I've always wished I knew how to sail. I think my interest in sailing was ignited when I read The Lion's Paw when I was a kid. I've talked about this book before, but I'll just mention again that it was so exciting to read about three kids on a boat - by themselves, with no adults - having adventures. What a life!
Other books along the way have helped keep the dream alive for me, among them Treasure Island, Swallows and Amazons, The Wind in the Willows (dear Ratty!), The Sea Wolf, Spring Tides, and Admiral of the Ocean Sea. That last title may be a little strange as a choice, but I really wanted to sail around the Caribbean after reading it.
Oh, another of my favorite sailing books (although it's on a river and there is no actual sailing) is Mr Gumpy's Outing. It's a classic.
What brought this up is two things: 1) I recently finished reading The Red Wolf Conspiracy, a wonderful fantasy/mystery/adventure that takes place on a sailing ship (I'll post my review soon), and 2) I came across a literary sailing quiz at the Bottom Shelf today. I was sorting and pricing books, and inside one of them (a sailing mystery called The Riddle of the Sands) was this quiz.
Give it a try if you like. Match the name of the ship to the correct description. (Incidentally, I only got half of them right.)
a. the Essex
b. the Patna
c. SMS Konigen Luise
d. the Hispaniola
e. HMS Bellipotent
f. HMS Compass Rose
g. the Antelope
h. the Nautilus
i. Captain Nemo (not a ship, but whatever)
1. What is the name of the vessel in Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?
2. Who captains the vessel in question 1?
3. In which ship was Gulliver shipwrecked when he discovered Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels?
4. Long John Silver was hired as a cook (although secretly he was a pirate) on what ship in the book Treasure Island?
5. This ship is featured in Herman Melville's novel Billy Budd.
6. What was the name of the real-life ship that was sunk by a sperm whale, inspiring Herman Melville to write Moby Dick?
7. At the end of Jaws by Peter Benchley, a fishing boat is destroyed by the shark. What was the boat's name?
8. In Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim, which ship did Lord Jim abandon in a storm, causing him great guilt and resulting in a court martial? (btw, on the quiz it was spelled "court marshal". Haha)
9.What was the name of the ship in Nicholas Monserrat's novel The Cruel Sea?
10. In The African Queen by C S Forester, what is the name of the German gunboat that Charlie Allnut and Rose Seyer plan to sink?