PaddleWise Discussion on Book Recommendations and Reviews

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 09:20:40 -0600
From: (Chuck Holst)
Subject: [Paddlewise] Commitment and Open Crossings

My recollection of the book is that it wasn't lack of praise that Taylor
rued at the end, but the failure of one of the goals of the trip, which
was to raise money for a favorite charity. It was not lack of attention
from the paddling community, but lack of attention from the general   public
that had the greatest effect. I agree about the tediousness of the
narrative, but I think it probably accurately reflects the tediousness of   
their trip. And Taylor does comment on the scenery quite a bit, though   not
at length, as well as the kindness of the many people they met. I think
most of the letdown at the end can be attributed to his reentry into the
modern world after three months of an elementary lifestyle with a simple
focus. I once had a roommate who had a similar feeling of anomie after a
year in the Peace Corps in Africa.

The main reason I recommended both books is because they make it very
plain just how much the tides, winds, and shoreline can affect an
expedition. For an inland paddler like myself, it was, if not quite a
revelation, then at least a graphic reminder of their importance.

Chuck Holst  

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 10:53:15 -0500 From: "Sisler, Clyde" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Commitment and Open Crossings This book has everything: humour, epic paddling, and informative travelogue, and would be just as enjoyable if you had never wielded a paddle in anger. Blazing paddles may be a bit tricky to get hold of, but it has just been >When looking for an older book, is an inventory database of a large number of used book dealers and is always worth a shot. It didn't have Blazing Paddles (I did find out Brian Wilson was also a BeachBoy) but I did find and order Kabloona, A Journey Through The Northwest Passage by Victoria Jason for $10US the other day from a shop in Manitoba. I think that's somewhere in the middle of Canada :-). North of where I live, anyway.
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 08:37:44 -0800 From: Philip Torrens Subject: [Paddlewise] armchair adventuring (good books) Colin asked for recommendations for winter reading as the nights draw in. Though two of these three books do not deal with kayaking, they do deal with seafaring, and I like to consider kayaking as true seafaring, just writ smaller. "The Perfect Storm" deals with the loss of a sword-fishing boat in the Atlantic during one of the worst storms of this century. It covers the story from the human point of view - the rough lives of the fishermen, and the circumstances that keep them out in conditions when you'd think they'd run for harbour. It also covers history, meteorology, the rescue organizations and their personnel. I read this book on a trip while paddling the outer coast of BC this summer - gave me nightmares. It also added a new term to my vocabulary: "nonnegotiable wave". This is the US Coast Guard's understated expression for a wave that is so big and so steep that the boat or ship in question does not have the power to motor up the face of the wave. It will surf the boat backwards and either flip it end for end or broach and swamp it. A feeling I know all to well from surf kayaking. WARNING: Once you pick this book up, you will not put it down until done. "Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak" Victoria Jason's account of her completion of the Northwest Passage in a kayak. Victoria's a real character, and an inspiration to anyone who thinks it's too late to take up adventuring. Minor conflict of interest to declare: I appear, very, very briefly, as a figure in this book. "God-Forsaken Sea" An account of the disastrous French round-the-world-solo sailing race, The Vendee (sp?). Haven't read the whole thing, but based on an extract that appeared in a local paper, the perfect book to read while secure in an armchair with a tumbler of single-malt to hand. Should particularly appeal to those of us who grew up reading of Shackleton's epic adventures in the Antarctic waters. Cheers and happy reading, Philip Torrens
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 03:13:27 -0600 From: "Sarah Ohmann" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books... I read Victoria Jason's book last year, as well as the companion book about one of the same trips, "Paddle to the Arctic" by Don Starkell (appropriately dubbed "piddle to the arctic" by one Paddlewise member). These two books have been making the rounds here and the general reaction seems to be, um, well, unfavorable. After reading them both, I felt as if they made good lessons in how *not* to plan or carry out an expedition. They made about every mistake possible (including some that I had previously thought impossible), a number of which were nearly fatal. To be fair to Victoria, Starkell deserves credit for the most heinous acts of stupidity, and her number one error seems to have been taking up with him in the first place. I second the recommendation for "A Perfect Storm", which has also been passed around; everyone seemed to like this one. I also liked "Kabloona", I think Chuck recommended this one a while back, about a European "ethnographer" who goes to live with the Inuit in the 1930s. A personal favorite, about a couple's two year long wilderness canoe trip, is "Water and Sky" by Alan Kesselheim. I have yet to find a book about a kayaking trip that I really really like, but so far the one I like the most is "A Boat in Our Baggage" by Maria Coffey. Sarah Ohmann
