Best adventure books for sailors

by Chris Kameen on October 5, 2013

Over the past couple of weeks we have had our school holiday programs and during this week we had a number of afternoons where we had no sailing. We played games and got up to mischief, but I also told stories.. I was amazed at the response to these and I realised that in the main I was recounting stories that I had read, so I thought I’s do a quick book review!

Pete Goss Close to the WindPete Goss – Close to the Wind  – I have read a number of books about Yacht Races and disasters and hardship, but this one is amazing, his courage and seamanship ability in horrific conditions make him a true hero in my eyes. His rescue of Frenchman Raphael Dinelli in the Southern Ocean is an amazing story of  seamanship and the law of the sea that we all look out for each other. Reading books by soldiers is also quite good fun… short sentences and simple words!

Ernest Shackleton SouthSir Ernest Shackleton – South – This is an amazing story of survival in the harshest of environments. That no man lost his life is an amazing feat of leadership,  and companionship. I had just read this book before breaking my collarbone snow boarding. Whilst I could have had help getting off the mountain – I walked!


Rannulph Fiennes to the ends of the earthSir Rannulph Fiennes – To the ends of the Earth – A Transglobe expedition that takes many years to complete. I had the pleasure of listening to Sir Rannulph Fiennes speak when I was at school, an amazing privilege that I didn’t grasp at the time, but perhaps set me on the course that I’m on today. I have read many of his books and in fact I am reading one at the moment, but this one for some reason has me still recounting the story.

Joe Simpson Touching the Void Joe Simpson The Beckoning SilenceJoe Simpson – Touching the Void – This is a remarkable story of survival in the Peruvian Andes. This book has to be read to get an insight into what the human body can endure. It sets you up for reading one of my favourite books that brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.. which is The Beckoning Silence about conquering the Eiger.


There are so many good books out there, and as I pulled this list together I started thinking are these my favourite?. for now they are, they also formed the stories that I shared with the kids this week and I promised them I’d send the reading list!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the books that have inspired you to retell the story.

Previous post:

Next post: