Book reviews

A dive to the
edge of darkness

One breath. That’s one long out-breath because the air, accumulated through slow inhalations and then “sipping” to saturate the lungs with every scrap you can fit in, is all you… Read more

Wray's Ngataki - the dream
that became reality

In 1932, young Johnny Wray, fired from a job he was doing indifferently, thought it a good idea to stay at home with his parents and build a boat in… Read more

First Fleet's extraordinary voyage

There are many reasons to study the arrival of the First Fleet in the Great South Land – history, diasporas, dispossession and a search for courage amongst them - but… Read more

A catch for collectors

Weighing a hefty new compilation in the hand, a collector of sea stories has the same quickening of the pulse that assails the collector of china or the hoarder of… Read more

Navigating a path to posterity

In these two books, each of which takes a great seafarer and navigator as its subject, the particular interest of the authors is immediately apparent. Rob Mundle, sailor, journalist and… Read more

Perception and imagination - the
other life of the Reef

No description or photograph quite prepares a swimmer for an unspoilt reef. At first glance it is astonishing; at close examination it is truly wondrous – the intricate forms, the… Read more

Enchanting tale explores ideas
of love and belonging

The selkies of Sea Hearts, Margo Lanagan’s haunting novel, are beautiful, compliant women that bewitch the men of Rollrock Island and are themselves held captive, caring for the men and… Read more

First woman to circumnavigate

The lost history of women is a rich seam. As the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s pointed out (as did suffragettes and every women’s movement before that) the history… Read more
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… there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

- Ratty to Mole in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame