Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

National Geo's Ultimate Travel Library

National Geographic's Traveler site has a great bibliography, The Ultimate Travel Library. The list is compiled from recommendations by "travelers"--writers, photographers, explorers, etc.--and that says to me that these books are recommended by people to whom not only the destination is important, but perhaps also the journey. Follow the geographic links on the left to the books lists--Australia and the Pacific lists some great maritime titles. Don't miss the "Continue" link at the bottom of the page--the lists go on and on by geographic area--some are long and some short--and it's a pleasure to meander through the titles. But if you're in a hurry, pay attention to the geographic navigation on the left--narrower selections appear under the larger headings.

Deep in the introduction, and mentioned in a small link on the left, is a link to a great article, Around the World in 80+ Books by George W. Stone, that includes titles which touch on places that can't be considered separate from their maritime connections, such as Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire, photographs and text by Tui De Roy (1998), and London: The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd (2000).

The best part of this collection, though, is the fact that they'd like your input and suggestions to keep the content fresh:

Did we omit your favorite travel book or praise a title you detest? Send your thoughts to We'll add books to our library on a regular basis, so keep checking back.

So send in your suggestions!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Forum on Plastiki and the America's Cup

Once again, KQED's Forum has aired programs of interest to the maritime community: from 10:00 to 10:30 today, they discussed the Plastiki expedition with David de Rothschild, creator of Plastiki & founder of Adventure Ecology, Jo Royle, skipper of the Plastiki, and Matthew Grey, project director for Adventure Ecology.

Then the next half hour was a program on the America's Cup, with James Spithill, skipper for BMW Oracle Racing, Jim Doyle, freelancer and former staff writer for The San Francisco Chronicle, and Rob Grant, racing editor of Latitude 38. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of why the Bay may not be suitable as the next race course!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Forum on the Farallons

KQED's Forum aired an excellent program on the Farallon Islands today. Michael Krasny asked questions of the guests that elicited wonderful stories as well as clearly explained science. The guests, Gerry McChesney (Farallon National Wildlife Refuge), Maria Brown (Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary), and Russ Bradley (PRBO Conservation Science), also responded to questions and comments from the audience--a very interested audience that also shared their memories of the islands.

During the show they aired sounds of rare birds and animals from one of the richest areas of marine life in the world, while addressing the human history of the islands, too. And they didn't forget to mention the ghosts.

Audio of the show is available as an .mp3 file (about an hour long), and it makes for great listening.

Image of the lighthouse on the Farallon Islands from San Francisco Maritime's Park Fun for kids

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tales of the Seven Seas

Dennis Powers writes to tell us about his new book, being published by Taylor Trade in March, Tales of the Seven Seas. This book will be about Captain "Dynamite" Johnny O'Brien, called the prototype for Jack London's "Sea Wolf," and should make for some exciting reading! More information should be appearing on Powers' website,, soon.

Image, "Buster Keaton with Captain 'Dynamite Johnny' O'Brien aboard the SS Buford, 1924," Courtesy of Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, see their Digital Collections site for more information.