Skip to main content


A 100-year-old Arctic rescue

In 1897 an early winter left virtually the entire North American whaling fleet — around 300 men — iced-in north of the Bering Strait. Only three ships escaped to seek rescue for those left behind in the Arctic.

That rescue came in the form of three officers of the early United States Coast Guard. Surgeon S.J. Call; 2nd Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf; and 1st Lieutenant D.H. Jarvis (commanding) volunteered to travel more than 1,500 miles in four months to try and save the stranded men.

The rescuers planned to drive a herd of reindeer to where the men were stranded, bringing sustenance to the starving and freezing men. To see their plan through, the rescuers had to confront frozen landscapes, blizzards, wolves, hunters and, always, the numbing cold.

“Rescue at the Top of the World,” by Shawn Shallow (Paradise Cay Publications, March 2005, $14.95) chronicles the journey of those early Coast Guard officers. But Shallow also uses journals from the time to piece together the story of the trapped whalers.

Contact: Paradise Cay Publications, (707) 822-9063.

Do-it-yourself fiberglass repair

David and Zora Aiken have been liveaboards for more than 25 years. In that time the pair has made many modifications to their fiberglass boats, including three sailboats, a houseboat and various dinghies, according to the publisher.

The Aikens have compiled what they’ve learned in “Fiberglass Repair: Polyester or Epoxy,” (Cornell Maritime Press, May 2005, $10.50).

The book offers step-by-step instructions on dealing with touch-ups, holes, cores and blisters. There are also chapters on materials, tools and methods, plus four pages of safety advice.

David Aiken, a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, also illustrates the book.

Contact: Cornell Maritime Press, (800) 638-7641.

Adventure aboard a modern tall ship

Rigel Crockett was in high school when he first heard of a man’s dream to convert a North Seas trawler into a square rigger and sail it around the world. The boat was built by the time Crockett finished college, so the Nova Scotia man signed on as a crewmember.

“Fair Wind & Plenty of it” (Rodale Books, April 2005, $23.95) is Crockett’s retelling of the Picton Castle’s yard and a half-long voyage from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, through such ports of call as Aruba, Samoa, Bali and Zanzibar. He also talks about life and relationships aboard the ship.

“It was a pared-down existence. Our working life consisted of caring for the needs of the ship and our recreational life consisted of personal projects. You can’t escape problems or conflicts aboard ship.” And there were plenty of opportunities for conflict, he writes in a release.

“About 30 amateur crew paid $32,500 to work ‘before the mast’ under 12 professionals. … Imagine their surprise when they arrived and their bunks weren’t even constructed. It got worse when our departure was delayed almost a month and they had to shovel snow from the decks of their tropical voyager.”

Contact: Rodale Books, (212) 697-2040.

Fla. cruising guide has post-hurricane update

Atlantic Cruising Club has just issued the seventh edition of “Florida’s East Coast Marinas,” by Bridget Balthrop Morton and Elizabeth Adams Smith (Jerawyn Publishing, 2005, $29.95).

The book was originally set to come out last fall, but the publishers postponed its release after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne.

“Every hurricane-impacted marina was re-visited just prior to press time and the extent of damage, state of repairs and recovery are noted in the report on each facility,” says William H. Donat, general manager, in a statement.

The Atlantic Cruising Club series covers all marinas in a region that accept overnight transient boats with LOAs of 30 feet or more. Every marina report includes more than 300 items of information, a rating by the guide, and editorial comments. The book comes with a CD-ROM version.

Contact: Atlantic Cruising Club, (914) 967-0994.

Waterway Guide publishes Lakes edition

Waterway Guide, the Annapolis, Md.-based publisher of cruising reference books, has released its 2005 Great Lakes edition.

The 480-page guide covers all five of the lakes as well as their connecting waters (as far south as the Gulf of Mexico), “with detailed information on more than 1,200 marinas along the way,” said Waterway Guide owner and publisher Jack Dozier.

The Great Lakes edition is the fourth for the com-pany, joining the Northern (Delaware Bay to the Canadian border), Mid-Atlantic (Chesapeake Bay to the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida) and Southern (Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas) editions.

All of the guides carry a $39.95 cover price.

Contact: Waterway Guide, (800) 233-3359.

— Tom Hubbard