Baccino Ponce de León, Napoleón (1947- )
Five Black Ships : a novel of the Discoverers.
Harcourt Brace, 1994. 347 pages
Translated by Nick Caistor. The sea voyage around the world
by Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, in 1519, recreated by a Uruguayan writer. The
epic is narrated by the fool of the fleet, Juanillo, a Jewish jester converted to
Christianity during the Spanish inquisition. The novel won the Novela Casa de las
Bagley, Desmond (1923-1983)
The Golden Keel. Doubleday, 1963. 281
Mussolini's missing treasure lies hidden in Italy. A
group of adventurers set sail to track down the treasure and smuggle it
Wyatt's Hurricane. Doubleday, 1966. 301
Meteorologist Wyatt knows the hurricane will hit
his Caribbean island. The storm comes just as a rebel leader is massing
his forces. As wind and war near each other only Wyatt can save the
The Freedom Trap. Doubleday, 1971. 254
A brilliantly organized gang springs a Russian
double agent from jail. The trail leads to the Mediterranean &
Night of Error. St. Martin's Press, 1984.
On an expedition to a remote Pacific atoll, one
brother dies under suspicious circumstances. The other brother is
forced to investigate. A violent and hazardous expedition
Bacigalupi, Paolo (1972- )
Ship Breaker. Little, Brown, 2010. 326
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper
wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship
with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth
or rescue the girl.
The Drowned Cities. Little, Brown, 2012. 448
Loose sequel to Ship Breaker.
America has devolved into unending civil wars, driven by demagogues who recruit children
to become soulless killing machines. Two refugees of these wars, Mahlia and Mouse, are
known as "war maggots": survivors who have barely managed to escape the unspeakable
violence plaguing the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities. But their fragile safety is
threatened when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool,
who is hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers. When tragedy strikes, Mahlia is faced with
an impossible decision: risk everything to save the boy who once saved her, or flee to
her own safety.
Baker, F. Robert
Warhead. Putnam, 1981. 291
The families of the officers and crew of the USS Montana are
kidnapped. The crew warns the Russian Federation that unless their families are released
unharmed, they will launch a Trident missile. In Moscow, the order goes out: sink the
Montana. At the White House, the President orders the Montana to defend itself. And near
the Horn of Africa, a large American force, with orders to attack if necessary,
approaches the Russian base where the families of the Montana are held hostage. An
American assault on a Russian base could start a nuclear war.
Cruise. Putnam, 1967. 314 pages
The story of the emotional tensions and involvements aboard
the ship Queen Dee when her First Officer suffers a
Baker, W. Howard
Strike North. Mayflower Books, 1965. 125
Escorting convoys to Murmansk with a spy aboard during
Ball, Zachary [Pseud. Kelly Ray Masters Sr.] (1897-1987)
Joe Panther. Holiday House, 1950. 241
In an endeavor to earn money for school, an
industrious young Seminole becomes a deck hand on a tourist boat
fishing the Gulf Stream and accidently is involved in a smuggling
Swamp Chief. Holiday House, 1952. 212
An adventure story about deep sea fishing and the
adjustment of the Seminole Indians to the modern world.
Bar Pilot. Holiday House, 1955. 218
Young Jim Yordy wants to be a bar pilot at the mouth of
the Mississippi River, where his hard-bitten grandfather runs a pilot
station in the mid 19th century.
Skin Diver. Holiday House, 1956. 251
Two young skin divers are hired to help a researching
biochemist working off the coast of Florida.
Young Mike Fink. Holiday House, 1958. 196
A fictional account of the youth and manhood of
Mike Fink, whose feats as a keelboatman, hunter, fighter, and boaster
inspired legends for a nation growing up in the early nineteenth
Salvage Diver. Holiday House, 1961. 220
Two Seminole youths and their boat are hired for
the summer by two men who want to search for sunken ships off the
Ballantyne, Robert Michael (1825-1894)
Coral Island, A Tale of the Pacific Ocean.
James Nisbet & Co., 1857. 336 pages
Three English boys, shipwrecked on a deserted island, create
an idyllic society despite typhoons, wild hogs, and hostile visitors. Then evil pirates
kidnap one of the youths whose adventures continue among the South Sea Islands.
The life of a ship from the launch to the wreck.
T. Nelson, 1857. 37 pages
A story for pre-teens, in which a small boy, Davy, is taken
to a shipyard to watch the building of a new sailing-vessel, the Fair Nancy. Eventually
Davy is allowed to sail on board of her as a boy-seaman. He is sea-sick at first, but
soon recovers and learns how to climb the rigging to help with the sails. They encounter
a hurricane, which knocks the ship over, and they lose the ship's
The World of Ice or the Whaling Cruise of "The Dolphin" and the
Adventures of her Crew in the Polar Regions.
James Nisbet & Co., 1860. 232 pages
Fictional account of whaling voyage to Baffin Bay. Many
The Red Eric or, The Whaler's Last Cruise.
James Nisbet & Co., 1861. 420 pages
"Red Eric" is the name of a seashore cottage that belongs to
Captain Dunning and his descendants. The story is about family adventures and survival
through storm, shipwreck, and mutiny plague an ill-fated whaling
Fighting the Whales, or Doings and Dangers on a Fishing Cruise.
James Nisbet & Co., 1863. 124 pages
A fatherless boy joins the crew of a whaling ship in order
to earn a living for himself and his mother.
Fast in the ice, or, Adventures in the polar regions.
James Nisbet & Co., 1863. 124 pages
This little book describes a visit up to the Arctic regions,
that was supposed to have taken place long before the book was written, in other words
in the early part of the nineteenth century. The purpose of the journey was to get near
to the North Pole, which was considered to be surrounded by a large area of ice-free
water. The vessel in which they sailed became beset by ice, and could not be moved. They
met with Esquimaux, and saw how they survived, how they killed walrus, how they caught
birds, and how they lived in their ice-houses, or igloos.
The lifeboat : a tale of our coast heroes.
James Nisbet & Co., 1864. 392 pages
The work of a lifeboat of the Kentish
Gascoyne, The Sandal-Wood Trader, A Tale of the Pacific.
James Nisbet & Co., 1864. 356 pages
early 1800's the South Seas are the hunting ground of the pirate
schooner AVENGER. A mission settlement looks to Captain Montague of HM
Frigate TALISMAN for protection. Suspicion falls on the sandal-wood
trader Gascoyne, the mysterious but apparently honest skipper of the
schooner FOAM. Gascoyne turns out to be not what he seems, in more ways
The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands: A tale.
James Nisbet & Co., 1870. 403 pages
The condition, value, and vicissitudes of the light-vessels,
or floating lighthouses, which guard the shores of this kingdom, and mark the dangerous
shoals lying off some of our harbours and roadsteads.
Sunk at sea; or, The adventures of Wandering Will in the Pacific.
James Nisbet & Co., 1872. 126 pages
Saved by the lifeboat : a tale of wreck and rescue on the coast.
James Nisbet & Co., 1873. 124 pages
Black Ivory. A tale of adventure among the slavers of East Africa.
James Nisbet & Co., 1873. 416 pages
A shipwreck leaves the son of the charterer of the sinking
ship, and a seaman friend of his, alone on the east coast of Africa, where Arab and
Portuguese slave traders were still carrying out their evil trade, despite the great
efforts of patrolling British warships to limit it and free the unfortunates whom they
found being carried away in the Arab dhows.
Man on the ocean : a book about boats and ships.
T. Nelson, 1874. 386 pages
Battles with the sea or Heroes of the lifeboat and rocket : being descriptive of
our coast-life-saving apparatus with some account of the glorious war and of our grand
victories. James Nisbet & Co., 1883. 175
The young trawler : a story of life and death and rescue on the North Sea.
James Nisbet & Co., 1884. 429 pages
The main subject matter of this book are the North Sea
fishing fleets, and the strenuous and hard work they do to maintain a supply of fish on
the tables of the British people, in particular, in the case of this story, tables in
The lively poll : a tale of the North Sea.
James Nisbet & Co., 1886. 164 pages
Manx Bradley, admiral of 200 fishing vessels in the North
Sea, is concerned about the spiritual needs of his men.
The Crew of the Water Wagtail. A story of Newfoundland.
James Nisbet & Co., 1889. 243 pages
Ballard, Robert & Chiu,
Bright Shark. Delacorte Press, 1992. 483
Undersea techno-thriller. In 1968 the Israeli sub Dakar sunk
with its top secret cargo, code named Bright Shark. Twenty years later, it is
rediscovered, and to keep the secret an undersea weapon will be deployed to bury the
secret at the cost of global disaster.
Ballenger, Dean W.
Terror at Sea. New American Library, 1981.
Fictionalized retelling of the aftermath of the loss
of the cruiser INDIANAPOLIS in the Pacific during WW II, and shark
attacks on the survivors. Author was Navy correspondent, participated
in the rescue and interviewed the survivors. Grisly.
The Sea Guerillas. New American Library, 1982.
