A Scottish Blockade Runner in the American Civil WarA Scottish Blockade Runner in the American Civil War
Joannes Wyllie of the steamer Ad-Vance
by John F. Messner

Born in 1828 near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Wyllie went to sea as an apprentice seaman in 1852 and quickly rose through the ranks.  By 1862 he had gained his masters certificate in Liverpool, and there he took command of his first vessel, the Bonita. He sailed for Nassau, then a booming po... more...
Across the PondAcross the Pond
by Malcolm  Archibald

An introduction to the nautical history of the North Atlantic - a seaman's view of the Atlantic crossing. For centuries the Atlantic hemmed Europe behind its storms and mysterious breadth. This was the Ocean Sea that extended to nowhere, or to the end of the world. Although there were legends... more...
Always at SeaAlways at Sea
by Mary Wardle

Written from her father's diaries, Always at Sea recounts the exploits of William Donald who went to sea as a boy in 1912 and stayed in the Merchant Navy for almost fifty years! Over the years he proved himself a very able and entirely reliable mariner - in fact he made an outstanding master.... more...
Argonauts of the Western IslesArgonauts of the Western Isles
by Robin Lloyd-Jones

The west coast of Scotland casts a spell on anyone with a taste for adventure, a feeling for the past or a love of the wild, uninhabited places. With tidal currents of awesome power running between fascinating patterns of islands, it is a challenging place for any type of small craft. Robin Lloyd... more...
Ate the Dog YesterdayAte the Dog Yesterday
Maritime casualties, calamities and catastrophes
by Graham Faiella

The constant dangers that deep-sea sailing ships and sailors of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries faced were numerous and this book recounts the true-life dramas of their perils and misfortunes – the battles that they waged, and all too often lost – against the hazards of th... more...
Beyond the Harbour LightsBeyond the Harbour Lights
by Chris Mills

True stories of excitement and adventure from the time when ocean steamers plied their trade to the far-flung corners of the globe. British ships were once to be found in every corner of the world with harbours offering a safe haven to ocean-weary ships. In the majority of cases these voyages fro... more...
BP Shipping Pictorial BP Shipping Pictorial
The Golden Years 1945–1975
by Ray Solly

This is an in-depth appraisal of the 30-year post Second World War period that covered significant changes in the history of British Petroleum Shipping. These major changes were vital to the development of the company’s fleet from modest 12,000 summer deadweight tonnage vessels to the Very Lar... more...
British Piers and Pier RailwaysBritish Piers and Pier Railways
by Anthony Poulton-Smith

The British have always had a special affinity for their coastal resorts and piers are the epitome of the British seaside. This book takes the reader on a clockwise tour of our islands, stopping at every pier and walking through their histories. Yet this is not just a tour of the pier, for it is not... more...
Bustler Class Rescue TugsBustler Class Rescue Tugs
In War & Peace
by R. O. Neish

This new book reveals the part played by the eight Bustler Class Rescue Tugs built at the Henry Robb Shipyard during the Second World War and will shed more light on the almost-forgotten part played by this country’s mariners. The men and women who were rescued under the most trying of times a... more...
But No Brass FunnelBut No Brass Funnel
by J. Douglas Stewart

Record of a varied career at sea over several decades - from Merchant Navy cadet to tanker captain. A boyhood visit to the battleship HMS Nelson left the author with the ambition to be a midshipman in the Royal Navy and to be in charge of a steam picket-boat with a brass funnel. The author r... more...
c/o Cunard Housec/o Cunard House
88 Leadenhall Street, London EC3
by Bill Ferguson

This is an unusual maritime story in that the author looks at life from the lower echelons of a merchant ship’s company and the relationship between officers and crew, deck department and the catering staff, recounting his life and experiences with people and places in Australia, New Zealand a... more...
Chasing ConradChasing Conrad
A tale of the sea and a glimpse into the abyss
by Simon J.  Hall

Simon Hall’s second book is set in the mid-1970s during the closing years of the golden age of British shipping, when cargo carriage at sea saw radical change and the romance of being at sea in old-style cargo ships came to an end. Hall’s account is of five years during which he worked a... more...
Chronometer JackChronometer Jack
The Autobiography of the shipmaster, John Miller of Edinburgh (1802-1883)
by Ann NixMichael NixRobin Craig