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 18:02:15 -0500 From: outdoors Subject: [Paddlewise] Books for the Long Nights Try Victoria Jason's "Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak". It was discussed here and on Wavelength a while back and that discussion convinced me to read it. It was well worth my time. Bill Ridlon Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 20:41:57 EST From: KayakherSC Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Commitment and Open Crossings In a message dated 11/19/98 10:00:07 AM EST, writes: << humour, epic paddling, and informative travelogue, >> Colin, If you can get your hands on a copy, check out Raging Rivers, Stormy Seas, a compilation of white water and sea kayaking expedition adventures by Terry Storry, Marcus Bailie, and Nigel Foster. Has all of the above. :) Sandy
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:56:57 -0700 From: Philip Wylie Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books... Sarah, Kabloona was a pleasant read. You might want to check out 'Paddle to the Amazon' by Don Starkle. This book provides a good background into the adventerous paddle partner Victoria Jason choose and one you might enjoy reading. It certainly illuminates the character once you understand the context for some of his behavior in the Arctic. 'The Starship & The Canoe by Kenneth Brower is a 270 page book (about George Dyson and his famous Physicist father George Dyson. The Chicago Sun-Times describes it as "the kind of book that seeks you in time. I personally found it a fascinating read for it also spurred me on to build my own baidarka. I would buy the book again. A third book you might find worth reading is 'DEEP WATER PASSAGE' by Ann Linnea who's 65 day 1200 mile aventure paddle around Lake Superior was set in the spiritual context of a midlife reappraisal of everything in her life. Certainly offers some insight into the power or the lake and associated risks venturing out on that body of water. Two of these books tell me there are some pretty damn tough, brave and intuitive women paddlers in this world. I salute them both. Sea Kayaker - Deep Trouble by Matt Broze and George Gronseth is a must read book for all. Best Regards, Philip Wylie
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 22:52:02 EST From: Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Commitment and Open Crossings In a message dated 98-11-19 09:41:38 EST, c.j.calder << So any recommendations for paddling/nautical books ... what's everyone reading ? >> Thanks to Colin for bringing up this thread again. It's always nice to receive recommendations on books. My suggestions: David James Duncan's as a first choice: a wonderful collection of recollections and stories which endure where other thoughts fade away. His description of what "river teeth" actually are is something to be read first hand, not explained. Go to a bookstore --- the good kind, where they sell Starbucks for refreshing while browsing --- and read the introduction and a description of the "river teeth" in his life. Then read the Red Coat --- the first story --- and then buy the book. Some parts of the book directly look at the river on which he leads his life, but most is just really good reading. Another Duncan book: gets closer to the river in the Pacific Northwest where Duncan's roots are set. A very entertaining book about life and death on a river. No kayaks, but lots of canoes. Another good long winter's night book to get you away from wherever you are and don't want to be. Happy reading. Jack Martin
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 01:34:04 EST From: BijiliE Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books... I read a wonderful book I learned about from the BASK newsletter: Deep Water Passage: A Spiritual Journey at Midlife by Ann Linnea (1993, Pocket Books), about her journey around Lake Superior, in celebration of her 43rd birthday. Hope others will enjoy it as well. BijiliE Orangevale CA
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 19:40:28 -0600 From: Julie Grindol Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] books Just a quick comment on how to find some of those out-of-print kayaking books... Someone has already mentioned Advanced Book Exchange at, and here's a few more: Bibliofind at bookfinder at Interloc at Petter Hennessey at Powell's Books at Happy reading! Julie Julie Grindol Reference Librarian Linda Hall Library 5109 Cherry St, Kansas City, MO 64110 1-800-662-1545x777, Local 926-8777, Fax 816-926-8790
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:24:26 -0500 From: Hal Levine Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books > > I guess it's a sign of the season when all you northern paddlers spend more > > bandwidth discussing books then paddling I beg to differ.. I have more time and places to paddle. I can go places where the bugs and jet skis have abandoned until spring and I don't have to spend as much time mowing, weeding and pruning. I do have some books to "recommend". 1. Cold Oceans by Jon Turk - It was interesting. Although it's a new book his kayaking was done a number of years ago. I have to admit I did enjoy most of it. 2. Happy Isles of Oceana by Paul Theroux - If you like Theroux you will probably like this book. 3. The Starship and the Canoe by Ken Brown - Its way out there but was a pleasant diversion. 4. Kayaking the Vermilion Sea by Jonathon Waterman - I only wish I had the time to do the trip. 5. The Log From the Sea of Cortez by Steinbeck - a classic 6. Hunters of the Stormy Sea by Harold McCracken - Its a very good history of the sea otter hunting in Alaska. It was written in 1957 your library may have a dusty copy (mine did). 