One of the things we do onboard Dream is read books. Lots of books. All genres, all authors, but I (Carl) in particular love to read sailing related books, mmm! wonder why that is?
I have been reading sailing related books since I was a kid, I think I still have the Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island books in my parents attic. They used to take pride of place on my bedroom bookshelf as a kid. In fact I think the Treasure Island copy was one my Dad had as a kid! The Robinson Crusoe book was my “best book”. I can still remember the smell of it. A5 in size but approx three inches thick, red simulated leather cover with gold embossed binding and lettering. I can still remember the day my Dad bought it me. I daren’t bend back the pages for fear of spoiling it. But eventually I plucked up courage to read it. The most pages in a book I had ever read, back then.
Nowadays, with space at a premium we restrict ourselves to actual paper books and instead opt for Kindle versions, apart from books such as pilotage and planning etc.
Now if you have never used a Kindle before, the first time you use one you will find it a bit strange, almost as if it’s not really a book. Well luckily it doesn’t last, and I can say now that I now find it strange to read a real paper book. The beauty of the Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, is that you can always have it with you, the battery lasts for weeks, you can read it in the dark, ie, when you’re in bed and the other half wants to go to sleep, and now with the latest release you can read it in the bath, swimming pool etc as its now waterproof! Not forgetting to mention that you can have hundreds if not thousands of books all in that one device. You can even download the Kindle app to your iPad, iPhone, Android phone and tablets etc and read them there.
Anyway, back on topic, we thought because we read a lot of books that are sailing related, we would start and do a bit of a review of the books we read on our blog and let you know what we thought of them.
So we’ll kick it off with this first book;
A VOYAGE FOR MADMEN by Peter Nichols
So what’s the story? To quote Amazon:
In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.
In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.
Well my thoughts on the book were quite good. I have read all the books based around the Golden Globe race. This one is a bit of a compilation of all the individual books. Whilst it lacks a little in in depth detail, as an all round book it covers the story quite well. If you haven’t got time to read all the different books by different sailors involved in the original Golden Globe race then this is the one for you. It gives accounts from each of the sailors, and covers the unfortunate story also of Donald Crowhurst, who’s story has been made into two or three films so far.
Would I recommend this book? Yes I would. The book discusses the fate of each sailor in turn. Using well described words, Nichols describes how the nine sailors fought through storms and collisions, through the roaring 40s and the furious 50s, and how each man experienced those moments of solitary despair, lonely disappointment and occasional mystical elation that are unique to long-haul solo sailing. One of the most commendable features of the book is the way Nichols discusses the technical side of yachtsmanship with verve and passion without ever turning into an anorak. This is a fine and absorbing true-life tragicomedy, suitable for landlubbers and sea dogs alike.
Should you buy it? Well yes you should. Order it as a Kindle book, sit down with a hot mug of tea, or whatever else you fancy and settle down for a good read. I finished the book in three sessions I was that engrossed by the writing style and the actual storyline. It’s just a shame the final ending couldn’t have been a little bit different and happier.
If you want to get a copy of the book you can click on the link below. This will take you straight to the page on Amazon. I’ve also added a link where you can buy the latest waterproof edition of the Kindle.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the book and please let us know of your favourite sailing related book(s).
Have you watched our latest video yet? If not you can see it here.
A question i’m asked three times a year, what would you like?
The three times are Christmas, Birthday and Fathers Day, and normally each time I say, “oh suprise me”.
What happens? I end up getting a shirt that’s too small, socks that are too big or something that will probably never get used. Oh and then there’s always the “safe” present, a pack of beer or a bottle of rum. Well you can’t go wrong with those last two can you?
As we get further towards the end of this year, the adverts have already started, the “C” word jumpers are already starting to make an appearance, in fact just the other day I saw an advert for the latest thing this year, again the “C” word skirt! I can’t see many men buying into that, but hey in today’s society, one never knows!
Well we all know what it’s like shopping for someone else don’t we? We want to get something nice, something different, but we really don’t have a clue. Well put that behind you, because if you know someone who is a sailor, (and the chances that you do are pretty high otherwise you wouldn’t have got this far already), then read on!
We have spent a few hours trolling the internet, to save you having to do it, for what could be an ideal gift for your sailor, or even yourself.
