Amistad : the thunder of freedom.
Marlowe, 1997. 292 pages
Historical fiction based on the case of
coastal schooner AMISTAD ("friendship" in Spanish) which was carrying
illegally-taken Africans from Havana to Puerto Principe when the slaves
on board rebelled and took control of the ship, killing all but three
of their captors. The Africans sailed eastward toward home during the
day, but at night the Spaniards - the only ones on board who new any
type of celestial navigation-sailed northward. AMISTAD eventually ended
up off the coast of New York, where she was picked up by an American
warship and taken to Connecticut. The subsequent salvage trial became a
battle between abolitionists who wanted the Africans freed and returned
to their homeland and the survivors of the AMISTAD's crew who wanted
their ship and "cargo" returned. Steven Spielberg's movie is based on the
Peyton, K. M. [Pseud. Kathleen
Wendy Herald Peyton] (1929- )
Oxford University Press, 1962. 201
US title: Sea Fever. Sixteen year
old boy becomes the sole breadwinner for
his family after his father dies in a fishing accident, and the family's
savings disappear overboard with dad. Through hard work, luck, and the
newfangled sport of yatch racing he is able to redeem his family's
finances, and defeat the individual who stole the family's fortune. Set
in coastal England in the mid to late 1800s. A fun
North to Adventure.
Collins, 1959. 192 pages
Boy accompanies his uncle on an Arctic
expedition seeking a lost ship off the Greenland coast and uranium
deposits in Greenland. During the course of this post-WW II adventure,
they encounter pirates and find a lost treasure of gold. Treasure
Island meets Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.
In Press-gang Days.
Blackie & Son, 1893. 288
Press gang abducts young gentleman in
the Nore Mutiny and the Battle of the Nile.
Pilpel, Robert H. (1943- )
To the Honour of the Fleet.
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979. 459
Two men, one rich & cynical, the other
guileless and honourable, are involved in the dramatic events leading
up to the greatest sea battle in history: Jutland, 1916.
All For the Best.
Simon and Schuster, 1946. 226
First person account of a doctor on a US
The Steel Cocoon.
Viking, 1958. 246 pages
Life aboard the WW II destroyer AJAX
whose routine is flawed by an officer-enlisted man gulf, autocratic actions, fatal
accidents, and men going "Asiatic," even psychotic.
Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of
A Descent into the Maelström.
Graham's Magazine, May 1841.
Short story: A Norwegian fisherman
how he got caught in the notorious whirlpool and survived. Collected in
Prose Tales (1843).
Ponce de León, Napoléon
Five Black Ships: A Novel of The
Discoverers. Harcourt Brace, 1994.
Translation of: Maluco : la novela de
los descubridores. This talented
Uruguayan writer has created in this book a wonderful tale of ships and
men using rich prose, earthly humor, and striking poetry. He looks into
the lives of the real men and real events behind what the history books
say, and he follows, like an artist, the marvelous story of the first
circumnavigation of the globe. The epic is narrated by the fool of the
fleet, Juanillo, a Jewish jester converted to Christianity during the Spanish
Ponicsan, Darryl (1938- )
The Last Detail.
Dial Press, 1970. 182 pages
Two SPs take sailor to Portsmouth Naval
stop off for some fun on the way. Made into movie with Jack Nicholson and
Harper & Row, 1973. 179 pages
Classic Navy snafu: seaman's records are
so officially he doesn't exist. Made into movie with James Caan and
Last Flag Flying.
Wright Press, 2005. 178 pages
Sequel to The Last Detail. The
boy Billy and Mule escorted to prison has come back into their lives, now a
grieving man of 52, with a gut-wrenching request they cannot deny. What follows is
a retracing of their steps from 34 years before, a journey from Norfolk, Virginia,
to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on a mission as heart-breaking - and as exhilarating
- as the first.
Pope, Dudley (1925-1997)
In 1796 third lieutenant Ramage of the
SIBELLA must complete a mission after the attack of a French 74 kills
all the other officers.
