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Book Reviews of Nautical, Boating and Marine Based Books | Soundings Online

The Boat Cookbook: Real Food for Hungry Sailors

From the galley

With 85 “fuss-free” recipes, detailed photographs and a colorful design, The Boat Cookbook: Real Food for Hungry Sailors (Bloomsbury Publishing, $19.99) is a feast for the tummy and the eyes. A food writer for some of Britain’s top newspapers and magazines, Fiona Sims has learned from some of the world’s top chefs. The idea for her book came after her sailor husband kept losing her hand-scribbled recipes for galley cooking. The book includes recipes for cooking meals on the hook, at sea and at home for taking aboard, as well as toddies for voyaging. There’s also a chapter on galley tools, with tips and advice learned from time spent aboard.

January 2015 issue


Blue Marlin Magic

Big game, big book

Steve Campbell’s Blue Marlin Magic (Wild River Press, $100) is an anomaly of sorts — a coffee-table book with a wealth of real-world fishing insight in its 580 pages and more than 1,000 photos from award-winning photographers. Campbell is a seasoned captain from New Zealand who has spent a lifetime fishing the South Pacific, where he operates a lodge in the Kingdom of Tonga. He claims to have landed 1,730 blue marlin in the past 14 years. He knows his prey, towing an underwater camera while fishing, then analyzing the data. The book is a visual feast seen through the lenses of photographers Doug Perrine, Jon Schwartz and Kim Westerkov.

January 2015 issue


Nautical New Year

Yachting photographers Alison Langley, Benjamin Mendlowitz and Onne van der Wal have published the 2015 editions of their annual calendars featuring some of their best images.



Voyages: Stories of Ten Sunsail Owner Cruises

Charter tales

Paul Jacobs and his wife, Nancy Kaull, successfully fuse a manual for bareboat chartering with a personal memoir in Voyages: Stories of Ten Sunsail Owner Cruises (Pleiades Publishing, $10). The couple explored 10 destinations aboard their Sunsail 362: the Bahamas, St. Martin, Croatia, the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turkey, Grenada, Greece, French Polynesia and St. Lucia. Jacobs takes readers through the discovery of his passion for sailing, the joys of meeting and falling in love, and the couple’s cruising experience and journey into the Sunsail Ownership program — all in an interesting, informative and inspiring work. Add it to your reading pile  if bareboat chartering is on your bucket list.

December 2014 issue


The Sol e Mar Tragedy Off Martha’s Vineyard

Price of a hoax mayday

The Sol e Mar Tragedy Off Martha’s Vineyard (The History Press, $19.99) details how a hoax mayday received immediately after a legitimate distress call prompted the Coast Guard to refrain from launching a rescue mission, resulting in the death of a father-son commercial fishing crew. The Coast Guard believed Billy Hokanson’s March 1990 distress call was related to the hoax and did not launch a rescue for several days. The deaths prompted a new hoax law and changed search-and-rescue procedures. Retired Coast Guard Capt. W. Russ Webster and journalist Elizabeth B. Webster chronicle the story, exploring the psychology of hoax callers and detailing the Coast Guard’s technological advancements since the tragedy.

December 2014 issue


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