In the summer of 1898, Joshua Slocum made landfall in New England after completing the world’s first solo circumnavigation. A lifelong adventurer and sailor, Slocum had survived shipwrecks, hurricanes and the death of his soulmate. A Man for All Oceans delves into the lesser-known aspects of Slocum’s life: his childhood escape from the family farm, his rise from deckhand to owner and his self-taught knowledge of navigation, shipbuilding and writing. Historian and sailor Stan Grayson has studied Slocum for 40 years, and his book includes previously unpublished photographs alongside detailed maps. (Tilbury House Publishers, $30)
Voyage To Paradise
It may be summer, but now is a great time to plan your winter cruise to the Caribbean. The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands is up to date for 2017-18. Designed as an adjunct to navigational charts, it includes what to expect upon arrival, navigation information, harbor charts, marine parks, GPS waypoints, anchorages, suggested itineraries, restaurants and ferry services. The guide covers the U.S. and British Virgin Islands: St. Croix,
St. Thomas, St. John, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and the islands in between. There’s also a section about passages from the Virgins to the Leeward Islands. All are illustrated with color photographs and diagrams. (Cruising Guide Publications, $35)
Sailors And Soldiers
The Bermuda Privateer by William Westbrook takes readers to 1796 with privateer Capt. Nicholas Fallon of the Sea Dog. Holding a letter of marque from the British Admiralty to raid, plunder and disrupt enemies of Great Britain, Fallon and his crew prowl the Caribbean, guarding merchant ships and fending off French privateer Jak Clayton. A contract by the Royal Navy calls for Sea Dog to intercept a Spanish flotilla carrying gold and silver to France, but a hurricane drives the ship ashore in Florida, where Spanish soldiers capture the crew. Timely escapes, climactic sea battles, betrayals and conspiracies bring the captain to a final confrontation with his enemy. (McBooks Press, $30).
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue.