site, please let us know with a comment or email. The site is for you.

In the mean time, enjoy the current site’s last weeks, and check out these nauticalmind.com’s past. All images courtesy archive.org.

October 1996
October 1996
May 2001
May 2001
November 2001
November 2001
May 2002
May 2002
July 2004
July 2004
Jan 2015
January 2015

 

Posted on (Updated )

Nautical Mind at the 2015 Toronto Boat Show

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Nautical Mind will be making our usual appearance at the Toronto Boat Show, held this year from Saturday, January 10th to Monday, January 18th. The Toronto Boat Show is an unrelenting abundance of boats, authors, wrist-bands, bargains, and all kinds of boating and yachting paraphernalia.

This year, we are located at Booth G-545. We will be selling books, charts, cruising guides and our many wares. If you’re still looking for a 2015 calendar, we have many different types of calenders including Sharon Green’s Ultimate Sailing.

We will have several authors with us this year

CopelandsLiza Copeland
Liza grew up in Twickenham, England. Having raced on the Solent and River Thames since she was nine years old, Liza continued sailing in a variety of boats in University, National and World Championships, as well as in long distance races. She is now a fulltime writer and seminar speaker, in between cruising of course! She (with Andy Copeland) is the author ofJust Cruising, Still Cruising, Comfortable Cruising, and Cruising for Cowards

Pamela Bendall
Once a high-end stockbroker, Bendall chucked her opulent lifestyle for a simpler, self-sufficient dream: the (mostly) single-handed sailing life. Her inspiring story What Was I Thinking? features entertaining anecdotes, challenges faced, heartwarming successes, and just plain adventure onboard her 46-foot cutter “Precious Metal”.

WVKelly Gray
An offbeat and charming account of one mans attempt to motor a tired old workboat to the Black Sea to prove that living large doesn’t mean spending large. Without prior experience, no real knowledge and a mindset that is one part Libertarian, two parts Red Green and 100 per cent duffus, the author pushes, pulls and drags his 40 year-old four ton boat through the heart of Europe.

 

 

 


Show Hours
Friday, January 9, 2015:
Special Preview Night, 4 to 9pm

January 10 to 18, 2015:
Saturdays (10th and 17th)        10 AM to 7 PM
Sundays (11th and 18th)           10 AM to 6 PM
Mon to Wed (12th to 14th)        11 AM to 8 PM
Thurs & Fri (15 and 16th)           11 AM to 9 PM

Location
The Toronto International Boat Show takes place at the
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place:
100 PRINCES’ BLVD., TORONTO, ON M6K 3C3

Please Note: The store (249 Queen’s Quay West, Suite 108) will be open on our normal schedule during the Toronto Boat Show.

Posted on (Updated )

Nautical Mind at the 2015 Toronto Boat Show

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Nautical Mind will be making our usual appearance at the Toronto Boat Show, held this year from Saturday, January 10th to Monday, January 18th. The Toronto Boat Show is an unrelenting abundance of boats, authors, wrist-bands, bargains, and all kinds of boating and yachting paraphernalia.

This year, we are located at Booth G-545. We will be selling books, charts, cruising guides and our many wares. If you’re still looking for a 2015 calendar, we have many different types of calenders including Sharon Green’s Ultimate Sailing.

We will have several authors with us this year

CopelandsLiza Copeland
Liza grew up in Twickenham, England. Having raced on the Solent and River Thames since she was nine years old, Liza continued sailing in a variety of boats in University, National and World Championships, as well as in long distance races. She is now a fulltime writer and seminar speaker, in between cruising of course! She (with Andy Copeland) is the author of Just Cruising, Still Cruising, Comfortable Cruising, and Cruising for Cowards

Pamela Bendall
Once a high-end stockbroker, Bendall chucked her opulent lifestyle for a simpler, self-sufficient dream: the (mostly) single-handed sailing life. Her inspiring story What Was I Thinking? features entertaining anecdotes, challenges faced, heartwarming successes, and just plain adventure onboard her 46-foot cutter “Precious Metal”.

WVKelly Gray
An offbeat and charming account of one mans attempt to motor a tired old workboat to the Black Sea to prove that living large doesn’t mean spending large. Without prior experience, no real knowledge and a mindset that is one part Libertarian, two parts Red Green and 100 per cent duffus, the author pushes, pulls and drags his 40 year-old four ton boat through the heart of Europe.

