Lit Bits

The Mystery of Jim Gray

Three years ago next month, Jim Gray sailed out of San Francisco Bay aboard his C&C 40 >Tenacious, bound for the Farallon Islands to scatter the ashes of his dead mother at sea. Conditions were utterly benign. Gray made cellphone calls to his wife and daughter, described the dolphins playing in the water around him, and then... just disappeared.

Read more ...

Write comment (0 Comments)

Remembering Bill Crealock

 

Most would agree that British-born W.I.B. "Gentleman Bill" Crealock was one of the most influential cruising sailboat designers of the 20th century.  Some might even say he was the most influential.  Back in the early 1970s he massaged an obsolete Eric Atkins design to help create the Westsail 32, the iconic traditional fiberglass sailboat that put the sport of cruising under sail on the cover of Time magazine.  The boats he created after the 32, the Westsail 42/43 and several Pacific Seacraft boats that followed in its wake, were great improvements on the original Atkins template and are still deemed some of the most desirable cruising boats ever built among certain elements of the sailing cognoscenti.

 

The gentleman, alas, has recently died (on September 26) of complications of a broken hip at age 89.  He will be sorely missed by all sailors who knew him and/or his boats.  What I shall most remember him for is a delightful book he wrote when he was still a young man.  First published in 1951, Vagabonding Under Sail recounts a voyage undertaken by Crealock and three young friends aboard an antique wooden gaff-rigged cutter named Content.  After prepping the boat in Britain, Crealock and company (including a very worthy canine named Rum Swizzle) spent over two years wandering the North Atlantic from North Africa to South America and the West Indies, landing eventually in New York.

Read more ...

Write comment (0 Comments)

Before the Tourists Came

This book is an excellent example of why I decided to include a section on the literature of sailing (Lit Bits, get it?) here on WaveTrain.  One of the big reasons I got interested in sailing when I was young, besides having been exposed to boats in general at an early age, was that I fell in love with books about sailing.  More than most sports, sailing has an incredibly rich literature and it will be a shame if it atrophies because of the Internet.

This fascinating, well written biography of Morris Nicholson, one of the pioneering skippers in the West Indian charter industry, would likely have had no problem finding a publisher just a few years ago.  But author Richard Dey had no luck with the big boys in today's increasingly constrained book market, so he took a plunge on producing it himself and has released it online via Xlibris.  If you've ever sailed in the W'Indies, particularly if you've ever chartered there, and you've wondered what it was like before the tourist hordes descended, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Read more ...

Write comment (0 Comments)

Search

Subscribe

Total Cruise Control

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here