Book Notes – December 2007

Author:
Publish date:

"Be it an ice chip in your soda or an iceberg big enough to sink the Titanic, ice blocks of all sizes and shapes float on water. Now it is true that iron, lead and most other substances are heavier as solids than as liquids, and that makes water an exception. Why?”

— Do Dolphins Sleep?

"Be it an ice chip in your soda or an iceberg big enough to sink the Titanic, ice blocks of all sizes and shapes float on water. Now it is true that iron, lead and most other substances are heavier as solids than as liquids, and that makes water an exception. Why?”

— Do Dolphins Sleep?

Answers to questions pondered while at sea

While spending many weeks at sea crossing the Atlantic, engineer and cruiser Pierre-Yves Bely had plenty of time to wonder about the water’s change in color, how submarines dive and various other marine curiosities. His book, “Do Dolphins Sleep?” ($19.95, Sheridan House, 2007), is a compilation of these questions and their answers, and a translation of his 2004 French version.

The questions are organized into eight sections: The Sea, Life in the Sea, The Sky, Wind and Weather, Ships, Yachting, Navigation and Life Aboard. Bely’s questions range from general (Question 48: “Do giant squids really exist?”) to a bit more obscure (Question 110: “Why was the Viking tradition of lapstrake construction abandoned, when it produced such light, seaworthy boats?”).

More than 150 color photographs and diagrams are used to illustrate definitions, and footnotes accompany entries for further explanation. For example, the answer to Question 4, “Is there a difference between an ocean and a sea?” contains a diagram identifying the world’s seas (in blue) and oceans (in red). A footnote further discusses the ambiguity between a lake and a sea for a more complete discussion.

Pierre-Yves Bely has worked with NASA and the Paris Observatory.

Contact: Sheridan House, www.sheridanhouse.com

A New England waterfront captured in black & white

For more than five decades, photographer Norman Fortier has covered marine events along the South Shore of Massachusetts. “On the Wind: The Marine Photographs of Norman Fortier” ($40, David R. Godine Inc., January 2008) is a collection of 140 of his black-and-white images of yachts and small vessels both under sail and aground.

Fortier’s photos cover trawlers and draggers setting off for the Grand Banks, classic wooden boats by Beetle Cat and Concordia, the working waterfront of New Bedford, and the natural beauty of the Elizabeth Islands, among other scenes. The 160-page book begins with an introduction by Calvin Siegel, and the images feature text and captions by Llewellyn Howland III.

When asked to describe his photographic technique, the seasoned Fortier keeps it simple: “Get into a good position as regards light and subject. Get the camera up to your eye. When the scene looks just right, click. That’s all there is to it.”

Contact: David R. Godine, www.godine.com.

Angling tips for a common quarry

Known as flounder in the South and fluke in New Jersey up through New England, anglers pursue these flatfish for their easy accessibility and the meals they provide. Author Keith Kaufman details tackle, tips and tricks to increase your catch in his how-to fishing book, “Flounder Fishing Tactics and Techniques” ($19.95, Geared Up Publications, 2007).

Dozens of illustrations and photos simplify everything from rigging to reading the water, and techniques such as drift fishing, trolling and jigging are examined in detail. Kaufman also includes his top East Coast flounder hotspots, and recipes for cooking your catch, courtesy of fishing buddy/chef David Haines. In addition, flounder regulations are included, such as minimum size limits (up to 17, 17-1/2 and even 18-1/2 inches in some states), along with Web site addresses to keep this information up-to-date.

Keith Kaufman was managing editor of The Fisherman magazine for more than a decade and is currently a field editor for Chesapeake Angler magazine.

Contact: Geared Up Publications, www.getgup.com .

Cruising guide updated for fall

Just in time for the fall migration of cruisers heading south, Dozier’s colorful “Waterway Guide Mid-Atlantic 2008 Edition” ($39.95, Waterway Guide, 2007) features more than 500 pages of expanded coverage. The spiral-bound 2008 edition has more than 9,000 updates and the most current mile-by-mile navigation information. Featured are additional bridge photos and enhanced bridge tables; color aerial photography with white-lined routes; GPS waypoints, distance charts and planning maps; and 700 comprehensive marina listings with chart locators.

The updated Skipper’s Handbook gives timely, region-specific cruising essentials, such as “Goin’ Ashore” sections. These give resources and details of suggested ports along your cruising route, such as Havre de Grace, on the Chesapeake Bay.

The guide contains info for exploring the Chesapeake Bay and Intracoastal Waterway from Mile 0 at Norfolk through Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia to the Florida line, as well as the DelmarvaCoast and North Carolina’s Sounds.

Contact: Waterway Guide, www.waterwayguide.com.