Ross • Dorothy • Sari • Robin • Sam • Liam • Sandy • Peter • Nancy • Rhys • Mike • Blue
Nautical Mind co-owner and operator, worked on tugs in the Arctic in the ’70s and still kayaking
This is a well-written page-turner that rushes along to the disaster that sunk the American container ship El Faro. Reading it, I felt like I was aboard a tug again, because the dialogue on the bridge came directly from the lost ship’s recovered black box.
On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barrelled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the "El Faro"--the worst American shipping disaster in almost half a century. How could the container ship have been so vulnerable? Journalist Rachel Slade interviewed family members and maritime experts to give us the horrifying story--in prose sometimes taken straight from the ship's data recorder. She vividly depicts the officers' anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out the captain's increasingly bizarre commands, which they knew would steer them straight into the worst of the storm's fury. And she provides a clear-eyed look at the risks and realities of today's commercial shipping world.
Nautical Mind co-owner and operator, brings the book-industry experience to running the shop
I read Maiden Voyage when it first came out in 1989, after my daughter was born. At the start of the book, Tania was given a choice by her father—he would either pay for a college education or buy her a boat. The second option had a condition: she had to sail it around the world on her own. Tania, only 18 and with very little experience, chose to sail. She had many adventures, including falling in love. I later met her, when she came to Toronto to speak at the International Sailors Evenings we ran for several years. She was really impressive.
Many people followed the two-and-a-half-year solo voyage of Tania Aebi, the youngest person ever and the first American woman to circumnavigate the globe alone, in the columns of sailing magazines. From the wondrous beauties of the Great Barrier Reef to the terrors of the Red Sea, Tania's 27,000-mile voyage in "Varuna" is filled with discovery and danger, hardship and joy. May also appeal to teens with a zest for adventure.
Cruiser, long-time store manager, book detective extraordinaire
Kitiara Pascoe went long-distance cruising because it was her partner’s dream. She had no sailing experience and cast off with many misgivings. When my husband and I were cruising in the Caribbean, we met many couples who fit that description, and it applied in some ways to us, too. For some couples we met, this scenario was the ultimate test of their relationship. For others, it allowed the women to grow into skilled and motivated sailors. Kit Pascoe’s book is a great description of important journeys—the internal one and her sea cruise. And her description of her Atlantic crossings and Caribbean exploration aboard a 32-foot sailboat really rings true. They brought back many memories for me.
Filled with self-doubt and an inexperienced sailor to boot, Kit Pascoe set sail with her partner on a life-changing adventure. Woven into her memoir of their travels are stories about her battles with anxiety and feelings of being lost as a graduate in post-recession Britain. After three years of voyaging and more than 18,000 sea miles, she returned to Britain an experienced cruiser and more confident person.
Toronto Brigantine alumna, working at Nautical Mind while finishing off a degree in Classical Civilization
At Brigs, this was the shanty book of choice—lovingly called “Stan”—the one that we took along to all our campfires. It has sheet music and lyrics for an incredibly wide range of shanties, as well as information about their traditional use as work songs aboard sailing ships.
Contains more than 400 sailors' work songs, and describes their origins, their national variations, and even their music. The author adds stories of his own life as a deepwater sailor and song collector.
Brigs alumnus, PhD in maritime history, Nautical Mind stalwart, Hobie 16 sailor, now transitioning to a career with the Canadian Coast Guard
This is the ideal diesel engine maintenance book for many Canadian yacht owners. It covers the major tasks of winterizing, laying-up, and re-commissioning a diesel engine, plus the regular checking and maintenance tasks that owners should undertake. I particularly like how Berwick describes how to clean up after you finish the maintenance tasks—it’s particularly useful advice for people who are new to working on engines.
This highly visual guide will help you deal confidently with your diesel engine. Berwick introduces you to all parts of the system--from the topsides' fuel fill to the shaft and prop. More than 300 illustrations guide you through seasonal engine maintenance, winter lay-up and protection, storing your engine in the tropics, spring recommissioning, and more. "Seeing is understanding" underlies the approach, here. Every procedure begins with a list of required tools and equipment, including personal safety and cleaning equipment. This book is ideal for absolute beginners and makes clear what they can and cannot do safely.
We have a 1946 edition of this book at home—it’s a family heirloom and the first nautical book I remember looking at. The information in it is invaluable but it’s easy for children to learn knots from it, as well.
