From the Marco Polo to the #CuttySark, this beautiful new book captures the clipper ship era.

The Most Dramatic Era in the History of Sail, Brought Vividly to Life

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In the era of commercial sail, clipper ships were the ultimate expression of speed and grace. Racing out to the gold fields of America and Australia, and breaking speed records carrying tea back from China, the ships combined beauty with breathtaking performance.

From mutinies, rivalries and the Cutty Sark’s longest voyage via the inspirational story of Captain Mary Patten and her battle with Cape Horn, Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail brings this unique era vividly back to life, recounting thrilling descriptions of the most dramatic races, beautifully illustrated with the finest paintings and illustrations.

First-hand accounts, newspaper reports and log entries add exciting eyewitness detail, while the exquisite images bring home the sheer elegance of these racehorses of the sea.

Read a few sample pages from this beautiful celebration of these racehorses of the sea.

Discover how Emma Bamford went to sea and came back an author

A book about sailing, written at sea by Emma Bamford

All too often, when you are sailing, the wind and tide seem to be against you. At first, it seemed that way with my writing.

Shortly before I left my job at the Independent newspaper to go sailing, in the summer of 2010, a colleague suggested there might be a book idea in my upcoming trip and put me in touch with an agent.

I’d always loved books, and even tried writing a novel and a book about dating in London but was rejected by publishers and agents for both.

The agent, it emerged, wanted an update of Lucy Irvine’s raunchy Castaway. ‘Not likely,’ I thought, but I saved his email address anyway, in case I came up with a better idea.

After that, having adventures – sailing into the heart of the Borneo jungle, anchoring amid beautiful coral gardens, crossing oceans and visiting remote islands peopled only by hunter-gatherer tribesmen – absorbed me so completely that writing a book was furthest from my mind.

Fast-forward a couple of years and you’ll find me finally starting to write, stretched out in the cockpit of a sailing yacht anchored in Malaysia. Each morning, before it got too hot, I dug out my diaries and expanded on them, amazed at how easily the words flowed.

Perhaps they flowed too easily because the agent hated the 10,000 words I sent him, saying I’d ‘never get a publisher interested’.

Luckily, he was wrong. ‘Send me everything you’ve got,’ said Adlard Coles’s commissioning editor, Liz Multon. I did – and she turned me down, but kindly offered to read my manuscript again if I felt like re-writing it.

When I got her email I was living in a marina in St Petersburg, Florida, waiting for a new engine to be fitted to a 40ft Choate I was helping to deliver from Texas to St Lucia. I had time to kill, so I parked myself in the Captain’s Lounge, pencil in hand, and re-did the whole thing. Six months later I got an email from Liz saying Adlard Coles would be publishing Casting Off.

It’s been a whirlwind but now my beautiful paperback is here and I am officially an author – with my own website, Facebook page, Twitter account and appearances at literary events.

Proof that perseverance in whatever you do – whether it’s following a dream or simply tacking your way into a headwind – works. Keep at it, and you’ll get there.

 

Our guest blogger today is Emma Bamford, author of Casting Off. Read a few pages from her fantastic new book.

Casting Off

Order your copy today! 

 

 

Real Food for Hungry Sailors

For anyone with a tiny galley kitchen and an appetite for fresh, gorgeous food, there’s good news: no more bland cooking.

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These fabulous and easy recipes, all made with minimum fuss and maximum flavour, will allow you to spoil yourself in harbour, keep things simple at sea, and make delicious meals and snacks in advance – not to mention rustle up a mean rum punch. And with its handy ideas on setting up the galley, a lazy guide to filleting mackerel and tips for hosting the perfect beach barbecue, The Boat Cookbook is the must-have guide for sailors and seaside-lovers alike.

Fiona Sims shares her own tried-and-tested onboard classics, along with recipe contributions from top chefs including Chris Galvin and Angela Hartnett, as well as from sailing legends such as Sir Robin Knox-Johnson and Dee Caffari.

Inspired by the sea and happy times on the water, The Boat Cookbook promises fresh, mouthwatering galley grub that can be prepared almost as quickly as it will be devoured by your eager crew.

With or without a boat, Fiona’s book is a delicious treat‘ Michel Roux Jr

Sample a few recipes from this fantastic book.

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The Boat Cookbook
Buy your copy today

Win £100 worth of Books in our Name Our Book Competition

For the first time ever here at Adlard Coles Nautical we are letting you the readers pick the title of a forthcoming book by author Justin Tyers. This is a sequel to his fantastic book Phoenix from the Ashes.

