Home' Ships and Shipping : March 2011 Contents THE LAST OF THE WINDJAMMERS
By BASIL LUBBOCK
The first of a massive two volume edition,
described by its publisher as "a real book
of the sea". It is a big book, more than 500
pages. It largely covers the last half-
century of commercial sail to the mid-1920s.
As with all of Mr Lubbock's books it covers a lot of ground;
geographically, economically and technically. In his usual style he
combines anecdotes, ships log extracts, newspaper reports,
personal interviews, photographs and clear general arrangement
drawings and rigging plans.
In all, a great recipe for a first rate and very valuable history.
Steam was rapidly overtaking sail but a few "windjammers" and
their owners and masters kept on.
In a way it is a sad book as it records the fading of a glorious
way of life. That, however, does not diminish its importance.
These two volumes are part of a very valuable set of Lubbock's
maritime history classics the publisher is offering at a generously
Available from Brown, Son & Ferguson. Glasgow, UK.
THE RIVER PALACE
By WALTER LEWIS & RICK NEILSON
A most unusual history of some most
unusual ships. The 'Kingston' was the
most notable of a line of "rapid runner"
paddle steamers that carried passengers
along Canada's St Lawrence River from
Hamilton to Montreal.
This unique trade continued from about 1830 to the end of the
nineteenth century. The adventures of these iron steam ships,
their captains and crews were many and fascinating. Fires,
strandings and other disasters led to loss of life and property.
Given the trade they engaged in it is amazing there were not more
such problems. There were also triumphs and this book describes the
role of the 'P.S. Kingston' as a defacto Royal Yacht in 1860.
A good story well told.
Available from Dundurn Press. Toronto, Canada.
ON AND OFF THE FLIGHT DECK
Reflections of a Naval Fighter Pilot
in World War II.
By HENRY 'HANK' ADLAM
Flying 21 different types of aircraft from the
land and eight different aircraft carriers, the
author packed a lot of experience into his
eight year flying career.
He also flew and fought in the Atlantic, Arctic, Mediterranean,
Far East and Pacific theatres of war.
He led a charmed life compared with so many of his
comrades who were killed in action or in the always dangerous
While an intensely personal account, it still give the wider
background to his experiences as a rather irresponsible young
officer. His talents as a descriptive writer are strong. His
recollection of wartime life, more than fifty years after the events
described, are powerful but in perspective.
These kinds of personal memoirs are particularly valuable.
Available from Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley, UK.
OCEAN PASSAGES & LANDFALLS
Cruising routes of the world
By ROD HEIKELL and ANDY O'GRADY
Two totally dedicated and very professional
cruising yachtsmen have revised and
improved their already classic work.
Don't, by the way, be put off by the fact that the authors are
yachtsmen. In terms of seamanship and navigational skill, they
would put most professional mariners to shame. In terms of
experience, they would leave almost all for dead.
This is a wonderful book. It is almost equally attractive to the
dreamer, the armchair sailor, as it is to the practical mariner who
seriously intends to voyage in the places described.
It is full of useful, practical information and endless common
sense advice. In varying degrees of detail it covers practically all
the seven tenths of the globe that are covered by sea.
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, UK.
IN DRAKE'S WAKE VOLUME 3
The Later Voyages
By MICHAEL TURNER
The author is a Drake fanatic. He is also a
SCUBA diving enthusiast who has
explored all the Drake relics and locations
both on the surface and underwater.
This lends a certain additional quality to
his very extensive researches. Bear in mind that this is
Volume 3 of a three-volume set. The author's researches are
In many ways this book is much wider ranging and imaginative
than traditional academic histories. It is a new, personal and very
It very effectively brings Drake to life.
Available from Paul Mould Publishing. Boston, UK.
U.S. Navy Airships and
the U-boat War
By WILLIAM F. ALTHOFF
Some 200 blimps or non-rigid inflatable
aircraft were operated by the United States
Navy in World War Two.
Most of them were utilised for
anti-submarine operations in the north Atlantic. Others were used
around Gibraltar and along the "bulge" of Brazil. Practically all
operations were land based.
While ungainly and somewhat vulnerable in that they were
large and comparatively slow moving targets, they nevertheless
proved effective in keeping U-boat heads down. They also had
their uses in air sea rescue.
This impressively detailed book incorporates masses of statistics
describing the development and extensive operations of these
Blimps may have been very largely forgotten in World War Two
histories. They were, though, remarkably effective and important.
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
March 2011 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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