7. Any Edward Abbey book. Hal Wilton, NH Power your boat with carbohydrates, not hydrocarbons.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:31:34 EST From: Gratytshrk Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books for the Long Nights I would recommend a book called "Dove" by Robin Lee Graham. It is a little older and it is about solo circumnavigation in a sail boat (not kayaking) but it is a very inspirational read. robin.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:21:51 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] Books... From: BijiliE >> I read a wonderful book I learned about from the BASK newsletter: Deep Water Passage: A Spiritual Journey at Midlife by Ann Linnea (1993, Pocket Books), about her journey around Lake Superior, in celebration of her 43rd birthday. Hope others will enjoy it as well. BijiliE Orangevale CA >> Interesting. Last Saturday I listened in on a group of experienced women paddlers, all of whom had paddled Lake Superior, who were discussing the book, and none of them liked it, I think in part because it was more about the author than about either paddling or Lake Superior. In fact, at the local Barnes & Noble, it is shelved among the self-help books rather than the outdoors books. Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:47:39 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] FW: Books >> I guess it's a sign of the season when all you northern paddlers spend more bandwidth discussing books then paddling Cya Bob Denton >> Actually, I'm on the Minnesota Science Fiction Society's mailing list, Minicon-L, and though the organization has tax-exempt status as a literary society, there is more good writing and more good talk about books here on Paddlewise. In fact, there is virtually none on Minicon-L. Anyway, the lakes haven't frozen yet here in Minnesota. Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 09:31:31 -0800 From: "David" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] (Books) > Thanks, David. Toot on, dude, it sounds like a great trip! It was a great trip, thanks. 19 days of paddling and surfing remote California beaches. > Other kayak books and articles that I've enjoyed are "Kayaking the > Vermilion Sea" Is this a book? Who's the author? Yes, it's a book and the author is Jonathan Waterman. It's about his adventure paddling the Sea of Cortez with his wife. > And of course Ed Gillet's account of his trip from Monterey, California to > Hawaii. Is this a book or an article? It's a two page article. You can access it at There's a "_" between the words Hawaii and trip in the e-mail address, but with the address underlined, the "_" doesn't show up. I hope that makes sense. Anyone else interested in kayaking the Santa Barbara area should check out We recently did a blue water paddle from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz Island, an eleven hour trek across a relatively dangerous channel. Pictures of the adventure are at the sbka website. > And finally, there's a wonderful book called "Maiden Voyage" written by Tania Aebi about her trip around the world in a small sailboat. She elected to sail around the world in lieu of going to college, the two options given to her by her father.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:33:02 -0500 From: "Christopher E. Bush" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books "Cold Oceans" seems pretty good, so far, but the author seems too hell-bent on achieving his destination rather than enjoying the journey. That's probably why his expeditions so often "fail". I'm only half-way through, and his newly found girlfried (wife-to-be), seems to be making inroads towards changing this attitude. Jonathan Waterman's book is also good. However, his intermixings of his struggle with his marriage seem awkwardly placed. His descriptions of the Sea of Cortez as a polluted wasteland are disturbing. Everybody should absolutely read "The Starship and the Canoe". I've never read anything like it. For you computer-geek/paddlers, George Dyson's current work, "Darwin Among The Machines", while having nothing to do with paddling, is thoroughly enjoyable, if a bit "intellectual". Another book previously mentioned is Anne Linea's "Deep Water Passage". Her descriptions of paddling Lake Superior are, well, superior. Unlike Waterman, she does a great job of mixing in the emotions of her life with her journey. The only thing that bothered me was that here is a woman who has the financial and other freedoms to undertake this type of journey as well as month/summer long backpacking trips, etc. etc., who spends an aweful lot of time whining about feeling trapped by her obligations to family, career, etc. Not surprisingly, the story finds her returning from her journey to a husband she will leave, and kids she will take from him as well. I liked the writing, I liked the way the story was told, but I didn't like the author much by the end. If you've read all of the above (and below), and want something else only peripherally related to paddling (Aleutians hunting whales from kayaks, etc.), try James Michener's "Alaska". It's pretty long, though. Cheers, Chris
