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Sea Stories - November 2020

What We’re Watching



Yacht builder Riva grew from humble beginnings. Back in 1842, a storm on Italy’s Lake Iseo nearly wiped out the entire fishing fleet. Young shipwright Pietro Riva was quick to react and spent long days restoring the damaged vessels, earning him respect and admiration from the locals. Soon after, he opened a yard in Sarnico, Italy, and the story of Riva Yachts began. By the 1950s and ’60s, the outfit was churning out jaw-dropping, varnish-slathered runabouts crafted from mahogany and teak. The boats had such grace and elegance that they often were featured in movies. Now, a short film aims to celebrate Riva’s relationship with moviemaking. Shot entirely among Venice’s canals, Riva in the Movies starts as Pierfrancesco Favino crosses Piazza San Marco just before dawn, in moonlight filtering through an evocative fog, and boards an Aquariva runabout. His goal is to navigate through Venice’s canals to deliver a mysterious mahogany object to an equally mysterious recipient. We won’t spoil the plot of the short film, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in September and should make its way to streaming services in the next few months. 

A FAMILY at Full Throttle 


Brooke and Braden Palmer live aboard and cruise their Nordhavn 55, Mermaid Monster, with their son, Penn, daughter, Rooney, and two dogs. It’s been a dream the couple has been talking about since they met in college. What drove them to pursue that dream? After they got married, the couple worked hard in their careers and focused on raising their kids, but they felt something was missing. So, in 2018 they decided to sell everything, buy a boat and begin cruising. Since then, they’ve traveled up and down the East Coast and made two excursions to the Bahamas. Future plans for the family involve circumnavigating the world. You can learn about their salty lifestyle and keep up with the Palmer’s adventures on their YouTube channel, Aboard Mermaid Monster, which is frequently updated. 

Salty Reads



Lots of boaters need to brush up on the basics every now and again. Whether it’s knowing who has the right-of-way in a crowded channel or how much line you should pay out when anchoring, it’s important to keep your nautical neurons firing. Roger Seymour and Alison Noice’s book, Day Skipper Exercises for Sail and Power, can help with that. Organized in workbook style, it includes lessons and practice tests for all relevant topics from seamanship to planning and line handling. ($35, Adlard Coles)



The Royal Air Force (RAF) Search and Rescue Force has a storied history, from its beginnings in World War II, to its privatization in October 2015. The Official Illustrated History of RAF Search and Rescue celebrates the organization. With a foreword by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who participated in medical transports when he was a helicopter rescue pilot, the book has images from the RAF archives and interviews with former crewmembers who tell dramatic sea stories. ($35, Adlard Coles)



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