Sea stories with a sense of wonder
David H. Roper is a lifelong boatman who has penned a collection of nautical-themed short stories in “Watching for Mermaids” (2011, Points East Publishing, $13.49 through www.Amazon.com, 200 pages, paperback). Based on his own experiences, the 30 tales reveal the thoughts of a creative writer who has spent his life on the water.
There are stories about a teenage solo sailor who meets his biggest challenge: a 22-year-old woman; the frenzied mind of a young man who falls overboard 300 miles offshore at night; a Mississippi River sternwheeler that’s headed straight into a tornado with 300 wedding guests; a young delivery skipper who takes two aspiring voyagers on the world’s shortest circumnavigation attempt — aboard a floating Winnebago; and an octogenarian whose grandson retrieves him from a nursing home for one last sail.
“To me, cruising has been about escaping our often predictable lives,” Roper writes in one story. “It is a controlled adventure, an experience of hope, expectation, surprise and reward.”
October 2012 issue
Herb McCormick has been a sailing journalist for more than 30 years, and “Gone to the Sea” is an anthology of some of his favorite stories (Paradise Cay, 2011, $16.95 paperback, 315 pages).
The oft-told story of a couple who pursues their dream of cruising exotic locales has another entry.
A New England port in its early days
“Marblehead’s First Harbor” is a love letter to a community by lobsterman Hugh Peabody Bishop and his sister, Brenda Bishop Booma — locals with a reverence for the past and the skill to entertainingly document the town that shaped their lives (The History Press, 2011, $23.99 paperback, 304 pages).
Tragedy in the Bass Strait
On Dec. 26, 1998, 115 sailboats set out on the annual race from Sydney to Hobart. It’s Australia’s most popular yacht race and a difficult 630 miles in good conditions.
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