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 17:40:46 -0800 From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books Christopher E. Bush wrote: > > Jonathan Waterman's book is also good. However, his intermixings of his > struggle with his marriage seem awkwardly placed. His descriptions of > the Sea of Cortez as a polluted wasteland are disturbing. [snip] I read this book, also, and found it kind of a disturbing read. The narrative of the trip was OK, with lots of sturm and drang re: paddling. But, the dynamics between Waterman and his wife really ate into me. Made me want to take the two of them aside and "speak to them sternly." The pollution was not exaggerated. > Another book previously mentioned is Anne Linea's "Deep Water Passage". > Her descriptions of paddling Lake Superior are, well, superior. Unlike > Waterman, she does a great job of mixing in the emotions of her life > with her journey. [snip] Sounds like a good read. - -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR sea kayaker chemist
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 10:47:49 -0800 (PST) From: Barbara Kossy Subject: [Paddlewise] Books from BASK Hi Readers. Here's a version of the book list I printed in the newsletter of Bay Area Sea Kayakers a few months ago. Have fun, Barbara (now in Moss Beach, California) - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - --------------- Good Reads I just recently read "Into Thin Air," and I'm just finishing up "The Perfect Storm." (Men against the Mountain, Men against the Sea) Do you know of any other great true life adventure stories out there? Extra points for Kayak Related. I've already read the following: Running the Amazon Heart of Darkness (ok it's not true life) Moby Dick (ditto) Gee, I've read more but I forget. What do you recommend? Barbara Kossy I collected the following reading recommendations via email from friends and the denizens of Celeste Marin: i just remembered two books i read by robyn davidson. she is an australian woman who decided to walk across the outback with 3 camels. she was sponsored by national geographic so it got quite a lot of coverage at the time, which was maybe 20 years ago(?). in my view she did it partly for the adventure, partly because she didn't like people much. "tracks" is about the camel trip, starting with her idea to do it, trying to get experience working with camels, confronting sexism and other obstacles (like lack of money and equipment) and then the trip itself. "traveling light" is a collection of essays about a number of trips and experiences, including one on the camel trip, one on riding across the u.s. on (the back of) a harley davidson, and i forget what else. it's thoughtful and reflective about a lot of things, like values, solitude, society.... i think; i read it a few years ago. she has also written a book about a trip to india and traveling with a nomadic tribe (don't know the name), and i saw her give a reading of it last year, and she said that "tracks" was about success and this book is about failure. it sounded worth reading though. Roger Lamb: Barbara I'm reading Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose It's an historical adventure about Lewis and Clark's search for a water route from the east coast to the mouth of the Columbia River in 1804. Lewis was trained and commissioned for this project by Thomas Jefferson. David Dolberg: Try "ENDURANCE - Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing. It's the story of Sir Alfred Shackleton's attempt to be the first to cross the continent of Antarctica in 1915. Their ship and crew of 28 became icebound. The ship was destroyed. The story of their year-long self-rescue is incredible. Cathy Chute: Sea Kayaker's "Deep Trouble" by Matt Broze and George Gronseth Edited by Chris Cunningham. An engrossing accounts of kayak misses and near misses. "Caught Inside" by Daniel Duane local writer discusses surf, the CA coast and does mention a kayaker. Man against the Mountain genre: "Touching the Void" by Joe Simpson . My favorite mountaineering book. General: "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt. Everybody I know has read this one. "Desert Queen The Life of Gertrude Bell" Biography of an English woman who helped shaped the modern middle east, especially Iraq. (Strong woman genre). Mike Higgins: I found "Adrift, 76 days lost at Sea" by Steven Callahan fascinating. A guy sailing around the word solo has his boat sink and spends months trying to fix his leaky life raft... From the review: The author, Steven Callahan , 09/02/97: Alone & adrift, I came to terms with nature and my humanity. For 2.5 months, I drifted about 2,000 miles across the Atlantic, learning to become an aquatic caveman. For many, Adrift is strictly an "adventure" survival story in which I starve and dehydrate, battle sharks and slowly adapt to the ocean wilderness in which anything that floats slowly develops an island-like ecology. While writing Adrift, I struggled to keep the pace without losing readers in sailor's jargon. However, deeper themes swim throughout the story, particularly with a school of fish that follow the raft. Although I experience a sort of living death, I am awakened to new sensitivities about my place in the universe and society, which infuses the experience with a sense of awe and wonder as much as pain and desperation. The fish, representatives of the sea's majesty and mystery, become my friends, test me and almost kill me, yet bring about my salvation. Alone, I learn to face my substantial failures, accept myself as a part of humanity, and find a balance between the rational, physical an [the author's comment mysteriously ends in the middle of a sentence] For male bravado, it's tough to beat J. Muir bragging about We're getting farther and farther from kayaking, but for an incredible woman, read "West With the Night" by Beryl Markham. This woman lead a life that was four times as exciting