U.S. title: Drumbeat. Lt. Ramage
command of KATHLEEN, cutter, captures a dismasted Spanish frigate,
gets the KATHLEEN captured in turn, becomes a spy in Cadiz, then,
escaping, is restored to command of the recaptured KATHLEEN, and
helps Captain Nelson win the battle of Cape St.
U.S. title: The Triton Brig.
Ramage, given command of the 10-gun brig TRITON, must overcome a crew
that has joined the Spithead Mutiny to take dispatches to the
Caribbean. Once on station, he is given the task of finding why
coastal freighters are disappearing as they sail from Grenada -- a
puzzle whose solution has eluded two post captains.
Ramage, aboard TRITON on convoy duty,
thwarts sneaky French attack, encounters hellacious
Lieutenant Ramage is sent to find out
happening to His Majesty's mail packets in 1798. Based on true
French-speaking Lt. Ramage, now
25, is off to France spy on Napoleon and the impending invasion of
Captain Ramage in the frigate JUNO
a French convoy off Martinique in 1802. Possibly the most fun of the
Captain Ramage, now commanding the
CALYPSO, is given the impossible assignment to cut out a captured
British frigate from a Spanish stronghold.
Ramage and the CALYPSO pursue a
ruthless, butchering French privateer in the West
Ramage and the CALYPSO are sent into the
Mediterranean to wreak havoc, but stumble onto a French invasion
Ramage and CALYPSO continue their solo
mission into the Mediterranean to confuse the
Ramage and CALYPSO are off to the
Caribbean to claim an island.
Ramage is on his honeymoon in France
war breaks out again in 1803. He steals a ship and
Ramage is assigned convoy duty, is
by another British ship, and then is accused of nasty
Ramage is back in the Mediterranean to
rescue a group of influential British prisoners being held hostage by
Ramage and CALYPSO participate in the
Battle of Trafalgar, where frigates aren't supposed to mix it up
with the big boys.
Ramage is off to Sicily in 1806 to
deal with some Barbary Pirates.
Ramage is given command of the DIDO,
74, and sent to the West Indies. He racks up enemy warships like
billiard balls, and is sent to Martinique, scene of his triumph's in
Buccaneer Ned Yorke series:
Because his family are Royalists, Ned
forced to flee his Barbados plantation with such retainers as choose
to come with him. This includes the wife of the Parliamentarian
planter who wants Yorke's estate. After trying his hand as a
smuggler, Yorke joins forces with Cromwell's Royalist nephew as a
buccaneer, goes to Jamaica, and helps the Parliamentarian governor
of the island retain it from the Spanish.
Yorke returns to Jamaica following the
Oliver Cromwell, becomes elected as Admiral of the Brethren of the
Coast in Tortuga, leads the ships to Jamaica, and in an effort to
forestall a Spanish invasion of Jamaica, leads highly successful
raids on Provencia and Portobello.
A new, Royalist governor of Jamaica
buccaneers' licenses. Yorke rescues his partner from the Spanish, and
assists the French governor of St. Martin's to capture a Spanish
treasure galleon which ran ashore and threatened the colony's chief
town, but is unable to convince the new governor of the buccaneers'
importance to Jamaica's safety
Yorke uncovers evidence of Spanish plans
Jamaica, but cannot convince Governor Luce of the threat until it is
at hand. In the rare instances where the governor seeks assistance
of the buccaneers, York leads reprisal raids against Cuba and the
Convoy. Secker & Warburg, 1979. 355 pages
A Yorke in action against the German's
in WW II. He
unravels the secret of how the Germans are secretly attacking convoy
ships from the inside of the convoy.
Decoy. Secker & Warburg, 1983. 265 pages
Yorke rides again to capture a German
U-Boat for the new
Enigma coding/decoding machine that the Germans are deploying.
Porter, Katherine Anne (1890-1980)
Ship of Fools.
