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Book Notes

Suddenly a voice shouts, ‘The sea, the sea! Look ... the sea!’ And there, in front of our disbelieving eyes, a vast expanse of blue-grey water stretched to the far horizon. That first glimpse was the start of an abiding fascination with the sea that has lived with me to this day.”

— A Passion for the Sea:

Reflections on Three Circumnavigations

A sailor who followed his wanderlust out to sea

You learn a lot when you’ve been around the world three times. “A Passion for the Sea: Reflections on Three Circumnavigations” ($60, Noonsite, October 2007) by British sailor Jimmy Cornell is a personal memoir based on the extensive knowledge he has accumulated through offshore cruising over the course of three decades and 200,000 miles.

His book begins with the origins of his interest in sailing, building the three sailing yachts named Aventuras, ranging from 36 to 43 feet, that took him around the world, and his passage into Antarctica. Cornell leaves no stone unturned in this thick, hardcover volume, covering everything from boat safety tips to sailing friends who made a deep impression on him, alternating between the technical and the anecdotal with each chapter. Ever practical, the book is even sea-friendly with its plastic-coated pages and cover.

The author of 12 books including “World Cruising Routes,” this is Cornell’s first foray into personal writing, and includes 300 photographs direct from the author’s albums. Contact: Noonsite,

The money-saving benefits of boating green

Environmentalism seems to be at the forefront of American society of late, and boaters are no exception. “Boat Green: 50 Steps Boaters Can Take to Save Our Waters” ($17.95, January 2008) by Clyde W. Ford is a road map of where to begin in doing the most good for the planet – and for the wallet. Ford details ways boaters can reduce vessel operation and maintenance costs, improve vessel performance, increase awareness of marine issues and enhance enjoyment of the marine environment, to name a few. Written in a straightforward style (note the first chapter, “How to use this book’), Ford makes sure everyone can be going green in no time.

Ford is the proud owner of a single-engine biodiesel trawler, executive director of the Ecomarine Institute and author of nine books, including the award-winning “The Long Mile” and the Charlie Noble series of nautical suspense novels. Contact: New Society Publishers,

Soul of the Chesapeake in words and snapshots

From real waves to air waves to print, “Voices of the Chesapeake Bay” ($19.95, Geared Up Publications, February 2008) collects the stories many have shared on the beloved radio show of the same name, and puts these interviews into print form.

Compiling these tales is Michael Buckley, the voice behind the radio program he began 14 years ago after settling in Maryland at the conclusion of an eight-year cross-country walkabout. The stories, which range in topic from history to ecology and economy from senators, scientists and sea captains, are complemented by black-and-white photographs of those interviewed taken by David Harp, giving a face to a name. Buckley describes the stories as snapshots of time, giving a very clear picture of the varied soul of the Chesapeake. Contact: Geared Up Publications,

8 decades on the water: a nautical photo memoir

Some people celebrate their 87th birthday going out to dinner, but Jack Sutphen decided to write a book.

“Messing About in Boats for 80 Years, with Jack Sutphen” ($28, Classic Yacht Foundation, 2007) is a photo memoir of a full life spent on the sea, starting from age nine when he learned to sail at the Larchmont Yacht Club in New York. By 15 he was racing small one-designs, irrevocably hooked. Over the span of 33 stories and over 100 pictures, Sutphen reflects on 35 winters of Frostbite racing in Larchmont, nine America’s Cup campaigns, starting in 1958, and ultimately his induction into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in 2005.

When he’s not juggling book signings, Sutphen still races a 31-foot Pacific Class sloop in San Diego and “messes about” in a 12-1/2-foot Herreshoff named Loafer and a Nelson Zimmer classic one-cylinder launch called Aloha Jean. Contact: Classic Yacht Foundation,

New DVD documents North Atlantic passage

For real-life high seas adventure, look no further.

Sea-TV Productions based in New Haven, Conn., in February released a new documentary entitled “High Seas Schooner: Voyage of the Harvey Gamage” that chronicles the heavy seas drama of one crew’s voyage through the North Atlantic.

Running 93 minutes, the video puts the viewer in the driver’s seat of a wet and wild journey, as the crew copes with 30-foot seas and 50-knot winds. Those interested in classic boats will also be intrigued by the beauty of the Harvey Gamage, built in 1973 in the classic style of the wooden schooners of old.

SEA-TV has been producing and marketing marine videos since 1983, and is an independent company. Contact: SEA-TV,