The Sea

The Sea

Monday, 4 July, 2022

The ocean — vast, brutal, beautiful, and so very deep — is a thrilling setting for stories. Seafaring heroes and heroines are challenged by external forces like the wind and waves, as well as internal demons that become unwelcome companions in the close quarters of a ship.

The sea is a metaphor for everything that’s important to us: for adventure and creativity and love. It’s fascinated humans since the beginning of time, inspiring poets, historians, and novelists, as well as adventurers, conquerors, and pirates.

From luxury cruises to battered warships, open seas to exotic ports, the ocean is a compelling setting for stories of big adventure, quiet moments, human vs. nature, and the drama found above and below decks.

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In this episode, we discuss essential words and phrases associated with the sea — including an introduction to the first poet — and recommend books that made us feel the ocean breeze and smell the salt in the air, including a harrowing memoir, a spy adventure set aboard-ship in WWII, a poignant tale of a seafaring circus, the adventures of a lady pirate, and a classic. And David chats with B.J. Porter, an American father and husband from Ohio, who sailed with his family halfway around the world in their boat the Evenstar. (show notes / transcript)

recommended books

Cinnamon and Gunpowder

buy | read review

Dark Voyage

buy | read review

Dead Wake

buy | read review

Death by Water

buy | read review

The Gracekeepers

buy | read review

Into the Storm

buy | read review

Journey Into Fear

buy | read review

The Last Cruise

buy | read review

Moby Dick

buy | read review

Ten Rogues

buy | read review


buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Michael Blum/Unsplash.

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From a luxury cruise to battered warships and open seas to exotic ports, the ocean is a compelling setting for stories of big adventure, quiet moments, human vs. nature, and the drama sparked by close quarters aboard ship.
On 21 November 1922, a luxury liner embarked on a 130-day cruise around the world to 22 ports: Yokohoma and Shanghai, Rangoon and Bombay, Egypt, Cuba, and Naples. This is the true story of that grand adventure.
Once you've heard a crew singing 'Roll the Old Chariot,' you'll not forget it. Sea shanties are infectious — and they served an important function aboard ship. We've got the backstory on this charming nautical art form.
It's never smooth sailing when the Honorable Phyrne Fisher is involved — but it is always a lot of dangerous and delicious fun. Dine on this delightful shrimp salad while catching up on Phryne's high seas adventures.
The Tom Collins is the ultimate highball, a combo of gin, simple syrup, lemon, and bubbly water. This classic is effervescent and refreshing — the ideal go-along for a literary thriller set on a retro luxury liner.
It's anchors aweigh on these literary voyages that promise excitement of both the physical and emotional variety. You'll meet a lady pirate, a WWII freighter captain, the passengers of a luxury liner, Ishmael, and more.
You might not expect a story of kidnap and pirates to put tears in your eyes and wings on your heart. But you've likely never met pirates like Mad Hannah Mabot and her sometimes surly and surprisingly sensitive crew.
This novel has everything a dramatic adventure requires: compelling characters making (very) questionable decisions, the timeless conflict between haves and have-nots, an opulent setting at sea, and impending peril.

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