as any three "great white hunters" you've ever read about. Mauled by a lion as a child, hunting half naked with the natives when a teenager, killing a warthog with a spear (she had to, to save her dog from it), becoming a barnstormer in Africa and a pioneer in the early days of aviation... The title comes from her solo crossing of the Atlantic. The REALLY FUN thing about this woman is that she is mentioned in passing in a bunch of other books about the British colonial days in Africa. "Out of Africa" (made into movie) and "Shadows on the Grass" by Isak Dinesen. "The Flame Trees of Thika" and "Memories of an African Childhood" by Elspeth Joscelin Grant Huxley. I read all those books first (highly recommended) and then discovered Markham's own book. It was out of print for years and re-discovered in a Marin County used bookstore and re-published recently (that's the local angle). Reading Markhams book provided another angle on some of the same stories! So many GOOD books, so little time.... Jim Scarff: 0 points for kayak-relatedness, but SUPERB: Martin Cruz Smith, ROSE, now available in paperback (author of Gorky Park and POLAR STAR - ocean related if not kayaks). Incredibly atmospheric mystery set in a coal mine in England in 1870. William Gibson - IDORU (author of Neuromancer). Superb science fiction novel set in Tokyo. Lead character is a wonderful 14 year old girl named Chia Pet. Also in paperback. Peter Matthiessen, KILLING MR. WATSON, amazing story based on true life. Based in the Everglades around 1900. Another paperback. And I'll second Mike's praise for Adrift. The guy obviously had a spiritual trip, but he spares the reader the stuff that might be hard to relate to. John Dixon: "Ice", by Tristan Jones, he describes his attempt to sail further north than anyone ever had before. He spent several winters locked up in the ice and describes encounters with Polar Bears, Shifting Ice and other expected hazards of such a trip. Pretty impressive-this ones non-fiction...One of my favorites is Louis Lamour's "The Last Of The Breed". It's a different genre from most of his formula cowboy novels...I think you'd like it. I'd tell you more, which would certainly entice you to read it but it would spoil the ending. "Ice", by Tristan Jones, he describes his attempt to sail further north than anyone ever had before. He spent several winters locked up in the ice and describes encounters with Polar Bears, Shifting Ice and other expected hazards of such a trip. Pretty impressive-this ones non-fiction... Carol Piasente: Try Michael Crighton's (spelling may be off) "Travels." Short pieces, no kayaking, but quite a bit of dive stories. Andy Briefer: I just finished Cold Mountain. Thetas a pretty good Civil War era novel. For easy reads I recommend Paulo Coelho -" The Alchemist" or "By the River Piedro I Sat and I Wept" For very funny stories: "Naked" by David Sedaris. In the Non-fiction department we are featuring "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner. And don't forget we provide a free bookmark with every purchase! Marjorie Little: Kayaking the Vermilion Sea by Jonathan Waterman. About a man and his wife kayaking in Baja. He (Jonathan) is quite an arrogant macho asshole type, but his wife sounds terrific. She's also a much better kayaker. I found it interesting that in the author's bio on the back of the book, there is no mention of his being married or "living" with his wife wherever it is they live. So, it looks like she left him after said journey. Anyway, if you can stand him, it's not a bad read. Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak (One woman's journey through the Northwest Passage) by Victoria Jason. I haven't read it yet, but Philip Nicoll is at about page 250 and says it's pretty good. Molly Provant: A couple of good books I've read recently are the Travelers Tales series. The "A Woman's World" has some good adventure stories from around the world. The other books in the series are all specific to certain countries. Leigh Moorehouse: Into the Wild by Krakauer Albatross Tania Ebi's book about sailing around the world. Penny Wells: Have you tried the Patrick O'Brian series? Go to the library and get volume 1 and try it out. You'll either not care for it at all or you'll become addicted, in which case, you'll be thrilled to know there are 19 volumes all together. It will keep you reading on BART for about a year. I just finished number 19. Whew, and am looking forward to getting a life again. Joe Toback: What about The Starship and the Canoe by Kenneth Brower, Savages by Joe Kane, Motoring with Mohammed and A Stranger in the Forest by Eric Hansen -- all great books in my opinion. Sally Walters: Arctic Dreams, by Barry Lopez. It does at least have the word kayak in several places. It is a thick book! Don't be put off by the 415pp. with an additional number of pages for an annotated bibliography and thorough index. A good read, and you can easily take it one chapter at a time. The author looks at the Arctic from many angles, from the eskimo to the solitary and strange oil drillers, and of course lots of science and natural science. One of my favorites was on polar bears. It is well referenced, I found myself looking up and rereading certain sections. It took me a long time to read because it wasn't gripping just really well written, easy to read and very interesting. You'll want to keep it around for a reference book. Sally Dave Cone: Many of y'all have already read "Shooting the Boh" by Tracy Johnston. It's got near-drownings, creepy insects, crazy people, local angle, and feminine perspective. For male bravado, it's tough