So lets start off
Here’s a list of 5 gifts everyone would love
This is what an AWESOME Sailor Looks like SILVER Mug – A 14oz insulated stainless steel mug
2. Personalised Engraved Sailor Jerry & Coke Glass Mason Jar – Personalised Sailor Jerry & Coke Mason Jar
3. Headwear bandanas – Sahara Sailor 6 pack –
FUNCTION-Ideal used as a headband, cap, beanie, neck gaiter, wind or dust screen, balaclava, pirate-style cap, scarf or a helmet liner.
4. Password leather Sailors Notebook – Combination lock 112 page notebook
5. What Happens On The Boat, Stays On The Boat – wooden plaque for a bit of fun
So there you have it. No excuse now for not knowing what to buy the sailor in your life. A few suggestions we have found, something for everyone. Hope you like them.
And to make it even easier for you to order them, just click on one of the links below and it will take you direct to Amazon’s web site where you can place your order. A few clicks and you could have got your “C” word gifts before we leave October! Now there’s a plan.
Well this morning I was sitting in my makeshift office, well truth be told, on my couch looking out of the window of the lounge. As you know much of our house has now been emptied of what makes it a home as we get ready to move aboard our boat for a new chapter in our lives, so my office of 18 years has slowly been transformed into a storeroom as we have a daily routine of sorting what we’re keeping, whats getting sold and whats being given away. Anyway, back to the topic, so, I was sitting there thinking about how we could prepare ourselves for the sailing season, or more to the point, what tips we could pass on to you the reader on how to prepare yourself for the sailing season, it’s all about sharing. Well I started to do a bit of online research and found literally hundreds of pages from different sailors and sailing forums. I made notes, a lot of notes, put the kettle on, made myself a cuppa and then tried to put it together into some kind of order. So here it is, I hope you find it useful.
(small print – We do not accept any responsibility for you taking part in the following activities, unless you film it and it goes viral 🙂 )
1. Buy a case of beer. Any beer will do. Then place it next to a warm radiator for a few hours, invite a friend over, then drink it.
2. Apply low factor sunscreen to your face in streaks and sit in front of a sun lamp for 2 hours.
3. Sit on a park bench with large metal fixtures cutting into your legs, stare straight up into the sun for two hours, if there’s no sun look at the rain clouds until you get cramp.
4. Have a walk to the local pub and get very drunk, sleep on the floor for a few hours, then stand on a rocking chair for 6 hours. It is optional to sit on it every now and again.
5. Go to a cashpoint and withdraw £1000. -go into your local hardware store, pick up something for a couple of quid, put a sticker that says “marine grade” onto the item then hand over your £1000.
6. Sit in front of a large fan and have someone throw large buckets of salt water on you. Best if you cover the floor with polythene first if indoors!
7. Repeat number 6 in jeans and a sweatshirt and /or repeat number 6 with head turned sideways to ensure water lodging fully into ear drum. Continue until your lips turn blue.
8. Cut a branch off a nearby tree, tie ropes to it, stand on a rocking chair with tree limb and ropes – hold them over your head for 3 hours… at 5 minute intervals drop on your head.
9. Set your iphone alarm to 5-minute repeating counts … let it go off all day long.
10. Pour cold water in your lap and give yourself a wedgie, now alternate between sitting and running around bent over.
11. Tie ropes between 2 trees – push your body against them as hard as you can for 6 consecutive hours – don’t stop for pain or bruising.
12. Place sandpaper on your stairs, now wearing shorts, crawl up and down on your knees for several hours.
13. Make 12 sandwiches on white bread with bad meat and cram them into a bread bag – eat one a day for 12 consecutive days. Sitting on the bag between days
14. Tie ropes to rear tow ball of friend’s car, hold on tightly, but allow rope to slip through fingers as car drives away – TIP: works best with nylon fiber ropes, lengths in excess of 50′.
15. Upon completion of previous 14 tasks- sit down and drink 14 glasses of rum…. Well done!
So there you have it, a few quick tips to get you ready for the sailing season, or as it’s already getting towards the end of the season you could use these as reminders while you’re away from the boat over the winter. For you armchair sailors, try out the above, all the same fun but without the cost.
