Nautical Fiction discussion

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message 1: by Bonsaiforlife (new)

Bonsaiforlife | 6 comments Mod
I want to start a group that is pretty broad in nautical fiction. Some of my favorite authors are Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, but I know there are others out there that are good. Hope this can broaden everyones horizon into finding new to them books and authors.

message 2: by M. (new)

M. Kei (kujakupoet) | 1 comments Hello, glad to have a general nautical fiction group. Here's hoping it becomes more active than some of the other resources out there.

I suppose introductions are in order. I'm a tall ship sailor and poet in real life, neither of which pays very well. I've posted pictures of my ship and travels at

I have written a trilogy of nautical fiction books entitled Pirates of the Narrow Seas. All are available as paperbacks. Book one is also available as an inexpensive ebook, and also for free online at

Pirates of the Narrow Seas

Lt. Peter Thorton of the British navy during the Age of Sail must struggle to come out gay, survive ship to ship battles, storms at sea, duels, kidnapping, and more in his quest for true love and honor on the Narrow Seas.

Book One : The Sallee Rovers
Book Two : Men of Honor
Book Three : Iron Men

My author webpage at Astrodene's Historic Naval fiction includes reviews:

I'm gratified by the good reviews. I hope you find something to enjoy.


message 3: by Bonsaiforlife (new)

Bonsaiforlife | 6 comments Mod
Those pictures of the ship are great. That would be quite fun in my opinion, dont think I would be on land much at all.

message 4: by Peter (new)

Peter Roach (clipper24) | 5 comments I enjoy reading nautical fiction, though I have been collecting nautical books centered on 1880 - 1930 Cape Horn recollections. I had developed this interest after working on my grandfather's diaries that covered his apprenticeship years on a barque.

message 5: by Rick (last edited Oct 25, 2010 09:12AM) (new)

Rick Spilman | 3 comments Peter wrote: "I enjoy reading nautical fiction, though I have been collecting nautical books centered on 1880 - 1930 Cape Horn recollections. I had developed this interest after working on my grandfather's diari..."
What Cape Horn books do you recommend? Villiers, obviously.

I just finished Jone's "Cape Horn Breed" and Barker's "Log of a Limejuicer." The interesting thing about these two books is that they both recount a deadly 1905 winter rounding of the Horn on the three masted "British Isles" from rather different perspectives.

message 6: by Peter (last edited Oct 25, 2010 04:54PM) (new)

Peter Roach (clipper24) | 5 comments Richard wrote: "What Cape Horn books do you recommend? Villiers, obviously."

Brassbounder by David W. Bone
Round the Horn Before the Mast by A. Basil Lubbock
I've read two of Villiers books so far: 1952 edition The Way of the Ship (For some reason I can't recall, I think this edition is different from later editions.), and The War with Cape Horn. I have ordered two other of Villier's books recently.

I got started in this subject of books when I had read a book by Derrick Lundy on his great uncle's voyage around the Horn. This book was a good intro but does not add anything new that Villiers had not already said. Indeed I think Lundy took most of his info from Villiers. In it he mentioned the Barque Zinita as a death ship to its sailors (later I found out Villiers had said the same thing, years earlier). The Zinita raised my interest since this was the same ship my grandfather had apprenticed on. After much rummaging around I found his diaries, and sure enough they covered his apprenticeship years 1905 to 1908 on the Zinita. Yes there were deaths, a collision, and a mutiny, not to mention a terrible ordeal of going around the Horn in 1906/1907. After reading Villiers account of finding old logs in UK, I hired a researcher who did find the logs of the Zinita from this time period, he then photographed them for me. They do match the diaries. Numerous newspaper accounts from the time period concerning the Zinita(now on the net) also provide additional info. Just need to put it all together and add some filler to roundout the characters, nothing better than fact over fiction.

message 7: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 3 comments I've read Lubbock's "Round the Horn". That was my favorite of his many books. I've got "Brassbounder" and Lundy's "Way of a Ship" but haven't gotten to them yet. I am also very fond of Felix Riesenberg's "Under Sail."

Tracking down the information on your grandfather's ship sounds fascinating. Great to have that personal connection to a Cape Horn sailor. The winters of 1905 through 1907 must have been truly hellish.

In reading about the ship, British Isles, in 1905 what intrigues me is that at least one of the two writers, and probably both, threw in their share of fiction. The two accounts agree in all the major events but the names, characters and the sequences of events have be rearranged, I suspect to improve the story. Even "fact" can have its share of fiction thrown in.

message 8: by Peter (last edited Oct 25, 2010 07:36PM) (new)

Peter Roach (clipper24) | 5 comments Lubbock's book was my favorite as well, Interestingly the 1st Mate in that book was in the future my grandfathers Captain.

Another book I had read was Square Rigger Days by Domville Fife. It is a recent book, but very well done, a series of shorter stories from sailors in the past.