The definitive, informal encyclopaedia on knots. Explicit directions on how to tie 3,900 different knots, from simple hitches to the most complicated fancy work. Each step is simply and clearly described and illustrated. 10% off regular price.
Former Nautical Mind store manager, lives in Newfoundland but still edits and writes for us (and a few other folks)
Full disclosure—I haven’t been reading many nautical books lately and I was the copy editor on this one. But all that aside, I got a huge kick out of Steve Wight’s story-telling. This novel is packed with action and includes Russian submarines playing dirty tricks in Lake Ontario, dark deeds in former cruising grounds (near Kingston) that I remember fondly, and a high-speed chase up the St. Lawrence. What’s not to love? I thought Perdition Granted was terrific fun.
A techno-thriller set in the Great Lakes region. Justus Tripp, on a late-fall night sail, literally bumps into a submarine in the middle of Lake Ontario. They try to kill him, chasing him through the shoals around Main Duck Island. He evades them, and thus begins the chase. With his fiancée Professor Julie Ranes, an old friend Riley Umpherson, and a mothballed hydrofoil subchaser, Bras D'Or II, they must overcome the inertia of their own government and track an untrackable submarine to save the 35 million inhabitants of the Great Lakes Watershed.
Proceeds from the sale of this book go to Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people.
Brigs alumnus, farm husband at Knuckle Down Farm, and web developer at Word and Data where he helps the Nautical Mind and others do business on the web
This paper chart is pretty much a treasure map leading to the sunken riches of my youth. Also, it includes Baie Fine, Mt Topaz, and some other amazing spots. The book I’ve read more times than any other from The Nautical Mind is Sheep on a Ship. Fortunately it stands up to multiple re-readings and always seems to entertain my audience who, along with me, heartily recommend it.
Covers Killarney to Little Current in the north end of Georgian Bay next to Manitoulin Island. Also includes Strawberry Is., Heywood Is., Little La Cloche Is., Baie Fine, The Pool, Badgeley Is and Pt, Lansdowne and Strawberry Channels, and Frazer and Sheguiandah Bays.
Single-handed sailor, wooden boat enthusiast, artist
Since I am a painter, I am in love with picture books. Two spring to mind that are currently on sale at Nautical Mind! Classic Yachts focusses on sailing vessels. It’s fascinating to read the history of each one, and see their deck plans, layouts and cross-sections. The author of the second book, Nic Compton, was the editor of Classic Boat magazine for many years. An excellent writer with a gift for story-telling, he chose 20 admirable boats of all sorts to describe pictorially and with colourful text. Both books are very beautiful, with dramatic images showing how legendary boats are currently sailed. If you like traditional, eye-catching boats, you can’t go wrong with these two!
The latest coffee-table book from former "Classic Boat" magazine editor (and shipwright) Nic Compton includes 20 of the most beautiful yachts sailing today. Among them are "Bona Fide", the original fin-keeler that was decades ahead of her time; "Inward Bound", a 35-foot cutter built in Argentina; "Madoc", a 24-foot clinker yawl built by hand on a Tasmanian beach; and "Solway Maid", the last surviving William Fife yacht.
160 Pages • hardcover • 2015 $63.95 Save 77% $14.99
Toronto Brigantine alumnus, Great Lakes mariner, current Coast Guard Second Officer, and former full-time employee who still likes to help out when he can
This is a fantastic autobiography by a remarkable man. Hayden grew up poor in New England and started sailing on fishing schooners out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Though he later became a Hollywood star, he never forgot his love of sailing and kept a fine schooner on the West Coast. A lot happens in his well-written and incredible story, but I don’t want to give it all away! I also want to give an honourable mention here to Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian. It’s great on its own and is also the first volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series, beloved by so many.
Hayden was at the peak of his Hollywood career when he walked out of the spotlight. With his four children, he set sail in the schooner "Wanderer" for the South Seas. His memoir was first published in 1963.
A classic sea adventure about Captain Irving Johnson (known in later years for his writing and voyaging aboard a succession of yachts called "Yankee") who, as a young sailor, helped to sail the German windjammer "Peking" around Cape Horn to Chile. His descriptions of the stormy passage make this great reading. Originally published in 1932.
Blue has indicated a love of this classic seafaring tale for kids 3 to 6. It’s the story of Scuppers, a sailor dog who has adventures galore and learns lessons about self-reliance and the nature of contentment. (We think he reads it, but he may just look at the great illustrations.)