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Author Topic: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?  (Read 4430 times)

Nemo

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Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« on: November 18, 2016, 08:51:55 PM »

I cannot find a similar thread, so, if I may start this one off?

I have many favourite stories of the sea and seafarers, but if I had to list my favourites of them all ..........

Fiction.
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
HMS Ulysses by Alistair Maclean
Anything about Jack Aubrey by Patrick O'Brien.

Non-fiction.
South by Ernest Shackleton.
Trafalgar by Roy Adkins
The wind calls the tune, by Colin Smith and Charles Violet,
The Cape Horn Breed by Capt. William H.S, Jones
My Lively Lady by Alec Rose.
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raflaunches

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 11:26:32 PM »

Ohhhh interesting!


Let me think...


Fiction
The Whale has Wings Trilogy by David Row
The Blooding of the Guns by Alexander Fullerton
Hornblower series by CS Forester




Non-fiction
The Rules of the Game by Andrew Gordon
The Tzar's Last Armada by Pleshakov
Armed With Stings by Capt D McIntyre
First Victory by Mike Charlton
Through Fire and Water by Mark Higgitt
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NFMike

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 11:39:46 PM »

I've enjoyed a fair few but there's just the one that really springs to mind:

Fiction
The Ship that Found Herself (short story) by Rudyard Kipling

BFSMP

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 11:48:04 PM »


none fiction; Black Saturday, by Alexander McKee


I don't and never had read fiction, as they tend to bore me, knowing that they are but stories.
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dreadnought72

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 12:07:12 AM »

Great thread.

Aubrey and Maturin are must-reads. If readers of this thread don't know the books and do nothing else, try a Patrick O'Brien. We'd see fleets of Surprises and 74's on the water in subsequent years. :-))

Fiction:
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. A classic Edwardian spy-thriller, pretty much the first of the genre, set on the north coast of Germany (with a chapter or two in Denmark). A slightly stodgy beginning very quickly becomes a yachting romp - and an opportunity to dish the Hun. The writer's life is amazing, too.

Fact:
Dreadnought and Castles of Steel by Robert K Massie. Does what it says on the spine. Read these along with The Rules of the Game for a good grounding in all things WW1 RN.
Cochrane by Robert Harvey. Think Jack Aubrey's life is fanciful? Read up on the real man behind the character. It is unbelievable. And all true.

Andy
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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 02:04:38 AM »

Fiction
Has to be HMS Ulysses by Alistair Maclean, followed by The 200 Millionaire by Western Martyr.


Factual
Heavy Weather Sailing by K Adlard Coles [ I won this as a prize from the UK Folkboat association back in 1968].
The Way of a Ship by Alan Villiers, all you need to know about sailing a square rigger by a bloke who did it.
Black Sailed Traders by Roy Clark the last working Norfolk Wherry 
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tigertiger

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2016, 03:47:46 AM »


Two Years Before the Mast
, by R.H. Dana.
Memoirs of a man who served 'before the mast', as crew on a 19th Century American trading ship; sailing between Boston and California. Most other books are written from the perspective of an officer. I found this to be a great read, with lots of detail about the life of a sailor on ship and ashore.



If you are interested in the details of 19th century whaling, then Moby Dick is worth reading, but only for the whaling. The writing and rest of the story I found to be pretty dull. It is actually inspired by actual events. Both the authors own experience as a green hand on a whaling ship and the story of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex, by a whale. I think it is considered an important book because of its place in the American Renaissance, but it is not IMHO a good read.






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deltaman

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2016, 02:42:24 PM »

Mine would be "Rescue in the Pacific"  by Farrington.


This is a true story of a storm travelling south between Tonga and New Zealand which catches several yachts in its path and the rescue of the people onboard, most were saved but sadly one yacht lost without trace, the efforts of rescue service and others is amazing, a very good read.


All took place in 1994, in the annual cruise from NZ to Tonga. when hurricane force winds happened caused by a weather bomb.
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Nemo

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2016, 08:47:03 PM »

A  few more favourites from my bookshelf:
Factual

The Last Voyage (of Capt. James Cook) by Hammond Innes.

Under the Cabin Lamp  by Alker Tripp
The Magic of the Swatchways  by Maurice Griffiths GM   )- Both great stories of small yacht sailing around the south east coat of England.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2016, 10:07:50 AM »

Non Fiction - not a book as such, but a website - http://www.ageofnelson.org/MichaelPhillips/
Some of the exploits in the ship logs make the fictional stories of the time seem quite tame.


Fiction - The Cruel Sea


Somewhere between fact and fiction - The Art of Coarse Sailing, Michael Green.  And eric voyage through the Norfolk Broads with many useful hints and tips.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2016, 02:35:42 PM »


I read a lot of Douglas Reeman years ago.  Loved them!   :-))


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Reeman#World_War_II_novels
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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2016, 04:24:18 PM »

The Master Mariner by  Nicholas Monsarrat was a good fiction read.


Ned
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Nemo

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2016, 04:26:26 PM »

As is 'HMS Marlborough will enter Harbour' also by N.M.  :-))
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Nemo

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2016, 04:34:31 PM »

Non Fiction - not a book as such, but a website - http://www.ageofnelson.org/MichaelPhillips/
Some of the exploits in the ship logs make the fictional stories of the time seem quite tame.
Fiction - The Cruel Sea
Somewhere between fact and fiction - The Art of Coarse Sailing, Michael Green.  And eric voyage through the Norfolk Broads with many useful hints and tips.

I agree Malcolm, and I have read many  - and I recommend anyone to read up on HMS Bellerophon as a taster of the life of a ship of its time - wonderful ship to have served on.
Bob.
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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2016, 06:03:19 PM »

Judy by Damien Lewis. True life story of HMS GRASSHOPPER ships mascot.......have your hankies ready, real heart warming tear jerker, if you love dogs and love inspirational tales this is a lovely read.
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tony52

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2016, 06:22:56 PM »

Come Hell and High Water by Jean Hood. Seventeen stories of shipwrecks covering the period 1752 to 2005. I bought the book to read about the sinking of the paddle Steamer Rothsay Castle on a pleasure trip between Liverpool and Beaumaris in 1831. All the other sixteen stories are equally well told. Jean Hood, she was once the Information Officer at Lloyds Register of Shipping.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Come-Hell-High-Water-Extraordinary/dp/1844860345
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Ron Rees

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2016, 06:31:12 PM »

Hi All,


I didn't need books to read as a kid as my Grandad was on Minesweepers in WW1 and used to tell me some amazing stories, some pretty hairaising. Then onto Corvettes in WW2 as RNVR and 42 years old. I wish I had written them all down but its too late now.


Read loads of marine books but really enjoy all the ones by Clive Cussler....all drivel but exiting and implausable but a good read nonetheless.


Ron.
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roycv

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 06:59:11 PM »

Hi all a bit of good non-fiction is Passage East by Carlton Mitchell.
This is about crossing the Atlantic in the mid 50's in his yacht to take part in races in the UK which he mostly won.
The yacht is 'Carribee as featured in the  Model Boat plans service.
regards Roy
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2016, 07:14:04 PM »

There are umpteen exciting and inspiring seafaring stories which I have read over the years and if BFSMP is rejecting fiction as 'just stories' he is missing out on a huge chunk of the human experience which is a terrible shame.

One book I read early on which caught my imagination is 'The Grey Seas Under' by Farley Mowatt which is the true story of the Canadian salvage tug Foundation Franklin (ex HMS Frisky built in WW1). One of the few books to feature an account of deep sea salvage operations.

Colin
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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 07:37:47 PM »

"Last man off" by Matt Lewis- a true story of survival in arctic seas when the rustbucket trawler that Lewis is on as environmental inspector sinks due to faulty ballasting. Staying alive in a rubber liferaft for many days - harrowing stuff.


Dave.
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BFSMP

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2016, 07:49:26 PM »


and if BFSMP is rejecting fiction as 'just stories' he is missing out on a huge chunk of the human experience which is a terrible shame.


Colin, I have had plenty of experiences myself in my long life, and as life gets shorter, I don't feel as though I need to read stories about other peoples fictional fantasies when there are still important things to do before I kick the bucket.


I read the obituaries each morning, and if I'm not in them, I get up and start my day. Plenty to do yet, I hope.


Jim.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2016, 08:52:33 PM »

So you're not a science fiction fan then Jim.  ok2

I can't go along with your view though. To me, rejecting the idea of reading fiction would be to live in a black and white world compared with colour. But I suppose you don't miss what you've never had.

Me I would rather pack in as much as possible before I kick the proverbial budget.

Colin
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BFSMP

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2016, 10:18:41 PM »


So you're not a science fiction fan then Jim.  ok2
Colin


your assumption is correct Colin. Never have been, but I like science fact very much and astronomy has me absolutely fascinating, although incredibly hard to imagine or understand.


Never had time for anything such as Dr Who in my youth, but enjoyed such programmes as tomorrows world, where things were tangible.


I am not saying I don't like fiction, as I like a good film on the cinema or TV to relax me, but I would rather "watch" a fictional book, rather than read it.


Each to their own but I remember some years ago reading a Clive Cussler book and thinking what implausible tripe, but then read his two none fictional books about searching for shipwrecks, and never read another fiction book again, preferring none fiction every time.


and those, I can sit and read cover to cover time and again.


Jim.
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roycv

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2016, 10:27:48 PM »

Seeing as Science fiction has been mentioned if you want a very long enthralling read a bit like the Philadelphia experiment then look for the trilogy by

John Birmingham.
Weapons of Choice,
Designated Targets.
Final Impact

You will not find a better observed and detailed piece of SF anywhere.  You must read them in order though.
I can't stand the fantasy films we are fed much prefer a documentary any day.

regards Roy
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Your favourite seafaring story(s)?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2016, 10:57:32 PM »

Clive Cussler is basically just lightweight entertainment just like the average film and of course he has now become a franchise with others writing under his name. But if you want to go to the other extreme, how about Homer and the Greek Myths? These are generally taken to be fiction of course but under it all there is a tantalising hint of reality. In the Odyssey there is an account of Telemachus visiting the palace of King Nestor of Pylos. The site was actually found and excavated since just before WW2 and in the photo below you can see the bath and throne room with its circular hearth just as described in the ancient classic text. It was by reading and interpreting the so called 'fiction' that many of the mythic sites have been identified, excavated and subsequently matched against the ancient descriptions. Fiction is often based upon fact so don't take Cussler as a yardstick, there is much more to it than that.

And when you actually visit these old sites and know where they fit into the heritage that we all share it really does bring the past to life in front of your eyes. Amazing stuff if you have the imagination to see it.

Colin



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