 

 

 


Show Hours
Friday, January 9, 2015:
Special Preview Night, 4 to 9pm

January 10 to 18, 2015:
Saturdays (10th and 17th)        10 AM to 7 PM
Sundays (11th and 18th)           10 AM to 6 PM
Mon to Wed (12th to 14th)        11 AM to 8 PM
Thurs & Fri (15 and 16th)           11 AM to 9 PM

Location
The Toronto International Boat Show takes place at the
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place:
100 PRINCES’ BLVD., TORONTO, ON M6K 3C3

Please Note: The store (249 Queen’s Quay West, Suite 108) will be open on our normal schedule during the Toronto Boat Show.

 
Posted on (Updated )

Ultimate Sailing Photographer Sharon Green at RCYC on Nov 30

RCYC Presents: Ultimate Sailing Photographer Sharon Green at RCYC

Saturday November 29th, 7:30pm, Badminton Courts

Tickets $20

Come Experience the excitement of yacht racing over the past three decades through the eyes of world-famous photographer Sharon Green.

 

 

 

Ultimate Sailing Photographer Sharon Green at RCYC

Posted on (Updated )

The Nautical Mind on a Cruise

SariBlog1By Sari Bercovitch

After many years of working at the Nautical Mind and leafing through the books on liners and cruise ships like “Cruise Ships: The Guide to the World’s Passenger Fleets” and “Ocean Ships” I was excited about my first big ship cruise. I am a small boat cruiser—and being a sailor, I don’t have much experience on boats with engines only!

We were booked on the Riviera, the newest of the Oceania fleet (in service for less than 2½ years) for a cruise from Istanbul through the Greek islands. Measuring 785 feet long and with a capacity for 1,250 guests, the Riviera is considered a “mid-sized” liner. But compared with some of the cruise ships in service today that can carry in excess of 6,000 passengers, you might be excused for thinking her on the “small” side.

However, the ship looked huge as we approached along the dock. Her 15 decks towered above us and her white hull gleamed in the afternoon sun. Registration and boarding were very SariBLog2organized. After having our picture taken, and depositing our baggage for delivery to our cabin, we were issued a plastic card. This card was to serve as a charge card, our room key, and security verification when disembarking and re-boarding at port. Each time a card is scanned, the staff can see the guest’s registration photo and verify that he/she is really the cardholder.

Our cabin was beautifully appointed with a queen-sized bed, a sofa, a desk, and a mini-bar. And the bathroom was a marble-clad marvel, including both a tub and shower stall. So different from our old cruising days, where we crawled into the forepeak to sleep and showered in the cockpit!

The 800 crew hail from 52 countries and were extremely friendly and courteous. It was fun to hear about their home countries and how this United Nations staff works together. As the line is American-owned, English is the common language. The officers are all European.

Leaving the dock was done without fuss. Two tugs stood by, but the ship has three huge bow thrusters and can maneuver in and out of tight spaces. From our cabin there was no discernible engine noise. We were aware that we were underway more by a slight change in vibration than noise. The Riviera has a maximum speed of 22 knots, but most of the passages were done at 12-14 knots. One of the channels on the closed circuit TV showed our route, the wind speed and hull speed. Another channel broadcast the “bridge view”, so passengers could watch as we entered and left ports.

SariBlog3
At “anchor”

Most of the ports we visited, we were at dock. However one of the ports, Santorini, wasn’t big enough to accommodate a ship of this size so we “anchored” out. Except that there was no anchor. The ship used dynamic positioning to keep us in place. Dynamic positioning is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters.

As with most cruises, dining is a highlight. Beside the 10-page-menued Grand Dining Room and the Terrace Café with buffet service, there are four specialty dining rooms, a casual deck-situated grill, and two small “dining experience” venues that serve special wines and tasting menus. My favourite spot was the coffee bar, Baristas. I could order a cappuccino or a latte with biscotti any time of the day.

I was curious about what kind of operation it took to feed 2,000 people good quality food in remote locations. I was amazed that we were still getting fresh, perfect raspberries and blackberries on the fifth day of the cruise and asked if the boat was provisioned at each port. The steward explained that the ship usually provisions only in the major ports. The food is kept for the duration of the voyage in refrigerated rooms so large that, in order not to get lost, staff is encouraged to enter with a buddy. The temperature and humidity is computer controlled to create the perfect environment to keep berries (and everything else) fresh for many days.

All this is a far cry from cruising on a 38-foot sailboat. While one gives up the freedom of choosing each day’s destination, it was nice not to have to do the provisioning and the cooking!

SariBlog4