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Reviews- Seaworthiness and the Sea of Blue Light

by Nancy Knudsen on 13 Sep 2008
Seaworthiness the Forgotten Factor .. .
Three very different books are covered this week - the first a vital read on choosing or building a cruising boat that will be seaworthy, the second a series of rivetting and adventurous tales by cruiser and writer Peter Muilenburg, and finally, for those in UK waters - or ever likely to be - a new Guide to North Brittany and the Channel Islands:

Seaworthiness The Forgotten Factor, by C.A. Machaj
Review by David Pierce
This is one of the most important books ever published on what makes a vessel seaworthy and easy to handle offshore. Unfortunately, in choosing a voyaging yacht, some people tend to go with what the magazines are pushing for their advertisers.

Remember, the advertisers control editorial policy in most of today's boating publications. There is also confusion between what is 'modern' and what is merely the latest fashion. Finally, there are always a great many vessels, said to be designed for offshore, which were created by imitating characteristics forced on ocean racers by the racing rules.

If people chose their boats with the aid of the knowledge in this book they would avoid all of this and be safer and a great deal more comfortable at sea. With the proper boat, travel at sea is one of the safest ways of getting about the globe.

This book tells you what works and why.

One wonderful characteristic is that there is both very readable text and extensive math. This allows the average sailor to ignore the math but know that virtually everything in the book is firmly grounded in science. It also allows the naval architect to use the math to refine his or her reasoning.

Intending long range cruisers really should be applying the concepts in this book when choosing vessels.

The book is available at Amazon for a range of prices, dependent on age and condition, by clicking here.


Adrift on a Sea of Blue Light - by Peter Muilenburg
Review by Jan Smith who cruises with her artist husband Bruce Smith on their gaff ketch 'Woodwind'

Breath was built on the beach in Round Bay, St. John, in the early 80s by the Muilenburgs and launched by hundreds of friends and a bulldozer, all to carry this amazing couple and their two young sons on ocean-going adventures. Twice to the Med and Africa, several trips to the U.S. East Coast, back and forth with the seasons to South America. They sailed her to Haiti on missions of humanity, to Cuba for curiosity and nearly lost her once when they sailed onto a Bahamian reef. Fortunately, though, Breath lives on and so do the stories collected along the way.

For instance, what were the chances the Muilenburgs would be reunited with their personality-plagued dog, Santos, a Schipperke, after he fell overboard five miles off the Venezuelan coast? And when Breath was wrestled out of their control by the fierce current of Africa's Gambia River, colliding with electric wires that shot dancing flames to the deck and down below, how was it they eventually found the friend, the son and the dog that were sent into the sea?

Those stories and dozens more, as true as the teller himself, now reside together in Peter's book, 'Adrift on a Sea of Blue Light.' Reading it was a wonderful interruption of life, as once I dove in I couldn't climb out. The end of one adventure pulled me into the next, and what didn't cause me to marvel, to wonder, to laugh … made me cry. It's a book I'll read again very soon.

The book is available at US$15 per copy by going to the Breath website which accepts Paypal ; otherwise email Peter directly: breath88 [at] gmail.com, or you can find it on Amazon.


North Brittany and Channel Islands Cruising Companion (2nd Edition) By Peter Cumberlidge
Review by Wileys
This mouth-watering new edition of Peter Cumberlidge’s best-selling cruising companion comprehensively covers the whole spectacular North Brittany coast, the Channel Islands and the attractive west side of the Cherbourg peninsula all in one splendid colourful volume.
Its coverage extends from the Alderney Race to the Chenal du Four. Peter Cumberlidge conveys the full atmosphere of this magnificent cruising area.

His popular companion has been completely redesigned in full colour for easy reference and updated with all the latest harbour and pilotage details, new marinas and many new restaurants.

Included in the new edition is information on the electronic navigation, updated and larger charts, new photographs and a number of features such as the tale of the Casquets lighthouse, bisquines of St Malo and Breton whisky.

The book is available for US$49.95 by clicking here

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