Wildly improbable tale of a USN PT boat
operating off the Azores in 1942-43 disguised as Portugese fishing
boat. This allows them to stalk and sink the U-boats operating in these
waters, which have chased off every other warship -- but not apparently
Allied merchant shipping. The Nazis had been taking advantage of this
situation to torpedo hospital ships, murder survivors, and rape
Banks, Polan (1906-1984)
Black Ivory. Harper & Brothers, 1926. 305
Once upon a time there was a pirate who marauded the Gulf of
Mexico. Black ivory (slaves) was his chief booty. His men were cutthroats to the last
gurgle. But his diablerie was so debonair, his ruthlessness so discriminating, that the
Latin citizenry of New Orleans around 1800 could not take offense when he came boldly
ashore to do business with them and dance with their daughters to the wailing guitar. In
1812 the British tried to buy him up to betray his favorite port.
Mistress of the Sea. Ebury Press, 2012. 416
Plymouth 1570; Ellyn Cooksley fears for her elderly father's
health when he declares his intention to sail with Drake on an expedition he has been
backing. Already yearning for escape from the loveless marriage planned for her, Ellyn
boards the expedition ship as a stowaway. Also aboard the Swan is Will Doonan, Ellyn's
charming but socially inferior neighbour. Will has courted Ellyn playfully without any
real hope of winning her, but when she is discovered aboard ship, dressed in the garb of
a cabin boy, he is furious. To Will's mind, Drake's secret plot to attack the Spanish
bullion supply in the New World is a means to the kind of wealth with which he might win
a girl like Ellyn, but first and foremost it is an opportunity to avenge his brother
Kit, taken hostage and likely tortured to death by the Spanish.
Barlow, James (1921-1973)
Liner. Simon and Schuster, 1970. 443
Passengers and crew aboard an ageing Greek cruise ship,
heading from Tasmania for Singapore, with metal fatigue in the engine
room and lifeboats corroded to the davits, encounter a
The Deepest Sea. Roc, 1996. 540
Viking fantasy. Deals with the late 8th Century,
a raid on a monastery in 793 AD and subsequent adventures. The events,
conditions and attitudes described have an unerring ring of truth to
them, despite a glib though highly enjoyable 20th century style and
sense of humor at places and the fantasy aspects. A top notch
The Voyage of the Narwhal. Norton,
1998. 399 pages
In Philadelphia in 1855, naturalist Erasmus Darwin Wells
sees a last chance to make his reputation as he prepares to accompany his future
brother-in-law, Zechariah Voorhees, on a voyage to the arctic in search of Sir John
Franklin's lost expedition.
Barrington, E. [pseud. Elizabeth Louisa Moresby] (1862-
The Divine Lady : a romance of Nelson and Emma Hamilton.
Dodd, Mead, 1924. 417 pages
Made into an Oscar willing film in
Barth, John (1930-)
Sabbatical. Putnam, 1982. 366
A charming book. A couple take a last sailing cruise around
the Chesapeake before their child is born; sort of a sabbatical
from all sorts of responsibilities, disputes, complications. Including,
will they stay together? Much less convoluted than Barth's other
Tidewater Tales. Putnam, 1987. 655
About a writer who's muse has gone mute due to
being privy to secrets from a spook friend and not being able to talk
about them. Much of the action takes place on the Chesapeake
The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor.
Little, Brown, 1991. 573 pages
About a guy on a sailboat
charter vacation who somehow gets transported to the time and place of
Sinbad and the 1001 Nights. The book is quite interesting, though the
sailing takes a backseat to the story-telling.
Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera. Little,
Brown, 1994. 398 pages
About a guy and his wife
passing through some strange time/space warp in a squall on the
Bartimeus, pseud. [Lewis Anselm DaCosta Ricci] (1883-1967)
Naval Occasions : and some Traits of the Sailor-man.
William Blackwood, 1914. 295 pages
Stort stories about naval life in peace and
A Tall Ship On Other Naval Occasions. Cassell,
1915. 190 pages
Ten additional short stories
about naval life in peace and war: Crab-Pots; The Drum; A Captain's
Forenoon; The Seven Bell Boat; The King's Pardon; An Off-Shore Wind;
The Day; The Mummers; Chummy-Ships; The Higher Claim.
Little, Brown and Co., 1941. 262 pages
Factual and fictional sketches of naval events
during WW II, including the exploits of ORZEL, ALTMARK, minesweepers and
Barton, A. F.
Those Who Serve. John Spencer & Co.,
1958. 161 pages
The story of the Royal Navy submarine TAMARANTH during
WW II, from the beginning of the war until the sinking of the sub, as
told from the point of view of a man who served on her as First
Lieutenant and Captain.
Under the Freeze. Pinnacle, 1984. 404
US secret agent chases madman with stolen
plutonium from Buenos Aires to London, Paris, Moscow and finally aboard
subs under the Arctic ice pack.