What’s In a Book?


After all the many years of working for West Marine, I have seen and sold so many electronic pieces of equipment that only a short time ago could be found in a book: tide tables, weather books, navigation books, how to books, cruising guides, and of course the wonderful stories of other sailors and cruising folk who paved the way for our adventures!

I used to gauge a person aboard a boat by the books I saw on the shelves above the settees, stowed near the chart table, and on the bunks where they were being read.  If the boat had aboard what I, Pam Wall, thought was a good nautical library I could tell I would like the new acquaintentances immediately!  Talk about telling a book by its cover, I judged a person by the books I saw aboard their boats.

We kept a very detailed log book, all the seamanlike entries when underway crossing an estuary or an ocean.  The log book also became a diary filled with our impressions, our challenges, our joys, and all that encompassed our nomadic family lives.

These log books have become my saviors.  When alone and remembering the wonderful times I have had with my small family and the sailing we have done, I am able to sit in a comfortable chair, or on KANDARIK’S settee, and read my log books that were written so many years ago.  It is so wonderful as these meandering diaries remind me of so much that I have completely forgotten, and it is like having an old friend put his hand on my shoulder and say to me, “Remember how lucky you were to have such a fantastic experience while sailing!”  Somehow the log book reflects my soul, and I carry on in complete enjoyment of experiencing all our lives aboard once again.

All this would just not be the same on a laptop screen or Ipad.  As toad said in Wind in the Willows “there is nothing better than messing around in a boat”, so I say “there is nothing better than curling up with a good book, to feel, to smell, to touch, to caress, and to remember” or to learn or to just have the pleasure of reading!

May your main saloons continue to have the many precious books aboard your boat that will give so much more meaning to you than a screen!