Have a great day everyone.
Well during our regular Sunday Sundowner live chat show this evening it became apparent that we aren’t the only people who are a little more than interested in producing their own drinks, whether it be beer, wine or spirits.
We have been brewing our own supplies for some time now, so due to popular demand we are going to put in an extra live show this coming Tuesday on how we brew our home supplies. Some of this will be hypothetical speaking as the distilling side of brewing is not exactly legal in many parts of the world due to tax reasons mainly, so we will be giving advice/instructions on what we have researched 😉 Whether you go on to process your own spirits is entirely left with you, we can discuss the method but don’t condone doing it whilst you are on land!
We are sure you will find this informative and may even be the start of a new hobby for some of you. And if you already live on a boat, then it’s really a must as you will be saving lots of money making your own.
We will discuss the equipment you need, where you can get your equipment from and the process from start to finish in each of the different types of brewing process.
This is going to be a special interest topic and not just for sailors, so whether you are just into sailing or are live aboard sailors, you will find it of interest. Even if its just how to save a few pounds/dollars each month.
We hope you can join us for this extra live discussion.
Starts at 2100hrs Tuesday 10th October.
Carl & Jenny
Good morning shipmates,
We just wanted to let everyone know that tonights live chat will be starting at 1900hrs UK time instead of the usual 1800hrs.
Hopefully that will be a bit better suited to our friends abroad who are having to get up early to tune in. Now you get an extra hour in bed 🙂
Hope to see you all there later.
Have a great day.
Carl & Jenny.
Well a few months ago we spent a fabulous two weeks sailing in the Ionian on the Bavaria 41 with the charter company Sail Ionian. On wee k two of our trip Kevin and Dee, our friends from SV Kejstral sailed over to join us for the week.
You can see our adventures on our videos, but here’s part 1 of their series of the same week.
Hope you enjoy it, and if you do give them a thumbs up and subscribe to their channel.
Okay folks, we have a bit of a request. For those of you who watch our Youtube channel you will have seen on a couple of the later ones us two doing a bit of a jig to our theme music. What we would like to do to add some fun to the videos is to put small clips of our viewers doing the same jig on the titles at the end of each episode. SO if you’re up for it, just film a 15 sec clip of the jig on your phone or a camera, highest quality you can, and make sure if its on a phone its held in the landscape position. We will add the theme music so don’t worry about that. You can then send it us by email or Facebook messenger and then sit back and wait for the next episode. We’ve had a couple sent in already. They will be on the next episode:)
Here’s a link to a clip showing what we would like, or any variation of it. Scroll to 8.01minutes to view.
A prize for the best one (in our opinion).
Finally just an apology for not updating the blog page as much as we had intended. We now have several social media pages, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whats app, Snap chat, You tube and Patreon, as well as our web site. We tend to update the other sites daily/weekly and the blog was getting missed. We’ll aim to keep it updated a bit more in future.
Have a great weekend and get those clips sent in.
Carl & Jenny x
As we posted a few days ago we spent a few days staying in a hotel on Poole Quay whilst visiting the Southampton Boat show. You can see our video by clicking on our previous blog post or by watching here
The day after the boat show we visited the lovely town of Wareham, a place we have spent many holidays when our kids were younger. We used to visit a couple of times a year taking our touring caravan along with our inflatable dinghy and outboard engine. We spent many an evening motoring up and down the River frome, the kids loved it.
We then decided to go for a drive to the beach, we stumbled across the naturist section, so seeing as it was a nice day, we decided, if you can’t beat them join them 🙂
After a couple of hours though the cloud came over and caused the temperature to drop, so we made our way back to the car, had a drive over the chain ferry and went back to the hotel. We spent a couple of hours sat on the quayside watching the world go by with a nice bottle of wine.
We finished the weekend off by visiting Wareham Quay again on the Sunday morning and treated ourselves to a lovely Full English breakfast before it was time to start the long drive home.
After a 4 hour drive along with a 40 minute delay due to an accident on the motorway, we arrived home safe and well.
It was a brilliant long weekend and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We are now looking forward to our Atlantic trip starting this Sunday. Check back here to find out how we got on.
Carl and Jenny