Around the World in a Dugout Canoe by John M. MacFarlane and Lynn J. Salmon

The first independent account of the remarkable voyage of the Tilikum. Anticipating fame and wealth, Captain John Voss set out from Victoria, BC, in 1901, seeking to claim the world record for the smallest vessel ever to circumnavigate the globe. For the journey, he procured an authentic dugout cedar canoe from an Indigenous village on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

On the Edge by Lesley Strutt

Ontario author Lesley Strutt’s novel On the Edge is part of Inanna Publication’s Young Feminist Series, and is an adventurous read for all ages, especially for those who like sailing stories. Fourteen-year-old Emma (short for Emerald) is living an overly-restrictive life on her Aunt and Uncle’s farm near Kingston, Ontario. For mysterious reasons. her mother handed over care of her to them when Emma was only a little girl.…

Casey: The Remarkable, Untold Story of Frederick Walker “Casey” Baldwin by John G. Langley

the book’s subtitle goes on to state, Casey Baldwin was a “Gentleman, Genius, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Protege.” Mr. Langley’s book is a beautiful tribute to yet another unsung Canadian icon: the first British subject (and the first Canadian) to fly in a heavier-than-air craft. Did you know that February 23rd is Canada’s Official National Aviation Day? This is a little-known fact as well, but it has much to do with one man: “Casey” Baldwin.…

Sea Trial: Sailing After My Father by Brian Harvey

I consider myself an armchair sailor. I have been on a small sailboat (once, on Lake Ontario) but I enjoy reading about the travels of others, whether fiction or fact, small craft or large, alone or with a crew. So it was with great eagerness that I approached Sea Trial: Sailing After My Father by Brian Harvey (2019, ECW Press). The cover alone was enough to entice me: a watercolour print on textured paper that suited the subject matter perfectly.…

Wayfarer: A Memoir by James S. Rockefeller Jr.

 the son of James S. Rockefeller Sr. the successful Wall Street banker, young James’ childhood was “very privileged. There were no material wants. The food was plain but wholesome. Wealth, as I grew to be aware of it, was not be flaunted, but I didn’t know back then that my family had it.” As you read through the pages of Wayfarer, his memoirs, you definitely get the sense that none of the four children in the house in Connecticut received any special treatment, nor did they believe they were entitled to any.…

Bounty: The Greatest Sea Story of Them All by Geoff D’Eon

Formac Publishing has produced a beautiful book about the Bounty, both the infamous ship that was captained by William Bligh as well as the replica ship that was constructed in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for the epic 1962 MGM film Mutiny on the Bounty starring Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando. As such, it is a worthy guide to all things Bounty, from the story of the real mutiny to the various books and film versions that followed as well as the life of the Lunenburg-built replica after the movie was completed.…

Canadian Confederate Cruiser: The Story of the Steamer Queen Victoria by John G. Langley

The official year of Canadian confederation is 1867, but we need to turn back the calendar to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 when representatives from Canada West and East came to the city of Charlottetown PEI to try to convince the Maritime delegates to favour confederation rather than a Maritime union which would not benefit the Canadians at all. The role of the steamer Queen Victoria in all this was pivotal, not only as a means of transportation but as a type of floating hotel with a hold packed full of Champagne and other amenities suitable to entertaining, persuading and befriending the East Coasters.…

Sea Change: A Man, A Boat, A Journey Home by Maxwell Taylor Kennedy

I am a landlubber, but I love all things maritime whether it is naval ships, submarines, or the days of wood and sail. It started with Joseph Conrad’s sea stories and carried on through those of James Fenimore Cooper and C.S. Forster. Then there were the classic true-life sailing experiences of Richard Dana Jr. in Two Years Before the Mast and Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World through which I lived a vicarious life on the sea.…

Arrow’s Flight by Joel Scott

Joseph Conrad’s autobiographical short story Youth, we are introduced to Marlowe, who upon initially sighting the ship he is to join in his first commision wistfully states:

“There was a touch of romance in it, something that made me love the old thing – something that appealed to my youth!”

Similarly, when Arrow’s Flight protagonist Jared Kane sights the wooden ketch Arrow for the first time:

“She was laying into the sunset and seemed to float in a coppery sea of light, her tall amber masts suspended above her.…

The Trawlermen by Clarence Vautier

Clarence Vautier was born in 1972 in La Poile, Newfoundland. He moved away to attend high school, and after high school, he fished with his father, Clarence Sr., and his brother Raymond for a short time. He later went to work as a deck officer on the Great Lakes, first for P & H Shipping, then for Algoma Central Marine, where he remains today.…

Adventures of a Grenfell Nurse by Rosalie M. Lombard

here is a meme floating around the Internet that states: “Don’t live the same year 75 times over and call it a life”. For at least two years of her substantial life (born in 1927, she is still alive as of this writing), Rosalie Lombard could not be accused of any sort of repetition as she served as a nurse for the Grenfell Mission in St.…

Left to Die: The Story of the SS Newfoundland Sealing Disaster by Gary Collins

The story of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914, in which 78 of 132 men died on the ice, is told in arresting fashion by Newfoundland author Gary Collins in Left to Die (2014, Flanker Press). Known as “The Story Man” in his native Newfoundland, Mr. Collins has written a book that will appeal to those who enjoy reading actual survival accounts from history.…

Joshua Slocum: The Captain Who Sailed Around the World by Quentin Casey

Joshua Slocum: The Captain Who Sailed Around the WorldThis book is part of the “Stories of Our Past” series published by Nimbus. The look and feel of this book is very polished. It is only a little over 120 pages, but Mr. Casey manages to condense a full lifetime of Captain Slocum’s adventures and trials into these few pages. There are plenty of colour and B&W illustrations throughout the book, printed on good high quality paper.…