Knox-Johnston on Sailing

Knox-Johnston on Sailing

by Robin Knox-Johnston

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Knox-Johnston on Sailing by Robin Knox-Johnston

One of Britain’s greatest living sailors shares a collection of distilled wisdom, acute observation and fascinating anecdotes. _x000D_This book is a collection of provoking, insightful and perceptive pieces of writing by Robin Knox-Johnston. His forthright and compelling views are based on a wealth of experience and expertise. The spotlight of his steely gaze falls upon the great ocean races and the brave men and women who compete in them. He considers the lessons of seamanship he learned over hundreds of thousands of miles at sea and he looks ahead, considering the future of sailing for racing and cruising yachtsmen. _x000D_This will entertain and inform in equal measure. A comprehensive index makes this a useful work of reference as well as a wonderful title which can be dipped into at leisure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119977889
Publisher: Fernhurst Books Limited
Publication date: 08/20/2010
Series: Sailing Wisdom , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 361 KB

About the Author

Robin Knox-Johnston rose to fame in 1969 when he became the first person to sail non-stop and solo around the world. In an illustrious sailing career he has also set records for the fastest circumnavigation and last raced solo round the world in 2007, aged 68. He was knighted in 1995.

Read an Excerpt

Every sailor thinks his own part of the world has the nastiest stretch of water. Robin thinks the Thames Estuary takes a lot of beating…

Have you noticed that wherever you sail in the world, with very few exceptions, the local yachtsmen will always tell you that they have the most dangerous sailing conditions anywhere on Earth?

My first introduction to this peculiarity came when sailing back from India a few decades ago. Before we left Bombay, we were warned about the dangers of the Indian Ocean. We miraculously survived the crossing to Muscat, to be told there that the coastline down to Aden was far more difficult. In Mombasa, the treacherous crossing of all these dangers was as nothing compared with the East African coast, and so on.

Wherever we arrived, people dismissed what we had been through, except, of course, the last day or two as we approached their area – where we had obviously been lucky.

We actually did believe them in East London when they told us about the Cape of Good Hope, but the Capetonians were much more in awe of the Skeleton Coast.

The people of Brest will tell you about the Chenal du Four, Australians about the Tasman, Hong Kong sailors about the China Sea.

Personally, I have always felt that the Thames Estuary takes some beating. An easterly gale on an ebb tide from Sea Reach onwards creates conditions which no one in their right mind would wish to experience in a small yacht.

However, I assumed that this was just my own prejudice until French sailor, Titouan Lamazou, told me that he was concerned at the possibility of bringing his 140ft sloop, drawing 6.5m, to London in 1993. He, like many other Frenchmen, found the estuary alarming, not because of the wind and waves, but on account of the banks and tides.

I am sympathetic. The Thames is not easy and the unwary can swiftly find themselves aground some distance from their DR position – especially now the number of navigation marks has been reduced. Even in moderate visibility I consider the Thames to be the complete justification for investing in GPS.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Andrew Bray).


Part One: Going Places.

The Devil You Know.

Together Across the Pond.

Scotland the Magnificent.

Any Plans for the Summer?

Meat Soup in Iceland.

The Bane of Biscay.

It’s Not Cricket!

Part Two: Sailing Solo.

Suhaili Retires.

30 Years On.

All Things Being Equal.

Never Too Old to Go Solo.


Mad Adventure.

Joy of the Solo Sailor.

Part Three: Safety at Sea.

Steering Sense.

A Stern Lesson.

Small Steps to Disaster.

Safety Behind Closed Doors.

The Troubles of 'Ivan the Terrible'.

Energy to Survive.

One Hand for the Ship.

Man Overboard.

Part Four: Life on Board.

Reflections on a Record.

Night Terrors.

Prose for Posterity – a Log for Life.

Wide Open Spaces.

Rough Treatment.

A Fine Balance.

Sewing Lessons.

Preserved in Salt.

Ready or Knot?

Anchors Aweigh.

Food for Thought.

Keeping the Peace.

Part Five: Ocean Rescue.

To Go or Not to Go?

Price of Rescue.

Doctor on Call.

Escape from the Perfect Storm.

Part Six: The Southern Ocean.

Life in the Fast Lane.

Call of the South.

Round the Horn in a Day.

Part Seven: Sailing and the Wider World

Sailing and the Media.

View from the Bridge.

Just for Kicks.

Men Behaving Badly.

Battle of the Books.

Safe to Set Sail?

Medals and the Media.

Elf and Safety.

Knittles and Bomkins.

Part Eight: Hazards of the Oceans.


Shades of the Titanic?

Tale of the Whales.

A Close Shave.

Thar She Blows!

Waves that Devour Ships.

Part Nine: The Changing Face of Sailing.

Going the Distance.

Escape to the Water.

The Last Lighthouse Keeper.

Casting Clouds.

A Sea of Rubbish.


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