Lit Bits

ANN DAVISON: Solo Transatlantic on Felicity Ann

Ann Davison on Felicity Ann

Cast into the past to find the founding figure of bluewater feminism, the first in the line that leads to such modern-day heroines as Isabelle Autissier, Ellen MacArthur, and Samantha Davies, and you bump up hard against a woman named Ann Davison. She is remembered today, when she is remembered at all, as the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic. She is also something of an enigma, wrapped up in a few ironies. Chief among these being the fact that she probably never would have gone to sea in the first place had she not fallen in love with a sailor.

Not that Ann Davison was ever a wallflower, waiting for someone else's testosterone to imbue her life with purpose. In her heart, she was always an adventurer. Born into a family of artists in London, England (her mother, in particular, had a passion for singing), she fixated on the thrill of motion as she was growing up.

Read more ...

Write comment (5 Comments)

JOSHUA SLOCUM'S LIBERDADE: Where Is She Now?

Joshua Slocum and family aboard Liberdade

One nice thing about this blogging game is that you sometimes get useful feedback. For example: about two years ago I put up a post about Joshua Slocum and his bizarre homemade 35-foot dory/junk Liberdade, which he sailed from South America to the U.S. in 1888 with his family after they were shipwrecked on the Brazilian coast. This included a brief end note as to the fate of the boat, to the effect that it had been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, but that it wasn't known whether the Smithsonian still had the boat hidden in its vaults, or whether Slocum had ultimately retrieved it.

Well... now I know what really happened.

Read more ...

Write comment (11 Comments)

BEAUTIFUL DREAMERS: Every Cruise Begins With a Vision

Cruising under sail: an ideal vision

One of the most remarkable things about sailboats is their capacity to inspire us to dream. Inside every cruising sailor's head there is a fantasy, be it of a palm-studded tropical lagoon, an antique Mediterranean harbor, some barren high-latitude fjord, or just the cove around the next headland. And all of these visions, however various, can be both personified and provoked by that most magical of objects: a boat propelled by sails.

Read more ...

Write comment (1 Comment)

ERNEST K. GANN: Song of the Sirens

Song of the Sirens book cover

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the sinking of the Canadian school ship Concordia, a tragedy I will always relate to the controversial sinking just over 50 years ago of Chris Sheldon's school ship Albatross. This is a story that ties into a strong tide that has long flowed through my mind. It in fact first started flowing about 40 years ago when, at age 13, I found a paperback copy of Ernest K. Gann's Song of the Sirens stashed on the shelves of a lending library in a U.S. Army hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. The cover of the book (seen above) was so attractive I at once swiped it and quickly devoured it whole. On finishing it I swore to myself I would one day sail across an ocean. Fortunately (or not), I eventually kept that promise, and this had all sorts of consequences, one of which is the blog you are now reading.

Read more ...

Write comment (4 Comments)

Search

Subscribe

Total Cruise Control

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here