Top 10 nautical nonfiction booksJan 1, 2003
The second of a three-part series in this column, the following is whateditors at Ocean Navigator chose, in no particular order, as the top 10 non-fiction books of the sea. Several of the titles are out of print but still available at most city libraries. Still to come is a list of nautical movies.Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum: The first lone circumnavigator used humor and wit to describe his adventure.Orders, by Alan Villiers: The end of the Age of Sail is celebrated by the race of two square-riggers, Beatrice and Herzogin Cecilie, from Australia to Falmouth, England.Two Years before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana: As a greenhorn living in the fo'c's'le of a Cape Horn brig, Dana paints a wretched and splendid time.Endurance, by Alfred Lansing: Documents the ill-fated voyage of Ernest Shackleton and his mates, the hardship and death-defying feats of being stuck in Antarctic ice and crossing to South Georgia Island by open boat.The Boat Who Wouldn't Float, by Farley Mowatt: Canada's enigmatic nature writer suffers multiple indignities by caring for a leaky Newfoundland schooner.
Mirror of the Sea, by Joseph Conrad: The master looks back on his life at sea in the Age of Sail and muses about the romance of such ships, the men who sailed them, and the sea itself, what he called "the foe."A Night to Remember, by Alfred Lord: The first (and best) of the major Titanic books that document the disaster was published in 1955.
A White Boat from England, by George Millar: Shortly after World War II the author voyaged around Europe seeking meaning and adventure with his wife in the sloop Serica.
10,000 Leagues over the Sea, by W.A. Robinson: During the Depression the author jumped aboard his wooden yacht and circumnavigated a world that would never again be as innocent.
Watch Below, by William McFee: From the title page, "A reconstruction in narrative form of The Golden Age of Steam when coal took the place of wind and the tramp steamer's smoke covered the seven seas."