Home' Afloat : AFLOAT December 2017 Contents 70 AFLOAT.com.au December 2017
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Exposed – The Dark Side of the America's Cup
SEFTON, KEATING 2803
The America’s Cup has always been a hotbed of unbridled ambition,
personal agendas, intrigue, spying and, more recently, hard-fought court
cases – and that’s before the boats even get out on the water to race.
The authors lift the lid on this unique contest for the oldest trophy in
sport and on the powerful men who have made it ‘the toughest game
in town’. For some it has been the key to social advancement, for
others it has opened important doors in the business and commercial
world, and in some cases it has become a magnificent obsession. It
is the pinnacle of achievement in a sport that was once the domain
of the wealthy but which today has become fertile territory for
new breed of super-wealthy owners and sailing professionals who
would change the event forever. PB 304 pages $24.95
200,000 Miles – A Life of Adventure
200,000 Miles deals with all essential aspects of offshore
voyaging and long distance cruising. Every subject is dealt
with in an informative and entertaining manner, backed up by
telling incidents or anecdotes from the author ’s wide-ranging
experience. While primarily aimed at sailors who are planning
or making preparations for a longer voyage, this book will also
appeal to tested ocean navigators as well as weekend sailors.
Approximately two thirds of the book deals with practical matters
and covers all subjects of interest to anyone planning to leave
on an offshore voyage. The other third of the book describes
highlights from the author’s circumnavigations as well as voyages
to Antarctica, a transpacific passage from Antarctica to Alaska, or
the challenges of the Northwest Passage. PB 600 pages $69.95
by Roger McDonald
published by Penguin Random House Australia
RRP: $32.99 (274pp; 15cm x 23cm)
One of the best books I’ve ever read is Mr Darwin’s Shooter, the
internationally best-selling novel that was awarded the New South
Wales, Victorian and South Australian Premiers’ Literary Awards.
It is just one of several award-winning books by Roger
McDonald, a country-based New South Welshman who writes a
new book every three years or so.
His first novel, 1915, won the Age Book of the Year and was
made into a TV series; in 2006 The Ballad of Desmond Kale, won the
Miles Franklin Award; a splendid non-fiction, Shearers’ Motel, won
the National Book Council Banjo award.
As a writer whose strong relationship with the Australian bush
has largely epitomised his work, McDonald apparently once swore
he was “never to do water or grass”. In his 10th novel, A Sea-Chase,
McDonald upends all that and takes to the sea.
A Sea-Chase tells the story of a life-changing meeting between
Judy, a young teacher from outback Australia, and Wes, who lives
on a boat in Sydney Harbour.
Told with the simplicity and clarity that epitomises McDonald’s
prose, A Sea Chase tells of Judy and Wes’s evolving relationship,
described as a “a unique exploration of the human connection
to the sea.”
A rather complex book, as is the life
of Wes and Judy, her family and their
circle of sailing and land-locked friends,
A Sea-Chase follows the idea that nobody
goes to sea without taking with them the
life they left behind.
Judy and Wes, with one other, set sail
in the Rattler to save the world as part of
an ocean anti-nuclear demonstration,
only to be wrecked on the northern coast of New Zealand.
Taking inspiration from the lone sailing accounts of world
record-breakers Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Kay Cottee and others,
McDonald writes in precise yet powerful terms, “revealing a spiritual
dimension that underscores affinity between words and sailing,”
to quote another review.
A Sea-Chase is a novel that vividly records ambition, self-
realisation and lasting love tied up in a beautiful, dramatic sea
story. In the end, Judy, the girl from the bush, achieves her ambition
at sea, crossing vast oceans alone.
Marine Diesel Basics
by Dennison Berwick
published by Voyage Press, Canada
RRP: $21.95 (212pp; 15cm x 23cm)
Most of us yachties refer it as the
“Iron Topsail”, used mostly for leaving
and returning to a mooring or becoming
an invaluable asset when there is no
wind. We tend to ignore the diesel engine
at other times.
That is the wrong attitude. We should
maximise the joy and freedom of being
out on the water, knowing that our diesel
system is properly maintained and a
reliable and robust friend.
This book shows how: explaining all
the basic maintenance task of the marine
diesel system – fuel, lubrication, cooling, breathing, electrical, and
drive train (coupling, shaft, shaft seal, propeller).
Author Dennison Berwick is a sailor, marine mechanic, writer
and illustrator. In fact, he has drawn 300 clearly understood
illustrations for this book, covering maintenance, lay-up, winter
protection, tropical storage and spring recommission.
Some of these points will not, of course, be applicable
to Australian boaties who enjoy year-round pleasures of our
water ways. Never theless, Marine Diesel Basics could be invaluable
reading, especially in the regular maintenance of your marine diesel,
be it for a yacht auxiliary or as the primary means of propulsion
on a motor cruiser.
Berwick is Canadian-based, living aboard his 36-foot yacht
but he has written this book for boat-owners around the world.
Importantly, from the start, he gives Canadian, American and
British equivalents in the names of significant tools, engine and
component parts, and supplies.
Anyone planning an extended cruise, should have a copy of
Marine Diesel Basics on board and even harbour yachties could learn
much from the book. h
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