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To pick your favourite title, simply visit the Adlard Coles Nautical Facebook page and select the like button on the title of your choice. The title with the most likes will be the winner.

All entries will be placed in a free prize draw and a winner will be selected at random, for the chance to win £100 worth of Adlard Coles Nautical books.

Competition ends 28th February 2014

*Please note that these are not the final images for the book cover.

Take a Look Inside Our Beautiful 2014 Adlard Coles Nautical Catalogue

Welcome to the Adlard Coles Nautical catalogue for 2014. We are delighted to present our wide range of books from across the Adlard Coles Nautical range. Whatever you need, from knot books to Almanacs, cruising guides to stunning photographic books, you can find them all at Adlard Coles Nautical.

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For a hard copy of our catalogue email adlardcoles@bloomsbury.com

Bailey Boat Cat lands a book deal!

We at Adlard Coles Nautical have some VERY exciting news to share… about one VERY special little boat cat…

Bailey Boat Cat is already making waves across the global blogosphere, thanks to his devilish good looks, feline philosophies of life aboard and, above all, his impossibly stylish little cat lifejacket.

And we are delighted to announce he has now given his official paw of approval to the contract for his very first book deal…

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Bailey practises his pawtograph

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After all that exertion, Bailey treats himself to a little rest

We can safely say that Bailey is the furriest, whiskeriest Adlard Coles author to date! And possibly the most photogenic – no offence to any of our other winsome writers, of course…

Fans of Bailey will have to wait until April 2014 to get their paws on a copy of his book – but watch this space for more tantalising tidbits to come!

And, until then, here’s a sneak preview of the cover… MIAOW!

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Editors let loose on Southampton Water

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No one on the water was safe on Friday as the Adlard Coles Editorial team enjoyed a Big Day Out, sailing aboard Director Janet’s yacht, Caprice.

Waved off by a triumvirate of swans from our pontoon in Shamrock Quay Marina, Southampton, we beat upwind, tacking, tacking, and tacking again, until we almost appeared to know what we were doing. The breeze was scarce and cruising was slow, but our wonderful hosts took advantage of the conditions to set us to work helming, trimming the sails and perfecting our bowlines – all to varying degrees of success. Near Calshott, we picked up a mooring buoy for lunch, before pottering back to the marina.

Jess, Jenny and Liz even braved the water for a quick dip post-lunch. With bellies full of sandwiches and cake we jumped in, and promptly regretted it as it dawned on us just how cold and salty seawater actually is. But who can resist a spot of wild swimming amongst friends…?

L–R: Jess, Janet, Kirsty, Jenny, Liz, Jonathan

L–R: Jess, Janet, Kirsty, Jenny, Liz and Jonathan

Reeds Almanac Editors – a jolly jamboree

The sun was shining on Friday as three generations of Reeds Almanac Editors gathered together to bid a fond farewell to Rob Buttress, editor of the Almanac for five years. Andy du Port, retired editor, Rob Buttress, retiring editor, Perrin Towler, current editor, and Mark Fishwick, incoming editor, were joined by Chris Stevens, the Almanac Manager, and Janet Murphy, the Almanac’s Publisher.

It’s a rare sight to see so many Reeds Editors together in one place. Normally occurring only annually to celebrate the publication of a new edition of the Almanac, the yachtsman’s bible, Rob’s retirement after five years of sterling service proved the perfect opportunity for another jolly jamboree. The group gathered at the appropriately named Jolly Sailor pub at the Hamble to bid Rob farewell and to welcome Mark into the Reeds family.

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Reeds Editors: like London buses – four come along at once. L-R: Chris, Perrin, Rob, Janet, Mark and Andy.

Henley Royal Regatta: a spectator’s view

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Henley-on-Thames

For the morning commuter, London Paddington station’s platform 14 might have seemed a rather peculiar place this week. Across the station, whiffs of an imminent occasion were evident: a hatted lady ordering a flat white at Delice de France; a dapper chap queuing to buy Bombay Sapphire in M&S. But it was on platform 14 that they convened, in a startling blaze of red chinos.