to beat J. Muir bragging about surfing avalanches, climbing frozen waterfalls, etc. He did some stupid stuff, but he did it without goretex or corporate sponsors. Joe Petolino: On the subject of travel books, one travel writer who's also a sea kayaker is Paul Theroux. Unfortunately, the book he wrote about traveling by sea kayak ('The Happy Isles of Oceania') isn't one of my favorites. Mary-Marcia's advice about avoiding books written when the author is going through a divorce seems to apply here. A better bet is his classic railroad travel book 'The Great Railway Bazaar'. For those times when you just can't commit to reading an entire book at once, try Tim Cahill's 'Jaguars Ripped my Flesh', a collection of adventure travel essays reprinted from Outside magazine. I don't recall if there were any sea kayak stories in there, but there were some ocean adventures. Another excellent outdoor essay collection is 'Desert Solitaire' by Edward Abbey. The only boating connection in this one is a story about running Glen Canyon in a K-Mart raft just before it was flooded by Lake Powell. Ken Manshardt: Barb, I second John's recommendation of "Ice". Totally gnarly is my comment about that book. Tristan Jones has a bunch of other books as well. Another great adventure book is about him trying to sail/motor a small boat all the way up the Amazon, to the headwaters of Lake Titty Caca. I'm just finishing up a great pair of books about paddling Hudson Bay & the Northwest Passage. The first is called "Paddle to the Arctic by Don Starkel (sp?). The second is "Kabloona in a Yellow Kayak" by Victoria Jackson. They did this incredible trip together, (at least part of it together), with lots of fighting & yelling thrown in. Don is an anal, over-driven, goal seeking, masochist with severe testosterone poisoning. Victoria seems much more level headed. She's always stopping to smell the roses. Well, they each wrote a book about it. Check it out. I'll lend them to ya, or anyone else. Here is another great book that I read about 10 long years ago. "Kayaks to the Arctic", by Nickerson. It is about a family that paddled down the whole McKenzie River in Kleppers about 1965. They spent the whole summer paddling from the Great Slave Lake to Inuvik (sp?), on the Arctic Ocean. I have the book if anyone wants to borrow it. In fact, I found an extra copy in an old book store once. I bought it to donate to the BASK library. Just haven't donated it yet. It is a real well written book about their trip down the river and all the people & adventures that they came upon. Plus lots of pictures. Ric Miller: I think it's spelled "Titicaca", although I catch your drift. I have read most of Tristan Jone's books. He spoke around here a couple of years ago (I think) although I wasn't able to get in to hear him. I wonder if he's still around. Rob Gendreau: If you liked previous suggestions Endurance by Lansing and Into Thin Air by Krakauer, then I have a few more related suggestions. On the Antarctic: Shackleton, and Amundsen and Scott, by Roland Huntford. Excellent biogs of these great explorers. The Endurance is the greatest outdoor survival story ever. A classic. On mountaineering: Anatoli Boukreev's book Climb, a kind of answer to Krakauer's book, made more interesting, unfortunately, by Boukreev's tragic death a month ago. Also, The Endless Knot, by Kurt Diemberger, about K2 in 1986 when several people died on that peak. More introspective than most mountaineering books. Mountaineering seems to inspire far more writing, especially good writing, than any other sport. So even though it's not kayaking, the books are a good bet for any adventure-loving boater. I'd especially recommend Deborah, and the Mountain of my Fear by David Roberts. His writing strongly influenced Krakauer. Actually, ANYTHING by Roberts is good. Some kayaking books: Kayaking the Full Moon by Steve Chapple, about a paddle down the Yellowstone; Where Rivers Run by Gary & Joanie McGuffin, about canoeing across Canada via the voyageur routes; Commitment and Open Crossings by Bill Taylor, about the first kayak circumnavigation of Britain and Ireland. None of these is great lit, but they are about paddling. Finally, Oceanography and Seamanship by William Van Dorn. Source of much of the info for The Perfect Storm. Very technical in parts, but readable and informative on everything from edible fish to big waves. A great reference for any sea boater. For the best selection of adventure literature, try Chessler Books at 800-654-8502. They've got just about every mountain book ever written, guide books, polar books, maps, and lots of paddling books. They also stock signed books, rare books, and first editions. * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --*--*-- Barbara Kossy Communications PO Box 434 Moss Beach, California, 94038 tel. 650-728-8720 fax 650-728-8753 * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- *--* --
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:09:05 EST From: Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books: Tristan Jones In a message dated 21-11-1998 2:21:33 PM EST, bkossy writes: "Ice," by Tristan Jones, he describes his attempt to sail > further north than anyone ever had before. He spent several winters locked > up in the ice and describes encounters with Polar Bears, Shifting Ice and > other expected hazards of such a trip. Pretty impressive- Tristan Jones wrote many books, 10 or 12, I think. I have enjoyed several. I believe he died a few years ago... Does anyone know if Tristan Jones' stories are "true?" Somewhere I read that he wove occasional fiction into his remarkable tales.
