The Marine Quarterly, summer 2012 edition

The latest Marine Quarterly arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I must say that once again the ‘the thinking sailor’s sea journal’ does not disappoint.

In fact it’s full of interesting surprises. A 1912 account of a Cowes Week involving Meteor, the Kaiser’s huge racing schooner, reveals some comically dreadful seamanship from the skippers and crews.

It also provides a reminder that before 1914 relations between the German leader and important and rich British and American figures were sufficiently amicable that they were competing regularly. It will always be a mystery to me that the horrors of World War I that followed were allowed to take place – but I guess the scary answer is that once the world embarks on a particular track, the momentum can quickly become unstoppable. I’m sure we all hope today’s leaders are listening.

There’s a well researched piece on Scottish sea monsters, an article describing the history and joys of gig racing in the Scillies and Cornwall (I didn’t know that gigs were developed for racing as much as for the piloting trade); a description of the strengths and weaknesses of the Falkland Islands’ defences (I’m sure the Argentinians will examine this closely); and an explanation of the techniques used by amateur lobster fishermen.

Keep the numbers of lobsters you catch very small, and you don’t need a licence, it seems.

But the article that amazed me more than any other is a superb piece about the sailing events of the 1948 Olympics, which took place off Torquay. For those who know me well, the simple fact that I studied an article about a sporting event from beginning to end and declared myself rapt will be powerful evidence that this is worth reading.

Subscribe today, I say: www.marinequarterly.com .

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