For me, Henley Royal Regatta is something of a family tradition. My stepsisters’ grandfather rowed in it for over 30 years and, ever since, the family has taken it upon themselves to attend. Not that there’s anything arduous about it. Pimm’s and picnics, promenades and Prosecco – this is undoubtedly a most civilised way to spend a day. Just so long, that is, as you can navigate the strict dress code – dresses below the knee, please, ladies (this is the Stewards’ Enclosure, darling!) and not too revealing; wedges to prevent grassy foundering – it’s all something of a minefield. If you’re me, that is.

That aside, let’s not forget the point of the whole thing. Rowing. The regatta has been held annually ever since 1839, barring the two world wars. Henley is the perfect location, being the Thames’ only straight stretch of water this long (a mile and a half, or thereabouts). Races set off every five minutes, so it’s hard to miss the crews sculling their way upriver, accompanied by a smattering of applause from deck-chair spectators on the banks.

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The competitors work somewhat harder than the spectators

The particulars of the sport may likewise pass me by (for shame), but it’s difficult not to be seduced by the occasion. The glittering River Thames and its immaculate, verdant banks; the sunshine, so maddeningly bashful; the inevitable spots of rain, subject of wry, good-natured smiles between strangers.

Stripes and cravats, flannel and old boys’ caps; flowery flocks and wide brimmed hats – we spectators form a fellowship of sorts, like that between football fans on match day or fancy-dress party guests. We may be cold, unfriendly Londoners on any other day of the year, but today, lubricated by familial chatter and gin, we might just offer the neighbouring car a Waitrose sausage roll or two. Might.

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Not a lady-knee in sight, thankfully

The regatta continues for four more days of hard-fought rowing. Me, I’m back in my scruffy jeans in central London, with my no-longer-banned mobile phone by my side – back to reality with a bump. But a day spent on England’s riverbanks, with family and (to quote Mr McEwan) the comfort of strangers – well, it’s a bit of a magical thing, somehow. And, as it turns out, we don’t scrub up too badly after all.

Read Adlard Coles Nautical’s books on the glorious River Thames – click the cover to buy.

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What shall we do today? Exploring the Thames Wilderness.

Guest post from Richard Mayon-White, co-author of Exploring the Thames Wilderness (with Wendy Yorke).

I wake up on a sunny morning and I want to be in the sunshine and by the river. My thoughts go straight to Exploring the Thames Wilderness, our new book detailing 150 nature reserves within one mile of the River Thames, all the way from its source to the sea. Where do I want to visit today? I am lucky to have several nature reserves within walking distance of my home in Oxford.

It has been fine and dry for a week, so there is no need for boots. Just sling my binoculars around my neck, put an apple in my pocket, pick up my camera and off I go. First place is an easy choice – the Trap Grounds Town Green (site 29, page 59 in the Thames Wilderness book) is within 200 yards of my house and is on my way to the Thames. The Trap Grounds site has been transformed in the last few years thanks to volunteers. Formerly a waste land, now it is a pretty mixture of woodland, reedbed, meadow and ponds making habitats for a variety of birds, bugs and plants.

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The way into Trap Grounds Town Green

On to Port Meadow (site 27, page 56) where the open space makes my spirits soar to join the larks singing overhead. I follow the Thames upstream to Godstow, for a chat with Sarah, the lock-keeper, to catch up with river news. Then to Kings Lock for a short break at the Visitor Centre. Should I cross the weir to look at Pixey Mead? (Site 23, page 54). I decide to continue to Eynsham Lock, so that I can do my River Warden duties, checking on the state of the river and Thames Path. All is well with very little litter to collect on my way. At Swinford Bridge and Meadows (site 19, pages 50 and 51) I am spoilt for choice: do I go for lunch at the Talbot Inn at Eynsham, or walk through Wytham Woods to the White Hart, or continue along the river to Pinkhill Lock? It is too early for lunch and I have not been to Pinkhill for several months, so let’s go there.

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Swinford Bridge near Eynsham

Pinkhill Meadow (site 18, page 49) has a bird hide overlooking a small lake. A few tufted ducks and coots are quarrelling amongst themselves, while a mallard dozes in the sunshine on the gravel island. Most active is a little egret fishing around the shallows, stirring the mud with its foot before striking down with its beak. I am reminded of food. After eating my apple, I walk around Farmoor Reservoir into the village for lunch and catch a bus back to Oxford.

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Pinkhill Meadow Lake

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Exploring the Thames Wilderness: A guide to the natural Thames is out now! Order your copy and start to discover the natural beauty of the River Thames.

Sample a few pages from Richard and Wendy’s new book.