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Letters to the Editor - Issue 160

Aviators afloat

As a reader of your fine periodical, I enjoyed the May/June story of “Speedy: The Boat That Moved Me.”

The writing was enjoyable—but most of all, the photos were captivating. Especially the picture of Speedy at rest next to the family’s, Piper Super Cub. My eyes kept returning to that picture. Why perhaps.....?

Owning and operating boats along the Maine coast is a passion of mine. My wife and I enjoy a Back Cove 37 on Penobscot Bay, and a Steigercraft Miami 21 on Casco Bay.

My other passion is aviation. I am a soon-to-be-retired commercial pilot of large airplanes, and a new owner of a Cessna 182 light aircraft. I have quite a few fellow aviating friends, who are also passionate for boating here in Maine. Pop! Idea...

There’s a story idea for you: Aviators Afloat. 

Maine has a long deep history of aviation afloat, with float planes found on lakes and ocean bays. Even Charles Lindbergh flew in and out of Maine on floats.

Thank you for a fine magazine. We here in Maine are blessed to have you here.

Tom Quinby

Yarmouth, ME


Great idea! Now we just have to give it wings and let it fly! —The editors

Maritime book selections

Proving that our readers really are readers, we were thrilled to receive a number of suggestions for good maritime books in response to a letter in the July/August issue. Some came with explanations, others were just the titles. We’re sharing them here. After all, winter is coming with lots of time for reading! —The editors

Brenda Erickson, Round Pond, ME:

Run Down the Wind, by Laurence Eubank  

First, great magazine this month, as usual. In your letters to the editor, Bob Frost, Journalist and Historian, San Francisco, sent a request for books about the sea. 

One of our all-time favorites was purchased at the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show years ago. Laurence was in the tent, playing his guitar when he wasn’t talking with attendees. He said that he had never thought about what war did to young boys becoming men until his own son grew up. It’s a great book. 


David Greeley, Jackson, ME:

In the Heart of the Sea, the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Land of the White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic, by Valerian Albanov


Jim Geary, Southwest Harbor, ME:

In the Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides

The Captain’s Wife, by Douglas Kelley

The Resolute, by Martin Sandler 

(This could probably use more proofreading and editing, but still an amazing story.)

All three of these books are epic stories of the sea, adventure, and survival.


Paul Murray, Matinicus Island, ME:

Grey Seas Under: The Perilous Rescue Mission of a N.A. Salvage Tug, by Farley Mowat.

This book is about the adventures of the salvage tug Foundation Franklin in the North Atlantic. I reread it every few years and I gave copies to my grown kids for Christmas several years ago.


Joe Upton, Vinalhaven, ME:

The Last Grain Race, by Eric Newby

The Boy, Me, and The Cat, by Henry Plummer


F.P. Walcott, Lake Bluff, IL:

Voyages in Desperate Times, by Jule Miller.

A historical novel based on the little known naval battle between the U.S. Coast Guard and Nazi U-Boats off the American East Coast during WWII.


Mary Drake, via email:

Trustee from the Toolroom, by Nevil Shute (1946).

A warm, wonderful tale of an unlikely hero and his maritime adventures.


Paul W. Brown, Rockland, ME:

The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers

The Trustee From the Toolroom, by Nevil Shute

We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea, by Arthur Ransome.

Essential! Delightful! Salty! All of them! Maybe Bob Frost would let you give us a preview of his list in an upcoming MBH&H magazine?


Virginia Crowell Jones, West Tisbury, Martha’s Vinyard, MA:

The Last Grain Race, by Eric Newby

Mother Sea, by Elis Karlsson

My Ship is so Small, by Ann Davison

Wanderer, by Sterling Hayden

Fifty South to Fifty South, by Warwick Tompkins

Folklore of the Sea, there are two books with this name, one is by Horace Beck and the other by Margaret Baker

The Encyclopedia of Yacht Design, by Lucia del Sol Knight and Daniel MacNaughton

Songs the Whalemen Sang, by E Gale  Huntington

Cap’n George Fred Himself by George  Fred Tilton and Harry Neyland

Ashley’s Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley

The Craft of Sail by Jan Adkins

Any of the Electra and Irving Johnson books about the first two Yankees although they were always shooting sea creatures.

Any of the books about Gloucester by James B. Connolly

William Tilman sailing books

Books by Jospeh Conrad, Eric Hiscock, William Albert Robinson, Miles Smeeton, Alain Gerbault, Claud Worth


George B. Terrien, Rockland, ME:

Following the Sea, by Benjamin Doane

A book rarely recognized, but greatly appreciated by all those I know who have read it.  

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