From a chance acquisition of a battered leather-bound notebook, an extensive and extremely well-written narrative was revealed which recounted the life of a midshipman in the East India Company, through to the time when he owned his own vessels and settled in Tasmania. Chronometer Jack is an outs... more...
Dictionary of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships from 1905Dictionary of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships from 1905
by Thomas A. Adams, MBE

Royal Fleet Auxiliaries are distinctive in the maritime world civilian-crewed Merchant Navy ships owned by the Crown working under naval orders. This Dictionary showcases both the famous and the often overlooked ships that have supported the Royal Navy during its prominence in the twentieth century.... more...
Diving for TreasureDiving for Treasure
Discovering history in the depths
by Vic VerlindenStefan Panis

This book recounts the efforts over many years to dive wrecks that contained treasure in one form or another. The often prolonged and sometimes dangerous expeditions tell of dives to many ships that were wrecked while carrying tons of gold or other valuables. Many of the wrecks came to lie at great ... more...
Doctor in the NavyDoctor in the Navy
by Bill Yule

'Small ships abroad, please' National Service, Britain's name for conscription, existed between 1945 and 1963. In that time, two and a half million men were required to serve for two years with the armed forces. For some, it was a miserable penance. For the majority, it was just somet... more...
Escape to the SeaEscape to the Sea
by Mike Starke

Written by Tom 'Jack' Sullivan Green, AB of Bristol in the 1920s, Escape to the Sea is an inspiring, first-hand account of survival against the odds of an orphan boy in early Victorian England. Recounted in a fluent style and peppered with dialogue, this gripping tale of a seaman's li... more...
Fallen Pieces of the MoonFallen Pieces of the Moon
by Robin Lloyd-Jones

A kayak trip in Greenland's Nuuk fjords through an area of amazing beauty Turreted fairytale peaks, glistening snowfields, waterfalls plunging over immense cliffs into the sea, a million tons of ice capsizing - this is the setting for Fallen Pieces of the Moon, an account of a kayak trip alon... more...
Golden StripesGolden Stripes
Leadership on the High Seas
by Captain VS Parani

Although merchant ships carry 90% of the world’s trade, the mariners who run them have little guidance on leadership. This can result in disasters such as the Titanic, Costa Concordia, the Exxon Valdez, and the recent El Faro. With modern ships being worth several million dollars, seafarers ne... more...
Halcyon in the HebridesHalcyon in the Hebrides
by Bob Orrell

To celebrate 60 years of sailing Scottish waters, the author single-handedly sailed Halcyon, a 32ft wooden yawl, from Fairlie on the Clyde, round the Mull of Kintyre by way of numerous inner islands to Barra in the Outer Hebrides and to the Atlantic side of the islands, not often visited by cruising... more...
The Life and Times of Captain John Isbester from Shetland
by Captain Jack Isbester

Hard Down! Hard Down! describes the eventful life of a Shetland man in pursuit of his ambitions – to reach the top in his profession, to find a wife, to cherish a family, to do his job well and to be respected by his peers. The account is enlivened by extracts from numerous well-chosen family ... more...
Henry Robb Ltd. (1945-1965)Henry Robb Ltd. (1945-1965)
Leith Built Ships, Vol. III
by R. O. Neish

The story of Leith–built ships continues in this third volume from just after the conclusion of World War Two to 1965. However, the world was different; the men came back from the front and those women who had been working in the shipyards lost their jobs. All shipyards were experiencing fu... more...
In the Treacle MineIn the Treacle Mine
The Life of a Marine Engineer
by J W Richardson

If anyone has ever wondered what happens in the engine room when the Captain on the bridge rings ‘Full Ahead’ on the telegraph, then this book will enlighten the reader. This is a story of one man’s life at sea, from his beginnings as a lowly cadet to his qualification as a Chief E... more...
It Was Fun While It LastedIt Was Fun While It Lasted
by A. J.  Lane

A lively, at times hilarious, first-hand account of a lighthouse keeper's life in the last traditional years before the introduction of helicopter reliefs and automation. Arthur Lane entered the Service in 1953 as a fugitive from the Birmingham branch of a large insurance company, who seem to... more...
Kirkcudbright's Prince of DenmarkKirkcudbright's Prince of Denmark
and her voyages in the South Seas
by David R.  Collin

