The Marine Quarterly summer 2012

The summer issue of novelist Sam Llewellyn’s charming, informative and plain entertaining The Marine Quarterly is due out any day.

It think it’s well worth a sub. We greatly enjoyed the last two issues and excitement is rising at the prospect of a new one.

If you haven’t seen it, you should know that it’s a 112-page compendium of what Sam calls ‘intelligent sea reading’ in a pocket sized format, printed on hefty, creamy paper and illustrated with charts, woodcuts and line drawings.

Here’s a sample paragraph snatched from the last issue and written by a chap called Ernest Gann, who was at the time in the throes of realising his dream of owning and sailing a square rigger. I like the colour in the writing, but its candour is even better:

‘To gain experience in a square rig of any size you must either be a foreign cadet, or serve in the US Coast Guard’s Eagle. So I had to depend heavily on Holcomb, who caressed his dolphin-striker jaw and allowed as how there were enough menaces to navigation in the Bay without turning me loose in a rig which at least looked complicated. To serve as crew I had assembled a heterogeneous group of people who believed that as I had managed to captain the Albatross all the way from Rotterdam without calamity, certainly an afternoon in the Bay should be a lark. I did not bother telling them how little I knew during a sort of rehearsal just before leaving the dock. It was easier demonstrating what I did know. I lectured slowly and with many repetitions, since I was aware that as soon as my supply of book learning was exhausted we would be obliged to sail.’


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