Little, Brown, 1962. 497
On board the North German Lloyd S. A.
Veracruz, Mexico and Bremenhaven, Germany August 22 to September 17,
1933. The 48 first-class passengers and the 900 Spaniards in steerage on a
passenger-freighter crossing from Mexico to Germany in 1931 are traveling on a
voyage of life.
Porter, William Ogilvie, MD (1774-
Sir Edward Seaward's Narrative of his Shipwreck and
of Certain Island in the Caribbean Seas with a detail of many
extraordinary and highly interesting events in his life, from the year
1733 to 1749, as written in his own diary.
Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1831. 3
Newly-wed Edward Seaward and his bride
shipwrecked on a desert island in the eastern Caribbean. Animated by
devoutly Christian and anti-slavery ideals they found a flourishing
colony, engage in high politics in London, participate in the conquest
of Portobello, and repel Spanish attacks.
Porteous, R. S. (Richard Sydney)
Little Known of these Waters.
Dymock's Book Arcade, 1945. 250
Dymock's Book Arcade, 1949. 205
The Australian merchant ship HAICHOW
and cargoes to combat areas during WW II. "Their crews risked their
lives daily and took their ships without question wherever they were
ordered. If they were killed, their dependents received no pension. If
they survived they received no credit when they returned.... For were
they not civilians? Men of peaceful occupations who wore no uniform and
had taken no part in the fighting."
Close to the Wind and other stories.
Angus and Robertson, 1955. 240
Mostly set along the
Angus and Robertson, 1955. 178
The Tambai Treasure.
Angus and Robertson, 1958. 169
Salvage and Other Stories.
Harrap, 1963. 189 pages
Salvage; A deal with father; Finito;
Shaggy Dodgson's Hour of Glory; Ebb tide; Fear; The Bad Bargain;
Conscience; The Contest; Settled Out of Court; The Hard Way; Last
The Silent Isles.
Angus and Robertson, 1963. 160
Posse, Abel (1934- )
The Dogs of Paradise.
Atheneum, 1989. 301 pages
Cosmic novel with a surreal vision about
end of the 15th century, Columbus, Ferdinand & Isabella, Aztecs, Incas,
and discovery of the Americas. Argentine author, translated from the
Spanish: "Los perros del paraíso".
Pournelle, Jerry (1933-2017)
Set in the Seattle area - specifically in
atmosphere. The protagonist is Paul Crane, a young consulting engineer
drawn into CIA domestic operations by the twin lures of patriotism and a
long-stemmed blond. Small boat sailing through the Straits of Juan de
Fuca, north to Victoria and south to California along the Pacific Coast
constitutes an important part of the plot. Originally published under the
pseudonym "Wade Curtis."
King David's Spaceship.
Simon and Schuster, 1980. 283
Revised edition of A Spaceship for
the King (1971). Middle section features a long stern chase between a sailing
ship and a pirate galley.
Powers, Tim (1952- )
On Stranger Tides.
Ace, 1987. 325 pages
Magic, voodoo, Blackbeard and the
Youth in this early 18th century pirate adventure by the author of the
SF award winning The Anubis Gate. In 1718, John Chandagnac, a
bookkeeper and puppeteer, unwittingly sails into the company of Blackbeard the
pirate, encounters zombie-crewed wrecks, and is caught up in a search for the
Fountain of Youth. Basis of the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbian" movie
Poyer, David C. (1949- )
Tiller Galloway, ex-navy diver and ex-
smuggler, takes on a job from a mysterious stranger to dive on the
wreck of a WW II German sub. The original reason given was for the
stranger to write about the adventure, the real reason was for the
cargo... millions in gold headed to Argentina for the new
A job is offered to Tiller by the drug
lord he used
to smuggle for before he went to prison. The job was supposed to be
to retreive cocaine from one of their boats sunk in 300 feet of
water. When Tiller refuses, the cartel destroys his business, making
him an offer he can't refuse.