This is the story of the unusually long and interesting career of a small Scottish schooner spent primarily in the southern hemisphere. From the quest to trace her history and construction to the careers of those who owned and sailed in her during her 74-year life, the story is full of vividly-portr... more...
Last Voyage to WewakLast Voyage to Wewak
A tale of the Sea, West Africa to South Pacific
by Simon J.  Hall

This is a thought-provoking work, capturing the march of time which overtook the maritime world in the last quarter of the 20th century. The final crumbling of the British register caused officers like Hall to find themselves in a strange new world, sailing under flags of convenience with all the ol... more...
Leith Shipyards 1918-1939Leith Shipyards 1918-1939
Leith Built Ships, Vol. II
by R. O. Neish

This volume includes some very famous ships with tales of adventure and new trade routes, also sadness, the launch and then the loss of the largest sailing ship ever built in a British shipyard – the five-masted auxiliary sailing barque, Kobenhavn. It recounts the days when shipbuilding should... more...
Mariner's LaunchMariner's Launch
by Ray Solly

This story chronicles the growth of a youth, from naïve 16-year-old to a mature young man, capable eventually of accepting the grave responsibilities entrusted to a watch-keeping officer on the bridge of an ocean-going ship. The reader follows his voyage escapades and sees him ambushed by pitfa... more...
Mariner's RestMariner's Rest
by Ray Solly

This is the well-written account of Jonathan Carridia’s final years at sea as a senior second and chief officer. He chronicles the events that led him to leave the sea before being confirmed in a period of temporary command and relates the gruelling interview processes before being accepted as... more...
Mariner's VoyageMariner's Voyage
by Ray Solly

Extract from Foreword by John F. Millican, Director, Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton, UK ..Dr. Solly has very cleverly woven together a social history of seafaring in the post-war years... discover just how well the author ... has captured the experience of being at sea. ...a wonderful... more...
No Port in a StormNo Port in a Storm
by Bob MacAlindin

The ships of this book evoke none of the usual romantic images of ships and yet may be the noblest of all. Invariably painted a gaudy red, no other ships spent more time at sea yet sailed fewer miles, their crews compelled to scan the same water and stretch of coastline for the bulk of their work... more...
Nothing over the SideNothing over the Side
Examining Safe Crude Oil Tankers
by Ray Solly

This is the first recent book to lift the lid off the crude oil tanker industry and to demonstrate that, contrary to general opinion, crude oil tankers are the safest and most regulated business/industry in the world. As an ex-supertanker navigating and deck officer, the author saw for himself du... more...
Oriental EndeavourOriental Endeavour
by Dave Creamer

As a sequel to the successful Rats, Rust and Two Old Ladies, the story of Oriental Endeavour begins when the author delivers a tugboat from Avonmouth to Buchanan in war-torn Liberia. Four years later, he is asked to command one of two tugboats for delivery from West Africa to Singapore and, despite ... more...
Palm Oil and Small ChopPalm Oil and Small Chop
by John Goble

Palm oil is the quintessence of West Africa – it is complex, an acquired taste and reckoned to be rather unhealthy. Small chop is the addition of ingredients that make it palatable for European taste. From the unique perspective of working aboard merchant ships trading to the area, the author ... more...
Polar MarinerPolar Mariner
Beyond the Limits in Antarctica
by Captain Tom Woodfield

Captain Woodfield made 20 seasonal voyages to the Antarctic on three research ships between 1955 and 1974. Starting as a Junior Deck Officer he worked for The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey which in 1964 became the British Antarctic Survey. He played a paramount role in the gradual change from... more...
Pulling TogetherPulling Together
The Making of a Global Maritime Trade Union
by Andrew Linington

Ship masters and officers may not seem like pioneers of trade unionism. However, this history of their unique union, Nautilus International, shows how they have been pitched into the forefront of a long struggle for decent jobs, fair pay and conditions, employment rights, and health and safety &ndas... more...
Rats, Rust and Two Old LadiesRats, Rust and Two Old Ladies
by Dave Creamer

Delivering two 38-year-old Mississippi river tugboats halfway around the world from Bahrain to Trinidad would not be every ship master's dream employment. However, for Captain David Creamer, the seven-week voyage of the Justine and Martha was not only unique, but a memorable experience he was un... more...
Recollections of an Unsuccessful SeamanRecollections of an Unsuccessful Seaman
by Dave Creamer

