Home' Afloat : AFLOAT July 2014 Contents 50 AFLOAT.com.au July 2014
In challenging contemporary
views about sea travel, the author
sets out on a journey through
time to let us see how much of
continental development would
not have happened without
setting forth with great risk upon
the watery highways of the world.
In a prime example of testing
his theories, Lincoln Paine
begins his book with, arguably,
the greatest migration and
settlement achieved by mankind
the locating and settling of the islands of the Pacific. While
American anthropologist, Margaret Mead, focussed some of her
work on identifying the origins of Polynesian and Melanesian
peoples and traits, Lincoln Paine marvels in the seamanship
required to locate and settle on tiny dots in the world’s biggest
What follows is a textbook-like treatise, even doctoral thesis,
of the development of sea and ocean travel through the great
civilisations of history.
From the wonderful 4,500 year-old wooden funerary boat of
the Pharaoh, Khufu or Cheops, discovered at the base of the Great
Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, through the Mediterranean seafarers
of Greeks and Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans, Paine
examines their objectives and results in great detail.
His work extends through the centuries encompassing the
feats of those who explored and traded their ways through the
lakes, rivers, seas and oceans of the world to the present period
in his final chapter The Maritime World Since the 1950s.
Once started, this book drives the reader with tantalising
images and illustrations, detailed historical maps and the passion
of the author for his subject.
by Fiona Sims
published by Adlard Coles
RRP $29.99 (160pp; 220mm x
Subtitled “Real food for hungry sailors” it was easy to be
tempted into this book because of the commendation of Master
Chef Heston Blumenthal on the cover that it is “inventive,
unpretentious and delicious”. With that sort of kudos from that
particular chef, how could you not be tempted?
The recipes derive from author Fiona Sims’ own experiences
on the water with her dad. In a way to get his own victualling
sorted, Sims decided to get her recipes down on paper for him
and then the rest of us to show that chefing on a boat can be
healthy and exciting.
With 80 recipes or so, cooking time of 20 to 30 minutes and
ingredients to feed 3-4 people, this is one to have a look at. I
have an order in already for her ‘Super-quick cassoulet’ followed
by dessert of ‘Roasted Peaches with walnuts and honey’.
Books reviewed by Paul Talbot
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Australia’s Highway of Lighthouses
First Order documents the extraordinary history of
Australia’s greatest lighthouses – those bearing a first
order lens, measuring up to twelve feet high and six feet
across. Painstakingly researched First Order presents in
chronological order, the motivation, history of design,
construction and function as well as the technical details
of each lighthouse.Also available in signed limited edition
version. HB 418 pages $99.95
A Home Study Course
A very handy book for those wanting to understand
celestial navigation from scratch, yet with enough detail
to make it a useful reference later on. The material is
presented as a home study course, with practice exercises
at each step. All the necessary table selections are
included, as well as work forms and plotting sheets that
can be photocopied. PB 247 pages $54.95
The Sea and Civilization
A Maritime History of the World
by Lincoln Paine
published by Allen and Unwin
RRP $59.99 (744pp; 240mm x 165mm)
Lincoln Paine is a maritime historian with a number of
books to his credit; mainly about ships of the world for which
praise has been drawn from lofty fellow author, Patrick O’Brian
and commentator, Walter Cronkite (for his Down East: A Maritime
History of Maine). But now Paine takes his previous interests into
the wider history of the movements of mankind across the planet
and the role of the Sea in those diasporas.
Published in Australia in March this year in hard cover, The
Sea and Civilization is in anyone’s terms, an opus magnum. It takes
the perspective of world development away from the land and
focuses it on the means of transmigration, the Sea.
Lincoln Paine begins his Introduction with a statement of
his purpose for writing this book. He says: “I want to change the
ways you see the world”.
He goes on to expand this objective by analysing the rise of
trade in the Indian Ocean as a phenomenon, not of the middle
ages and later, as some historians would have us believe, but of
four thousand year-old trade networks between Mesopotamia
and the Indus River.
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