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Book Notes – Long Island Sound

If our climate relationship is to mature, then we need to insist on a more sensible, reality-based discourse, recognizing that we’ll have to sustain it for the rest of our lives.”

— To Follow the Water

If our climate relationship is to mature, then we need to insist on a more sensible, reality-based discourse, recognizing that we’ll have to sustain it for the rest of our lives.”

— To Follow the Water

Uncovering currents’ effect on climate

Self-proclaimed “dock rat” Dallas Murphy believes that most theories postulating on the cause of global warming tend to leave out one major component: the ocean.

In “To Follow the Water” ($26, Basic Books, August 2007), he traces the history of oceanography from Ben Franklin’s attempt to chart the Gulf Stream to today’s scientists looking for climate change in order to exhibit how important the Earth’s water is in discussing climate.

Murphy takes the reader aboard research vessels from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and NOAA to give a first-hand account of the ways of modern oceanography. In doing so, he highlights the huge stride science has made: scientists have now learned enough about global ocean circulation to predict climate change. However, he notes an important caveat in revealing any new information regarding climate change, writing, “One consensus among oceanographers I questioned was always the same: The public doesn’t seem all that interested.”

Dallas Murphy is a novelist, playwright and marine journalist. His most recent book was “Rounding the Horn.”

Contact: Basic Books,

Whimsy on the water

“The Journals of Constant Waterman” ($14, Breakaway Books, September 2007) is a collection of 90 short stories about author Matthew Goldman’s boating experiences, whether in sailboats, canoes, rowboats or other floating craft.

“I’m just someone who can’t leave water alone,” he writes. “It’s hard for me to pass a puddle.” His memoirs range from fishing to rebuilding a rudder, and most take place around his home base of Stonington, Conn.

One of Goldman’s greatest passions is sailing; in a chapter titled Learning the Ropes, he explains why he lives for the excitement: “For if you must die — and Lord only knows, you must — why sit around your living room and watch the Green Bay Packers?”

Matthew Goldman repairs boats in Noank, Conn., where he keeps his sloop Moon Wind. His work has appeared in Good Old Boat, Points East and WindCheck.

Contact: Breakaway Books,

Boating was in their blood

Where most books have focused on Herreshoff yachts, author Richard Simpson takes on the achievements of seven generations of the Herreshoff clan in “Herreshoff Yachts” ($21.99, The History Press, 2007).

His topics include the “Herreshoff Period” of 1893 to 1920, in which the family designed and built a succession of undefeated America’s Cup sailboats; and J. B. Herreshoff, who despite being blind most of his life, started and ran a thriving boatbuilding business for more than 50 years.

The book also features numerous photographs of individual family members and their boating creations.

Richard Simpson is a native Rhode Islander whose books include “America’s Cup Yachts: The Rhode Island Connection” and “Building the Mosquito Fleet: The U.S. Navy’s First Torpedo Boats.”

Contact: The History Press,

Cruising Guide: Trinidad and Tobago

The “Cruising Guide to Trinidad and Tobago” ($25.95, Cruising Guide Publications, Dec. 2006) covers three countries in the southern Caribbean: Trinidad offers sightseeing and culture in addition to being a favorite location for yacht storage and refitting; sister island Tobago offers outstanding cruising; and Barbados provides a destination off the main cruising path. Author Chris Doyle expands coverage of the region to include the EssequiboRiver in Guyana for the adventurous.

Featuring more than 100 sketch charts in full color, Doyle’s “Cruising Guide to Venezuela and Bonaire” ($27.95, Cruising Guide Publications, Dec. 2006) includes sections on planning, useful e-mail and Web site addresses, as well as handy Spanish words and phrases for the cruiser venturing to the northeastern part of South America.

Both guides feature aerial and scenic photographs of their cruising destinations.

Contact: Cruising Guide Publications, .