Born in 1887, George Leonard Noake joined the nautical training establishment, HMS Conway, in 1903. He then served an apprenticeship at sea until 1908 when his detailed memoirs commence, sailing as a second officer in the European/West African trade. After going ashore to work on a farm between 1913... more...
Robb Caledon (Leith Division) 1965–1984Robb Caledon (Leith Division) 1965–1984
Leith-Built Ships, Vol. 4
by R. O. Neish

Volume 4 of the acclaimed Leith-built Ships series follows Ship Nos 495 to 535 built from 1965 until the eventual closure of the shipyard in 1984 by a government that was hell-bent on destroying British industry and breaking the powerful unions. Great ships such as Lloydsman Ship no 509 and SA Wo... more...
'Rosy' Wemyss, Admiral of the Fleet'Rosy' Wemyss, Admiral of the Fleet
The Man who Created Armistice Day
by John Johnson-Allen

Rosslyn Wemyss’ life and career was both fascinating and brilliant – a most distinguished admiral who is very little known.  As the Allied Naval Representative at the Armistice negotiations on 11th November, 1918, he left an indelible mark on the life of this country when he was res... more...
Salt HorseSalt Horse
Memoir of a Maverick Admiral, Claude Lionel Cumberlege
by Robin Knight

Written originally in 1936–38 by Admiral Cumberlege as a record of his life, Salt Horse was never published. The original manuscript has been expertly edited and made readable in terms of language to a modern audience.  It now comprises chapters on Cumberlege’s naval career in the R... more...
School of the SeaSchool of the Sea
by Stephen Richardson is precisely the sort of record that is immensely important for enhancing our understanding of human affairs. ...The diary that has become a book reveals the light and shade of daily life, punctuated by terrifying moments. This was the real stuff of the war at sea and it has been tellingly cap... more...
Sea Like a MirrorSea Like a Mirror
by Alan  Jones

Living with the sea evokes a need to write about it, whether in poems, songs or prose. This book records a life spent upon the sea, from junior cadet to captain, and some of the reflections which at lonely times in the ocean's vastness seemed to have sprung from its depth. At first attracted ... more...
Ships’ FigureheadsShips’ Figureheads
Famous Carving Families
by Andrew Peters

Over centuries past, powerful nations and empires have expressed their might and control in part through the strength of their navies and their industrial and commercial prowess through fleets of vessels whether powered by sail or later steam. The desire to add ornamentation to even the most utilita... more...
Shipwrecks of the Dover StraitsShipwrecks of the Dover Straits
by Stefan Panis

The Dover Straits is the resting place for many wrecks and this book reveals the stories behind a selection of these unfortunate vessels. This highly pictorial account shows the wrecks and the numerous artefacts found. The gallery of photographs for each wreck is accompanied by a brief summary of th... more...
That Curious FellowThat Curious Fellow
Captain Basil Hall, RN
by James McCarthy

Son of a scientifically-minded Scottish aristocrat, Basil Hall joined the Royal Navy at the age of 13 in 1802. His first naval engagements in America and Spain during the Peninsular War are described, as are his travels in India and the Far East. His renowned interview with Napoleon, while still a p... more...
The ArcticThe Arctic
by Richard  SalePer Michelsen

This stunningly beautiful and informative book celebrates the Arctic, one of the last great wildernesses on the planet; a place where animals have survived for thousands of years protected only by fur and feathers. Humans also survive in the Arctic, but only those who have adjusted to the climate ov... more...
The Baltic CauldronThe Baltic Cauldron
Two Navies and the Fight for Freedom
by Michael EllisGustaf  von HofstenDerek Law

The Baltic Cauldron commemorates several centuries of Anglo-Swedish relations, which, after events in Eastern Europe in 2022, have acquired a new resonance as a record of the struggle for survival and independence of nations bordering the Baltic. This is a history of navies in the Baltic Sea and its... more...
The British Beach GuideThe British Beach Guide
Collected Perspectives from around the Coast
by Ian Brighouse

From all around the coast, from the remote wildness of Cullykhan in Aberdeenshire to the bustling working harbour at St Ives in Cornwall, from the vast empty sands of North Norfolk to Anthony Gormley’s iron men at Crosby beach on Merseyside, the author has asked individuals what the beach mean... more...
The Enigmatic SailorThe Enigmatic Sailor
by Alan Peacock