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 06:52:36 +0000 From: Michael Neverdosky Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books: Tristan Jones Probably the only thing to rival Tristan's sailing ability is (was) his storytelling. Most storytellers will say, when asked that a story is a 'true story' meaning the story is correct, not that everything in it is historically accurate. For that matter is everything in a history book accurate? To say it like Tristan might, "Not bloody likely!" I have no doubt that Tristan went to all the places he claimed, and did all of the major things he said. I am also certain that there was some amount of embelishment as is true of every adventure tale I have ever heard or read. At the same time he probably downplayed somethings as the truth sometimes gets so strange that it would never be believed in a book. There is a short tribute to Tristan in the November "Cruising World" magazine, for those who are more interested. Having been to 70 deg South on a small ship, (125' more of a big boat) I can tell you lots of stories (if I were half the storyteller Tris was you might even enjoy them), but none of them would be exactly 'accurate'. They might be be best I can do to recall and report "my experience" but they would have been through my filters, both during the experience and in the recalling. Does that make them 'fiction'? NO, they are still true stories, but if you get the stories from other people there at the same time, they would not be the same. Those were different people and they had different experiences even though the events were the same. I hope to be able to do a few more BIG trips before I end up in "Fiddlers Green". In Fiddlers Green, they don't doubt a sea story, they enjoy it, either in the telling or the hearing, Sailors understand. michael (a sailor who sometimes plays in kayaks)
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 10:48:05 -0600 From: "Sarah Ohmann" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Deep Water Passage, Lake Superior Books >> Another book previously mentioned is Anne Linea's "Deep Water Passage". >> Her descriptions of paddling Lake Superior are, well, superior. Unlike >> Waterman, she does a great job of mixing in the emotions of her life >> with her journey. [snip] > >Sounds like a good read. I read this book before doing a longer trip on Superior myself, and didn't find much in the way of useful description in it. I was frustrated when reading it because the narrative concentrates, obsessively, on Anne's feelings, rather than the paddling and the scenery. It seems as if she was new to the sport, untrained, and unprepared, and this contributed to her having a scary and unpleasant trip (although she was also unlucky in that the weather that summer was bad). The scenery on the Big Lake deserves better, so if you're interested in a description, check out the McGuffins' "Superior: Journeys on an Inland Sea" or "Lake Superior Images" by Craig Blacklock. Both are written by kayakers, but are more coffee table books with beautiful photos and not much in the way of text. Sarah Ohmann
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 13:38:20 +0000 From: Alex Ferguson Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books [HL] > 2. Happy Isles of Oceana by Paul Theroux - If you like Theroux you will > probably like this book. There was a question of accuracy relating to Tristan Jones, here's another writer with inaccuracies. Theroux at his usual unlikeable self. With reference to his Fiji section, inaccurate and unlikeable. One village he was unwelcome at, we had them begging us to come to stay at their village versus the other village. Incidently if you paddle west from Nambuwala, there's 100+ km of open sea. I was told that he had time to write one section of the Australian bit or paddle it but not do both ..... > 3. The Starship and the Canoe by Ken Brown - Its way out there but was a > pleasant diversion. Definitely interesting. > 4. Kayaking the Vermilion Sea by Jonathon Waterman - I only wish I had the time > to do the trip. As others noted, an odd couple. So much nicer to have a compatable paddling companion. - -- - ---------------------------------------------------- Alex Ferguson Electronics Workshop, Chem Dept, Univ of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 21:12:02 -0500 (EST) From: Steve Cramer Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Books On Mon, 23 Nov 1998, Alex Ferguson wrote: > > 2. Happy Isles of Oceana by Paul Theroux - If you like Theroux you will > > probably like this book. > > here's another writer with inaccuracies. Theroux at his usual > unlikeable self. With reference to his Fiji section, inaccurate > and unlikeable. Amen to that. As I recall, there was one island he liked out of about 50 he visited. Judging from this book, Oceania is peopled by brutish louts living in filthy conditions. I don't think that's true. I've read several of Theroux's travel books and he seems to be totally disgruntled at everyone he meets. I frequently find myself staying "Paul, why don't you just stay home?" Steve Cramer Test Scoring & Reporting Services Sometimes you never can University of Georgia always tell what you Athens, GA 30602-5593 least expect the most.
(**From a Thread on surge from ship's wake... see /topics/technique/**) Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 20:56:23 -0700 From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] question for the hydrodynamics experts... What you experienced was the "surge" portion of the ship's wake. In brief: that surge produces a minimal vertical excursion of the water's surface *when the water is very deep* (at least as deep as the "length" of the wave the surge forms in deep water). That's why you would not notice the surge if the ship passed by in deep water. OTOH, when the water is very shallow, the leading part of the wave (the trough) arrives first, and because its "ideal" form is impossible to maintain in shallow water, it "sucks" water back toward the ship, to help form *the crest* of the wave (which arrives just behind the trough). Because the water is too shallow to sustain the crest, a breaking wave is formed, similar to surf, and the wave becomes akin to what happens in a tidal bore. What happened to you is sort of a small scale version of a tsunami hitting a shallow, sloping beach. For more about waves (and beaches), chase down Willard Bascom's classic work, written for the lay person: Waves and Beaches, Anchor Books, 1980 (revised version), ISBN 0-385-14844-5. Out of print, I am sure, but in any good library's earth science section. A treasure trove of stuff useful for ocean paddlers, covering both waves on the water, and how coastal landforms are affected by waves. You'll be a better person, and have an improved sex life if you read this! - -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 08:49:17 -0500 From: tfj Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Book on Waves Thanks to whoever recommended "Waves and Beaches" by Willard Bascom. It is, as reported out of print, but I was able to get a copy at the local public library and am enjoying it already.
