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Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Pacific: The Ocean of the Future
Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon
Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water,
and – in matters economic, political and military – the ocean
of the future. The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan,
of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff
of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of
exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson andAdmiral Halsey.
Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the world’s most violent
weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific
states, Simon Winchester's thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.
PB 496 pages $32.95
JOLLANDS, HOLMES 7204
Whether out for an afternoon's sail or embarking on a long offshore
passage, there is always an element of chance and uncertainty about
being at sea. To be responsible for the wellbeing of both crew
and vessel, a good skipper needs to know their limitations and
ensure they are operating well within the margins of safety. Safe
Skipper is a practical and thought provoking guide for yacht skippers of all levels
of experience, full of invaluable advice and tips on how to reduce to the minimum
the risks of mishaps and equipment failure at sea.
PB 192 pages $29.95
Biography of an
by Neville Peat
published by Penguin
RRP: $49.95 (240pp; paperback
21cm x 26cm)
Neville Peat, a Dunedin (NZ) writer and photographer, has lived
beside the sea for most of his life and crossed the Tasman on his
first overseas venture, in 1969, aboard a P&O Liner.
Since then he has written many books which explore the theme
of geography from Antarctica to tropic Tokelau, natural science and
biography and The Tasman – Biography of an Ocean is the culmination
of all his studies of the mighty Tasman Sea.
The book records the words of Lieutenant James Cook in 1771: “I
had the ambition to not only go as far as anyone had been before,
but as far as it was possible for man to go.”
Since Cook sailed the Tasman, this vast ocean has cast a spell
on all who venture into it. Here, for the first time, is a book that
tells the Tasman’s remarkable life story.
It traces the Tasman from its early origins to the multi-layered
human experience of it ... whenever people interact with an ocean
of the Tasman’s nature, there is drama.
The Tasman describes life of all kinds, from first exploration,
shipping disasters, heroic crossings and strange marine creatures,
to the many colourful coastal communities in New Zealand and
A compelling read, The Tasman includes a chapter devoted
to yacht races across the Tasman, the first being in March, 1931
from Auckland to Sydney. A prominent Victorian yachtsman Frank
Bennett sailed his 13m ketch Oimara to Auckland and challenged
New Zealand ocean yachties to a race across the Tasman. A
small fleet took part with a Norwegian yacht, Teddy, the winner
Recreating the World’s Greatest
Journey of Survival
by Tim Jarvis
published by ABC Books, abcbooks.com.au
RRP: $29.99 (264pp paperback, 20mm x 25mm)
April 1916: Trapped on a small inhospitable island in the
Antarctic, cut off from all hope of help, explorer Sir Ernest
Shackleton made the almost foolhardy voyage across the wild
Southern Ocean to South Georgia with five of his men.
From there, he would attempt to trek over unmapped and
treacherous glaciers to reach safety. Showing the courage and
leadership which would become synonymous with his name,
Shackleton prevailed, and returned to rescue the entire crew of
his ill-fated ship, the Endurance.
His feat was called the greatest survival journey of all time.
January 2013: Using the same
equipment as Shackleton, eating the
same food, sailing a replica of the small,
keel-less boat, author, explorer and
environmental scientist Tim Jarvis led a
six-man crew in an attempt to recreate
Shackleton’s epic journey.
A veteran of Antarctica’s frozen
wastes, Tim found himself facing his greatest challenge yet – a never
ending struggle against conditions which fought him all the way.
Australian Tim Jarvis had made four previous expeditions to
Antarctica before undertaking the Shackleton Epic. His daunting
recreation documentary Mawson: Life and Death in Antarctica was
award-winning and now Shackleton’s Epic has been recorded in
a dramatic ABC television series and a graphically written and
I have seen and thoroughly enjoyed the television series, but
reading the book has given me a deeper insight into the courage
of the great Arctic and Antarctic explorers of more than a century
ago, but also of the determination of men like Tim Jarvis who have
recreated the perils of exploration of the vast southern ice lands
of our continent.
I am most grateful to my friend Kim Mackay for sending me
Shackleton’s Epic. Kim, known for the her great work in the ‘Clean Up
Australia Campaigns’, headed the team dealing with all aspects
of media, PR and fund-raising for the Shackleton Epic project.
Kim is now the innovative CEO of the Australian Museum in
Sydney which is currently featuring a special feature on Antarctic
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