If you are interested I can send a section of the diaries of getting around the Horn?

message 9: by Rick (new)

Rick Spilman | 3 comments Peter wrote: "If you are interested I can send a section of the diaries of getting around the Horn? "

Thanks, I'd love to see a copy. I'll send you my email.

message 10: by Bonsaiforlife (new)

Bonsaiforlife | 6 comments Mod
That must be great to have the diaries of your grandfather and read what he wrote about sailing back in the day, that alone would be very interesting, adding a passage around the Cape Horn would make it amazing.

message 11: by Jinx (new)

Jinx Schwartz (jinxschwartz) | 8 comments Winner: International EPPIE Award for Best Mystery is free at on July 14, and 15th.

Hetta Coffey is a woman with a yacht, and she's not afraid to use it.
She's a globe-trotting civil engineer with swath of failed multi-national affairs in her jet stream.

Plying the San Francisco waterfront, trolling for triceps, her attention is snagged by a parade of passing yachts--especially their predominantly male skippers--and experiences a champagne-induced epiphany: If she had a boat, she could get a man.

In spite of a spectacular ignorance of all things nautical, Hetta buys her dream boat, but shadowy stalker, an inconvenient body, and Hetta's own self-destructive foibles, give a whole new meaning to the phrase "sink or swim!"

message 12: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Fleck (gerardfleck) | 7 comments Hello, I joined the group because I love sea stories and I lean more toward contemporary tales such as the US Navy books by David Poyer (The Circle, The Med, The Gulf, etc.). I also enjoyed Sailor Twain, We The Drowned, The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, The Queen of the Flattops, Black Sea by Setlow, The Hunt for Red October, Sedulity and the classics by Conrad, Melville, London and Stevenson. I just read a shocking novel set aboard the USS Nimitz that was part mystery thriller and part love story and supernatural horror called Sailors Take Warning that I recommend. I also like the great nonfiction sea stories such as Kon Tiki, My Old Man and the Sea, The Hungry Ocean, Ship of Gold on the Deep Blue Sea and The Perfect Storm. So what recommendations do you have for me, shipmates?

message 13: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Fleck (gerardfleck) | 7 comments Wanted to clarify that their are several books out with the title Sailors Take Warning and the one I just read and recommend is by Malcolm Torres. It's a contemporary sea story with men and women set aboard the USS Nimitz who have been at sea for several months. It's not for those who want only brave captains and heroic fighter pilots, this book is somewhat scandalous toward the US Navy but it's a sea story (a yarn if you will) that sailors would tell and exaggerate among themselves. Not for the squeemish.

message 14: by George (new)

George Chittenden | 4 comments Hey Gerard,

Pleased to meet you. My name is George and I'm a novelist from England. I write what's best described as nautical crime fiction. The town where I was born and raised has a notorious past and was dominated by criminal gangs who smuggled contraband over the English Channel and avoided the dreaded tax. Anyway getting to the point if you would like a free digital copy of either of my novels then feel free to drop me an email. I have them in both Mobi files or as a PDF. The novels are 'The Boy Who Led Them' and 'The Boy Who Felt No Pain' if you would like to go on Amazon UK to read some reviews. My email is -

All the best


message 15: by Jinx (new)

Jinx Schwartz (jinxschwartz) | 8 comments New Release in a bestselling Sea Adventure series.
Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht and she's not afraid to use it!

After several months of cruising Mexico's hauntingly beautiful Sea of Cortez, Hetta's in Puerto Escondido, a place once described by author John Steinbeck as "a magic harbor." Anchored out, swaying on the hook at the whim of breeze and tide, surrounded by magnificent views and turquoise water can be magical. Stuck at anchor alone? Not so much.

So when her best friend, Jan, gets them an invite to a party at a nearby luxury resort hosted by a Japanese businessman—all expenses paid—Hetta figures, why not? Why turn down an evening of free food and booze? And besides, what could possibly go wrong?

With Hetta involved? Plenty.

Not only are she and Jan soon up to their necks in hot sake, a succession of unsavory intruders sends Hetta scurrying for a safe harbor, but not before she reaches the conclusion that some folks just need killin'.

message 16: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Fleck (gerardfleck) | 7 comments Shipmates, I really think it is very cool that you are writers and you like sea stories, but it is kind of a drag that I want to network with other readers who enjoy nautical literature, but I am seeing that this group seems to be a bit of a place where indie authors lay in wait to pounce on the random reader who stumbles in here and professes to like sea stories. Sorry if this sounds harsh. I don't mean it to be, just saying your tactics could be a bit more of the ... ah ... soft sell perhaps. In the long run your zealousness may be doing nautical lit a dis-service; it's possible that people who really do like this stuff could join and post here, but then be turned off by the self-promoting indie authors (sorry just putting the thought out there for consideration). I appreciate your love of this category of writing and will look at your sample chapters, but perhaps participate in the dialog a little more and dial back the marketing a bit. Peace.

message 17: by Jinx (new)

Jinx Schwartz (jinxschwartz) | 8 comments If you like sea stories, Wayne Stinnett has a series out that I enjoy. His books are ranking high in Sea Adventures on Amazon
Also, is there anyone in this group who is interested in the Republic of Texan Navy? I find it fascinating and have spent untold hours researching them.

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