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  • A Voyage for Madmen [Golden Globe Race] – Peter Nicholls

    A Voyage for Madmen [Golden Globe Race] – Peter Nicholls

    First edition softcover published by Harper in 2001. 301 pages plus list of “sources and permissions”, nicely illustrated from original photographs. A very good copy.

    This is the story of the infamous Golden Globe Race when nine individuals competed to complete the fastest single handed race around the world. The outcome was not good bar for one. Some were novices or near so at the time and would go on to become masters of the craft.

    The individuals were John Ridgway, Chay Blyth, Robin Knox-Johnston, Bernard Moitessier, Loick Gourgeron, Bill King, Nigel Tetley, Alex Carozzo and Donald Crowhurst. The book brilliantly takes one through the adventures, disasters and accomplishments of each.

    Nine good men at the helm – alone


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  • Riddle of the Titanic –  Robon Gardiner & Dan Van der Vat

    Riddle of the Titanic – Robon Gardiner & Dan Van der Vat

    Published by Weidenfield and Nicolson, London in 1995 a first edition soft cover. 312 pages, nicely illustrated. A very good copy.

    Regarded as one of the more thorough Titanic books, with much about the before and aftermath. Written in the context of the finding of the wreck ..

    Questions remain unanswered … Why was the man at the helm when she hit the iceberg packed off to South Africa? … Why did her reluctant Chief Officer still feel uneasy about a ship on which he had never sailed before … and, Why did one of her stewards “wish the bally ship at the bottom of the sea”?

    Titanic well researched and written …


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  • Patanela is Missing [Sinking off Sydney] – Paul Whittaker and Robert Read – 1993

    Patanela is Missing [Sinking off Sydney] – Paul Whittaker and Robert Read – 1993

    Published by Bantam 1993, a first and only edition. Octavo paperback, 248 pages with maps and 16 pages of black and white plates. A very good copy.

    The investigative account of Australia’s greatest sea mystery.

    Patanela, a 19-metre schooner, vanished without trace approaching Sydney Harbour in November 1988. She was the sturdiest yachts afloat having completed Antarctic voyages and circumnavigated the globe. She was considered by those who sailed her, and by the man who built her, to be unsinkable. Constructed of steel with four watertight bulkheads, Patanela carried the latest safety and navigational equipment.

    There are few who believe she faltered on that calm November night, within sight of the lights of Botany Bay. There was no mayday call, no distress flares sighted, no debris, and no bodies as evidence of her sinking.

    Scarce account of one of Australia’s most curious sea mysteries.


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  • The Narrative of Captain David Woodward [Adventures and Suffering in the Celebes] -1805

    The Narrative of Captain David Woodward [Adventures and Suffering in the Celebes] -1805

    An extremely scarce account, we can only find one other copy available.

    The lengthy full title explains … The Narrative of Captain David Woodward and Four Seamen Who Lost their Ship while in a Boat at Sea and Surrendered Themselves up to the Malays in the Island of Celebes … containing an Interesting Account of their Sufferings from Hunger and Various Hardships, and their Escape from the Malays. After a Captivity of Two Year and a Half: Also, an Account of the Manners and Customs of That Country, and a Description of the Harbours & Coasts etc. Together with An Introduction and an Appendix containing Narratives of Various Escapes from Shipwrecks, under Great Hardships and Abstinence; holding out a Valuable Seaman’s Guide. And the Importance of Union, Confidence and Perseverance in the Midst of Distress.

    Printed by Johnson, St Paul’s Church-Yard a second edition 1805 and despite this truly scarce. Octavo, 236 pages, rough cut edges as issued. Contemporary half calf with marbled paper covered boards showing some wear.

    Frontispiece a profile of Woodward, folding chart of the Island of Celebes, larger folding chart of the Western Part of the Island (Celebes) visited by Captain Woodward and a two page plate of Proas, Canoes and Implements of War of the Malays.

    The first 143 pages comprises Woodward’s narrative the events of which commenced in March 1791. Woodward had departed on an American Ship from Batavia to Manilla. There was a scarcity of provisions and Woodward along with five sailors (one died soon in the events if you are curious about the title) set off on a quest to find supplies. They got separated from their ship and after many adventures and near death with thirst and starvation surrendered themselves to the Malay of the Celebes. They were treated as slaves and suffered many hardships. Eventually they begin to find help and after a failed attempt to escape finally make it to safety at Macassar. From there they are engaged on an American ship, Woodward as Chief-mate and sail for Calcutta. There Woodward meets Captain Hubbard with whom he sails to Mauritius and there Woodward is given Command of the Ship. From there to Bourbon, round the Cape of Good Hope to St Helena for repairs. Then to Ascension and on to England.

    Woodward follows this adventure with a description of the Celebes its climate and natural history, religion and manners and a brief vocabulary of the Malay language.

    The other misadventures described include … Captain Inglefield’s Narrative; William Boys’s Narrative of the Luxembourgh Galley; Lieutenant Bligh’s Narrative; Loss of the Lady Hobart Packet; Loss of the Pandora Frigate and several more.

    Appendices include several useful articles including …. Case of Thomas Travis – seven days in a Pit; Experiment of a Physician; Remarkable Case of the Effects of Long Abstinence, List of a Number of Accidents, Shipwrecks, Escapes etc.

    Captain Woodward’s incredible hardship is the Celebes among the Malay’s


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  • Further Selection from the Tragic History of the Sea 1559-1565

    Further Selection from the Tragic History of the Sea 1559-1565

    Published by the Hakluyt Society in 1967 as an addition to “Tragedies” published eight years earlier under the editorship of the Esteemed Professor Boxer, Vice-President of the Society.

    The earlier work dealt with shipwrecks on the east coast of Africa. This selection are further east in or on their way to the East Indies. Also, they had never been translated into English before this book .. no mean task translating 16th Century Portuguese and dealing with the lack of proof reading characteristic of the Portuguese publishing world of the period.

    Octavo, 170 pages nicely illustrated with helpful maps and charts. Very good condition with the original dust jacket.

    We have the … “Narrative of the loss of the Aguia and Garca, 1559-60 by Diogo do Couto”; “Shipwreck of the Sao Palo and itinerary of the survivors by Henrique Dias” and “Misadventures of the Santo Antonio and Jorge d’Albuquerque by Afonso Luis”.

    First translations from the original 16thC texts – shipwrecks from the great Portuguese maritime era.


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  • The Wreck of the Zuytdorp (Western Australia) – Playford

    The Wreck of the Zuytdorp (Western Australia) – Playford

    A reprint in full form of an article published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Western Australian Historical Society in 1959.

    This soft covered printing in 1976, 36 pages, illustrated and with maps and charts.

    A number of Dutch East India ships suffered on the west coast of Australia in their attempts to make Jakarta … more well known the Batavia because of the horrendous going on … others including the Vergulde Draeck; Ridderschap van Holland; Fortuyn; Aagtekerke and Zeewyk get a mention here and the unfortunate Zuytdorp is covered in some detail.

    Wrecked on the cliffs in Gantheaume Bay just slightly south of Ramyards Shed in 1712. Survivors carried 9 heavy breech-blocks of the wreck .. so there must have been a few of them … little else is know of what became of them.

    The Zuttdorp – Western Australia – not an easy place to be wrecked in 1712


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