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Books For the Holidays (Reviews by All At Sea)

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander prepares you with Everything About Anchors and Anchoring, written in his usual and unique wit.


Creative Anchoring: Everything About Anchoring by Cap’n Fatty Goodlander will change the way to think about one of the most basic maneuvers in boating. This ‘how to do’ book/manual is the most comprehensive one-subject tome we have ever read. Every technique, every hook combination, every anchor type, every chain, rope, line, cable and shackle is described in detail in Fatty’s no-nonsense style. There is so much information that you begin to wonder how one man could possibly acquire so much knowledge. Then you remember that the author has spent the last 53 years wandering the oceans of the world under sail. “Fatty makes anchoring painful, joyful and even sexy, but overall he leaves you with no excuses for not getting it right.” If you drag your hook after studying this book then there really is no hope for you.

Creative Anchoring is available in paperback or as an eBook from Amazon.



The Riddle of the Raven by Jan de Groot is a ghostly nautical tale perfect for a winter’s night tucked up safely in your bunk … but keep your eyes on those flickering shadows. De Groot claims that the events that took place aboard his 140ft gaff-rigged ketch Raven are true, and that crew who worked on the boat in various countries over the years can confirm that the vessel was haunted. After sailing aboard Raven, many a crew jumped ship and no amounts of money would entice them back. That weird things happened on Raven is beyond question but while reading the book I rode the waves of belief and disbelief in equal measure … until towards the end when it became truly frightening and I believed.  This is a fabulous story for all those who love tales about ships and the sea, and for those who are intrigued by the paranormal.

The Riddle of the Raven is published by Sono Nis Press, and is available in paperback or as an eBook from Amazon. 



Ben-the-Boat Sets Sail, written and illustrated by teacher and artist Rachel Barrett-Trangmar is a delightful book of poetry for children aged four to eight. Great care has gone into this book, which describes in rhyme the voyages of Ben-the-Boat. Each poem is accompanied by a delicate watercolor painting. The text is in English and French, thus it is very educational and equally suitable for older children studying a foreign language. This is the first book in the series, three more, namely: ‘Ben-the-Boat in America’, ‘Ben-the-Boat in the Bahamas’ and ‘Ben-the-Boat in the Caribbean’, are set to follow.

Ben-the-Boat is available at various stores in St. Barth and St. Maarten or by mail from Rachel Barrett-Trangmar, email: [email protected]



Trade Winds Vagabond, a novel by Captain Mike Martel is a grand, if somewhat disturbing tale that plots the course of single-handed sailor Nathan Williams and the wooden boat he lovingly restored. This is more than an expertly crafted sea story, Martel is a philosopher and poet and there are passages here that you will want to read again and again. Caribbean cruisers will recognize many of the locations in the book and will have met similar characters along the way. Anyone contemplating sailing off alone in order to ‘find themselves’ should read Trade Winds Vagabond first. It may deter some prospective lone sailors but then again it might just hasten their departure. Principals and ideology, mysticism, romance, sex, love, loss and redemption … It’s all here in a book that starts out in light airs and skillfully tacks and jibes into full-on action.

Trade Winds Vagabond is published by Points East Publishing, and is available in paperback or as an eBook from Amazon.



Wanderings and Sojourns – On Tropical Islands and Sparkling Seas, Book 2 by Jim Scott. This deeply personal account of seagoing life on ships and boats large and small is presented in a series of short stories and wonderful poems about the sea. So moved was the reviewer by a number of the author’s poems that tears flowed. One in particular, the epic: Angus Donald and the Gale make this book a must for anyone who loves tales of the sea. A master of the written word, Scott’s anecdotes, humor, philosophy and insights come from a life well-traveled.  Much of what is written in Book 2 focuses on the writer’s wanderings around the Caribbean and that’s another reason to buy this fascinating book.

Wanderings and Sojourns, Book 2, is published by Friesen Press and is available in paperback or as an eBook from Amazon.



Caribbean Deep is the second thriller in the Caribbean series written by our Editorial Director Gary E. Brown. Infiltrating a ring of human traffickers, two men join a ship smuggling hundreds of migrants towards the US. Shadowed by the Coastguard, the smugglers prepare to throw their human cargo overboard. The infiltrators are there to stop them until law enforcement arrives, but one of the men is discovered and the other joins forces with the damned. Packed with explosive action and electrifying twists that will keep you on edge to the final page.

Caribbean Deep is available as an eBook from Amazon worldwide. Soon to be available in paperback. 

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