Tiller, broke, heads to the Gulf with
partner to try to earn enough money to get his business going again,
after its destruction by the drug lord in Bahamas Blue. He lands a
job with an oil company, where everything is not as it
In Florida, diver Tiller Galloway probes
the death of a friend, killed in an underwater cave dive. He discovers an
operation by drug smugglers and gains a small fortune after a
Dan Lenson, officer in USN faces
personal crises as an
incompetent admiral bungles rescue of American hostages held in
Lebanon. The hostages include Lenson's wife and
Dan Lenson, is the executive officer on
a frigate in the Persian Gulf, assigned to convoy a succession of oil tankers
through perilous waters. Lenson's shipmates include hard-living helicopter pilots,
minor crooks, and idealistic young officers. Not far away, a group of divers,
naval reservists, must battle the hostility of "real" sailors as they undertake a
dangerous mission of their own. Lenson's physical and mental courage are sorely
tried in the climactic scenes, where he battles enemies and the ocean
For four years at Annapolis he prepared
for this, pledging his youth, his ambition, and even his life. But when junior
officer Dan Lenson finally gets his commission, it's the Ryan, an aging World War
II destroyer. Now, with a mix of pride and fear, he heads into the world's most
dangerous seas. As the Ryan plunges into the dark waters of the Arctic Circle at
the height of storm season, Lenson and the crew pursue a mysterious and menacing
enemy. But he soon discovers a foe even more dangerous within the Ryan, advancing
a shocking agenda that drives the ship closer and closer to disaster. Preceeds
events in The Med and The Gulf.
Dan Lenson, as a lieutenant, in action
Soviet submarine, during the Cold War. Reporting to a destroyer based in
Guantanamo Bay, Navy lieutenant Dan Lenson is caught up in a spy's plans and finds
his destiny joined with those of a gay Commander, a right-wing patriot, and a
In the wake of a collapsed marriage and
three stressful tours at sea, Lieutenant-Commander Lenson is ordered to shore duty
in Washington, D.C. There he finds he's been handpicked for a high-priority, top-
secret assignment: design, test, and deploy Tomahawk missiles armed with nuclear
warheads. But as Dan moves into the thick of top-level Pentagon politics, he
realizes that the trouble-prone new missile has powerful enemies, determined to
destroy it and him. Troubling leaks from the program seem to suggest a spy is at
work, and Dan comes under suspicion.
The navy, ready to discard the U.S.S.
GADDIS, asked Dan Lenson to ready the ship for a final voyage. Accompanied by a
crew of misfits and brigrats, Lenson endures a journey filled with bungling
allies, hurricanes, a cronic supply problem, and piracy. THe crew is ready to
mutiny - the vagueness of his orders and a disgruntled executive officer have
undermined Lenson's authority. And to top it all off, Lenson soon realizes that
one of his crew is committing murders in every port.
It is the eve of America's invasion of
Iraq, and Saddam Hussein has threatened to attack Tel Aviv if a single tank enters
his country. Though the United States has no intelligence on the type of location
of the weapon, Naval Lieutenant-Commander Dan Lenson and a recon team of Marines
and military professionals are ordered to eliminate the threat. After a crippling
trek into the Iraqi desert, the team successfully locates the weapon in the
underground tunnels of Baghdad, only to find that destroying it would unleash a
horror more terrifying than anyone could have imagined.
Stung by the recent Tailhook scandal,
the Navy is accelerating its integration of women into all aspects of service, and
the Horn will be the first warship laboratory to test this experiment. Entrenched
opposition spans all ranks, although there are also plenty of sailors, like
Lenson, who see this integration as the logical next step.
Medal of Honor winner Commander Dan
Lenson wonders who proposed that he be assigned to the White House military staff.
It's a dubious honor---serving a president the Joint Chiefs hate more than any
other in modern history. Lenson reports to the West Wing to direct a multiservice
team working to interdict the flow of drugs from Latin America. Never one to just
warm a chair, he sets out to help destroy the Cartel - and uncovers a troubling
thread of clues that link cunning and ruthless drug lord Don Juan Nuez to an
assault on a nuclear power plant in Mexico, an obscure Islamic relief agency in
Los Angeles, and an air cargo company's imminent flight plan across the United
After refusing a request that he take a
medical retirement (after his political hot-potato adventures saving the president
from assassination), Dan is less than pleased when he's put on the shelf and
ordered to oversee a small crew of U.S. civilians and retired military personnel
who will participate in an international training exercise off the Korean
peninsula. But even before he comes aboard the South Korean frigate on which he
and his team will be stationed, the discovery of a disabled North Korean submarine
off the coast - and the lethal response of the survivors, trapped within - is the
first clue he has that North Korea may have decided to plunge the world into
When a new Russian rocket torpedo-a
nuclear warhead that is fast and unstoppable-is tested at a Russian international
arms conference, Dan and his team try to buy the weapon's engineering plans, but
narrowly escape with their lives as their mission is betrayed. After Iran acquires
the weapon for its dangerous military build up, the team is sent to steal it from
the submarine that hides it.
Dan and his team are assigned to
'transform' a patrol craft squadron in the Red Sea into a leaner, meaner Navy.
Mean - while, in northern Africa, drought and famine have brought a nation to the
brink of civil war. When the United States decides on intervention to stabilize
the region, Dan and his team become the point people for the humanitarian mission.
When a charismatic young jihadist coordinates a ferocious insur gency against the
U.S. presence, Dan and his team must kill him in order to save thousands of lives.
After surviving the attacks on September
11, 2001, Dan Lenson finds himself quickly drawn into a covert SEAL team in search
of the terrorists responsible. Their mission: kill Osama Bin
Civil War at Sea
The naval beginnings of the Civil War,
with the focus on the efforts of the U.S.S. Owanee to provide support and relief
as the union crumbles.
After fighting on the shores of the
Potomac alongside the hastily mustered Army of Virginia, Lt. Ker Custis Claiborne,
formerly of the United States Navy, runs the blockade out of New Orleans aboard a
converted sidewheeler-turned-Confederate raider. He and his saturnine mentor,
Captain Parker Trezevant, burn, sink, and destroy across the Caribbean, to
undermine the Union's financial might and force a truce favorable to the
Union naval engineer Theodorus Hubbard
works on the Monitor and fire-eater Lomax Minter searched for spies working on the
rival Merrimack, with the climactic March 1862 battle of the two ironclads (off
Hampton Roads, Va.) looming.
Prechtl, Robert [pseud. Robert
Dutton, 1940. 368 pages
Translation of Titanensturz : Roman
eines Zeitalters. Prechtl's story has two overlapping strands. One focuses on
the Titanic, the new wonder ship on her maiden voyage, Captain Smith and his
officers, as well as a meddling J. Bruce Ismay. In the centre of the second strand
of the novel is John Jacob Astor, who finds himself at a cross-road: Should he
continue to amass riches just for their own sake, or employ his money and energy
to create a better world? These two strands come together as Astor attempts to
exploit Ismay's financial difficulties by forcing a further devaluation of shares
of the shipping line, just 'White Star' here, and then acquiring a majority of
them. With his novel Prechtl only uses those facts in his story that fitted with
his concept and ignored the rest. Sometimes Prechtl's narrative is so far from the
despised historical facts that it bears no resemblance to the story of the Titanic
Preston, Douglas J. (1956- ) and
Child, Lincoln (1957- )
Riptide. Warner, 1998. 417 pages
A high-tech search for a vast pirate
treasure on an island
off the coast of Maine. The island is owned by a doctor who fearfully
joins with an exploration group in the quest to end centuries of
mystery and uncover the supposed treasure, which is believed to lie in
a watery pit on the small storm swept island. Many have previously
ventured to the island to delve into the mystery of the water pit, with
disasterous results in a number of instances.