An essential further dimension to the ENIGMA story of code breaking. The part played by code-cracking in World War II has at last been dramatically revealed in a popular film and also inspired several accounts by code-crackers and countless broadcasts. Much less well-known is how code-cracking... more...
The Fabulous FlotillaThe Fabulous Flotilla
Scotland’s Adventure on the Rivers of Burma
by Paul Strachan

The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, known in colonial Burma as the ‘Fabulous Flotilla’, was the largest privately-owned fleet of ships in the world. It was an entirely Scottish enterprise with nearly all its investors, management and ship’s officers drawn from Scotland.  Over 1,20... more...
The Magnetism of AntarcticaThe Magnetism of Antarctica
The Ross Expedition 1839-1843
by John Knight

This under-documented expedition was a pivotal moment in the annals of polar exploration and was the starting point, in historical terms, of revealing the great unknown continent of Antarctica. It was the first time in nearly 70 years since Captain James Cook had circumnavigated Antarctica, that a R... more...
The Mariner's TrilogyThe Mariner's Trilogy
by Ray Solly

* SPECIAL OFFER - buy the trilogy for the special price of £34.95 (print edition)* In the Ray Solly trilogy, Mariner’s Launch, Mariner’s Voyage and Mariner’s Rest, the author brings alive a lifestyle which epitomised excitement and adventure during the ‘golden age&rs... more...
The Tanker HandbookThe Tanker Handbook
by Ashok Mulloth

‘This textbook on tanker operations has been written to provide the knowledge and skills required to improve work safety, and enhance a seafarer’s awareness of their social responsibility to the marine environment in easy-to-read text. It covers all the aspects of tanker operations with ... more...
The Victorian Naval BrigadesThe Victorian Naval Brigades
by Arthur Bleby

There is a view that, in Victorian times, whilst the Army was engaged in a series of wars, the Navy enjoyed a peaceful existence - however, this was not the case. Complemented by authentic engravings, this book relates in fascinating detail the significant role that was played by the Naval Brigades ... more...
They Once Were ShipbuildersThey Once Were Shipbuilders
Leith-Built Ships, Vol. I
by R. O. Neish

Leith-Built Ships is a testimony to the skill of the men who built the ships and to the many men and women who may have sailed or served on them. This history is brought together in vol. I of a three-volume series about the almost-forgotten part that Leith played in our great maritime heritage and i... more...
They Were Just SkullsThey Were Just Skulls
The Naval Career of Fred Henley, Last Survivor of HM Submarine Truculent
by John Johnson-Allen

This compelling story is the result of many hours spent recording the memories of Fred Henley. His life at sea is at the centre of his being and his own words are at the heart of the book. At the age of 14 Fred worked on a Thames sailing barge, then after his training at HMS Ganges, he joined his fi... more...
Under a Yellow SkyUnder a Yellow Sky
A tale of the sea and coming of age
by Simon J.  Hall

Simon Hall went to sea in search of a way of life that he believed was glamorous, adventurous and disciplined, a life where smartly-uniformed men ran ships in a tightly organised manner. At this time the British fleet was still one of the largest in the world and the Red Ensign a common sight in mos... more...
Underwater PotholerUnderwater Potholer
A Cave Diver's Memoirs
by Duncan Price

Duncan’s curiosity has got him into a lot of tight spots – quite literally!  As a teenager, Duncan really wanted to be an astronaut but took to the exploration of inner space instead.  Only a dozen men might have stood on the moon but Duncan has squeezed into many places that n... more...
Walking over the WavesWalking over the Waves
by Chris Foote Wood

In 2007, author and broadcaster Chris Foote Wood achieved a lifelong ambition - to visit every seaside pier in England, Wales and the Isle of Man - all 56 of them! This odyssey, plus copious research, has provided the raw material for Walking over the Waves. In words and pictures, Chris describes... more...
Wreck, Rescue and SalvageWreck, Rescue and Salvage
by Captain Dick  Jolly

After joining the Australian Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen, Dick Jolly trained as an engineer before joining the Australian National Line as a cadet. After a four-year apprenticeship, he gradually gained promotion while travelling around the Australian coast. Fascinated by the world of commerc... more...

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