Home' Ausmarine : Jan 2010 Contents THE GREATER THE HONOR
A Novel of the Barbary Wars
By WILLIAM H. WHITE
While Nelson, Cochrane, Collingwood and
their colleagues in the Royal Navy were
chasing the "Frenchies" in the early years
of the nineteenth century, their American
counterparts were busy cleaning up the
Barbary Coast "pirates" in North Africa on
"the shores of Tripoli".
This book, thus, is an American version of the hugely popular
novels of Patrick O'Brien. It is very much in the same vein. With
an American slant, of course, and American spellings.
Nevertheless, like O'Brien, the author is a great stickler for
period details and inter-weaves as many historical facts as possible.
It's an exciting and very readable tale. Again, like the O'Brien
books, this one benefits from the contributions of a talented
marine artist. In this case it is Paul Garnett whose cover and other
illustrations are excellent.
Available from Tiller Publishing, St Michaels, USA.
SKIPPER'S ONBOARD KNOT GUIDE
Knots, Bends, Hitches and Splices
40 Essential Knots for Onboard use
At approximately annual intervals a very
good guide to knots and related rope work is received for
review. Remarkably, each is usually a notable improvement on
This is such a book. An improvement on all that have gone
before. It is also, as claimed, an "on board book". It is "splash"
proof and spiral bound so it can be opened flat.
It covers all currently available synthetic fibres. Very well and
clearly illustrated utilising different coloured ropes it is very easy
to follow even by someone who is "all thumbs".
Another excellent publication designed for the yachtsman that
is just as useful and interesting for commercial mariners.
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical, London, UK.
Warship for every crisis
By KEN DOOLAN
Named for one of the most famous battles
involving Australians during the Second
World War, the Royal Australian Navy's
ship 'Tobruk' has been one of the Australian
Defence Forces most useful assets.
With now more than 25 years of service
under its keel the ship has operated from Gallipoli via Somalia to
Fiji and the Solomon Islands. A very versatile vessel that has
starred in Australia's many amphibious operations since 1981,
'Tobruk' has never been glamorous but always useful.
The author, a retired Rear Admiral, also self-published this
book. He was the 'Tobruk's' first Commanding Officer. He has
done a first rate job. It is interestingly written, well illustrated and
professionally edited. He has done his old ship proud.
Available from Grinkle Press, Queanbeyan, Australia.
The Little Book of Seasickness
A strange little, appropriately green
bound, book about a horrible affliction.
Your reviewer has never, fortunately,
suffered from seasickness. He has, though,
had the misfortune to see others very badly
affected. Indeed, he once had the unsavoury
task of physically restraining a shipmate who attempted suicide, so
badly was he affected.
Having too often observed the unpleasant side of the affliction
it was a relief therefore to read and enjoy a book comprising jokes
on this unhappy subject. Probably the best and most appropriate
way to handle it if, like most, you are unable to ignore it.
Probably the best advice contained in the book if you are
susceptible to seasickness comes from a Chinese proverb. It says:
"If you can get there by land, do not go by water".
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical, London, UK.
FISHING AND FISHERMEN
A Guide for Family Historians
By MARTIN WILCOT
A timely, useful and important publication
at this stage in the history of the developed
world's fishing industry.
This book focuses on the British branch of
the industry but it could just as easily have
looked at Canada, the United States, Australia,
New Zealand, France, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan or
many other countries. The problems are the same.
The fishing industry is disappearing before our eyes and no-one,
especially in the industry itself, is doing anything worthwhile to
prevent that. Before long all we will have is some fascinating
history and a mass of regrets.
An experienced, sensitive and very professional historian, the
author uses an unusual but effective technique to tell his tale. By
explaining to his readers how they can compile their own family
histories he very compelling describes the decline of a once great
Available from Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley, UK.
COAST TO COAST
The Great Australian Coastal Liners
By PETER PLOWMAN
Australian maritime history enthusiasts
are fortunate indeed that obsessive
historians such as Peter Plowman exist.
The word "obsessive" is used advisedly
because only such a person would embark
on ventures with almost no hope of financial return.
Your reviewer well remembers his excitement as a child during
two voyages on the McIlwraith McEacharn liner 'Kanimbla'. She
was one of the last passenger/cargo ships to regularly service the
She, like the other ships here described, served in wartime. In
'Kanimbla's case, as an armed merchant cruiser, troopship and
amphibious landing ship. She was one of many.
Aircraft, cars, trucks and the unions killed off the coastal trade
but the author brings them back to life in this excellent, finely
Available from Rosenberg Publishing, Dural, Australia.
AUSMARINE January 2010 33
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