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 From: Michael Daly Subject: [Paddlewise] Two books on Sea Kayaking the Great Lakes I just did this for my kayak club newsletter and figured some of you would be interested. Note the second book includes a Paddlewiser author! Mike Guide to Sea Kayaking Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario, Sarah Ohmann and Bill Newman, The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Conn. ISBN 0-7627-0417-9 Guide to Sea Kayaking On Lakes Superior & Michigan, Bill Newman, Sarah Ohmann and Don Dimond, The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Conn. ISBN 0-7627-0416-0 These two books are part of a larger set of regional guides on sea kayaking published by The Globe Pequot Press. I purchased the first since it covers the areas I kayak in the most (one trip described is only a few minutes from my house). I was impressed enough by the first to go out and buy the second, especially now that some friends and I are planning a trip to Lake Superior and to Saguenay next summer. It should be noted that the eastern Great Lakes book includes sections of the St. Laurence River, including the Thousand Islands and Saguenay regions! These books are quite similar; not surprising since they are by the same authors and in the same series. Most of the comments to be made about one apply equally to the other. They are divided into logical sections, by lake and section of the lake. Some of the divisions are based on national boundaries, others on named areas, such as Georgian Bay. Each section is prefaced by some comments specific to the area to be described. These are useful and brief, covering the geography, geology and perhaps some history. As well, practical information about camping practices in the region, laws and advice about weather, busy seasons and so on is offered. Within each section, several trips are described. These follow a common format, starting with a few paragraphs providing a general introduction to the trip, then the trip highlights, rating (beginner, intermediate etc), duration, navigational aids (charts, maps), cautions, planning and launch sites. This leads into the Directions section, which includes a map and descriptions of highlights and features on a mile by mile basis. The trip description ends with a Where to Eat & Where to Stay section. As well, many of the trips have side bars describing historical, geological or other features of the area in more detail. The books end with appendices that list kayak clubs in the region, outfitters, rental and instruction companies and other sources of general information. Ok, let's get my dislikes out of the way. These guides provide distance information in statute miles only. Being the thoroughly metric Canadian that I am, I wish the distances were also in metric. For the eastern Great Lakes book, the majority of trips are within Canada, so the metric topographical maps would be my first choice. This would force me to do the math in my head and these old brain cells would rather an easy way out. The maps provided in the book are simple and cannot be relied upon for navigation. That is not an objection, by the way. They do give you a general idea of the trip. However, there are no indications, on the paddling paths superimposed on the maps, of the distance travelled along the route. Since the Directions section offers information by distance along the way, it would be helpful if such distances were marked. The sidebars often provide fascinating tales and make reference to, say, an abandoned mine or historical site. The maps, however, don't always show where these are with respect to the paddling route. I suppose one could get them from local tourist sources or more detailed maps, but I'd prefer to see them included. I did find some minor errors in the books, but nothing that would interfere with the successful planning or execution of a trip. I hadn't highlighted any errors and can't remember one example as I write this - they're that minor. So much for complaints. Overall, these books are very good. I've been on a number of the trips described, all but one before acquiring the books. I used the book to do a day paddle in an area I'd been curious about and found that the kind and quality of the information was just about right. I think that using the books just once improved my opinion of them! It's nice to have had someone work out the details and let you in on the secrets so you can concentrate on the trip itself. The sidebars make for interesting reading and often provide a reason for wanting to do, or at least dreaming about doing, the trip. In fact, while reading the western Great Lakes book on the streetcar the other day, I went well past my stop before I looked up and realized where I was. While the Great Lakes provide more shore line than the east, west and gulf coasts of North America combined, only three sets of urban paddle routes are found in these books: Toronto, Detroit/Windsor and Chicago. I've done the Toronto and one of the Detroit/Windsor routes, so I can vouch for the value of including them here. It's interesting, though, that so much wilderness and recreational shoreline exists in our Great Lakes. If you are a highly experienced paddler in the areas covered by these books, you may know more than the authors and can do without them. For beginners, these would provide an excellent introduction to an area. If you're planning a trip to one of these areas, I can think of no better starting point for planning than to acquire one of these books. I'm glad I got them. Michael Daly