Armchair boating...with books and movies

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We have to keep our spirits up until we can get out boating again.

I found several nautical books that will keep the spray in our faces. Written last year is Dark Waters, a thriller by JB Turner. Nautical crime novels add a bit of mystery on the dark nights. If you prefer a true story that is still an adventure, try Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic, by Alfred Lansing. Read it while the cold winds are blowing to add some atmosphere. If you want a location closer to home, try the latest book by Steven Park, The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee. That one is a story that took place right in our area. It is coming out in the U.S. in November of this year, and in Britain next year. For a little later history try Erik Larson’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.If you enjoy some swashbuckling tales, Benerson Little just published his The Golden Age of Piracy, which you can get in hardcover or Kindle. He exposes many myths of piracy, but the book is exciting and proves truth is stranger than fiction.  Whether or not you are a sailor, one of the funniest books I have read is Innocents at Sea, the true adventures of a husband and wife who are beginning sailors with their first boat. It is available on Amazon and a really good read.

If you want to watch some good nautical movies you may have missed, invite some boating friends over. Throw a winter boating party with hot cider and a Crockpot of winter fare. This time the captain can drink because for once he is not driving the boat. Remember your guests will be driving home, though, and plan accordingly. While everyone is eating, put on a great nautical movie and sail away. See if you could manage better than Robert Redford in his disastrous solo sailing voyage in the 2013 survival at sea movie All Is Lost.

Laugh at the antics from the old movie Captain Ron. Watch The Finest Hours and enjoy the exciting true story of an incredible Coast Guard rescue that will keep your heart racing. Or see Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in The Guardian for daring rescues and grueling training. If your kids think all teens live with their faces in their phones and iPods, show them Maiden Trip, a 2013 movie about a 14-year-old Dutch girl who sets out on a two-year voyage alone on a sailboat. Is there anyone who hasn’t seen Master and Commander? In this 2003 adventure, Russell Crowe gives his finest performance as the unconventional captain of a British warship.

Lots of boating-related things to do to chase away the cold weather blues.

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