For those of you who expected the second episode of my heavy weather sailing experience extract, I'm sorry but you will just have to wait a little longer!
I am posting this short blog now to give you a list of websites where you can dowload sailing ebooks. Books, many of them and especially boating books on board your sailboat can weigh an awful lot. One benefit to cruising sailors in this rapidly advancing technological age, is that so many of your necessary boating books and manuals can now be downloaded and stored on your computer. this is a huge benefit in the weight department. Compare the weight of your laptop to what could easily be up to 100kg of hardcover books! Unnecessary weight you do not need!
Only last year we had one of our own members set sail in his sailboat for some coastal cruising and he had so many books he developed quite a list and had to get rid of some and re-distribute the weight to get back on an even keel! So, having as many manuals, technical and seafaring books loaded into your computer is a definite benefit.
The other item which I would recommend to the modern passagemaking planner would be to consider purchasing an ebook reader. The leader in this field of course is the Kindle from Amazon. There are others on the market now and several more to come including one from Sony, the Barnes and Noble Nook and now Apple with their iPad.
The Kindle2 has been updated recently so the pages actually look like paper and turn as a page would in a book. Also, it can be read easily in direct light (on deck of your yacht), at which most of the others are not so good. With their competitive pricing now, the Kindle is a good unit. This means that in addition to your sailing books you would be able to download any title (up to 1500) from their bookstore (450,000 titles and growing) from any port or anchorage you happen to be in anywhere in the world. Apple plan to have 300,00 titles in their iBookstore and the rate Google are going, their library will be huge for when they introduce their ebook reader. Another important weight gain as opposed to lugging all those paperbacks around the world!
The only possible downside to this is that the time honoured seafaring custom of getting together socially with other crews and swapping paperbacks may disappear in the future. However, I am sure it won't stop us socialising and you will still be able to discuss the various books you have read.
Here is a list to get you started:
Number One of course is the Kindle bookstore at www.amazon.com/Kindle They have 200 plus sailing titles to choose from. You can purchase Joshua Slocums' classic 'Sailing Alone Around the World' for a mere $4.00
Then there is Starpath at http://www.starpath.com/ who have an interesting range of seafaring ebooks under the 'Elibra' category, including Bowditch. You need the Elibra book reader for this range of titles.
Another site is http://www.ebooks.com/ who have seventy something boating titles. Diesel ebooks at http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/ have fifty and more sailing titles on offer including 'The Blue Book of Sailing' and 'Sailing for Dummies'.
Some ebooks come on a CD, some downloaded as PDF's or similar readers and then there are the stores that also market an ebook reader.
Purchasing a reader has got to be the way to go in my book because you can store so many titles in them, but more importantly when you are going ashore an ebook reader can be slipped into your backpack, weighs virtually nothing and compared to a laptop which in all probability you would be be reluctant to take off the boat anyway, is so much more compact and portable.
Just visualise yourself lounging in a sunny cafe in some tropical paradise, sipping on a Maitai cocktail or rum punch and reading your current novel or catching up on some technical issue and you will understand what I am saying.
As we move forward and more of these ebook readers come on the market, prices will become more competitive and the range of titles wider still, so there will always be an ever growing selection for you to choose from - a very good investment indeed for your 'adventure of a lifetime' voyage planning.
You can always begin your ebook reading by downloading my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship Tere Moana' including '101 Dollar Saving Tips' from my website for sailors http://www.sailboat2adventure.com