AtDockWe’re constantly being inspired by photos, poems, places, people, and all sorts of other phenomenal stuff. Here we’ll share some of that inspiration – so that when everything’s going wrong we know where to look to find our smile again! Let us know your essential sea and boat related inspiration checklist…

Vancouver sailingWORDS:

  • Two of the funniest books about boats we’ve ever read are Farley Mowat’s The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float and Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Guaranteed to cheer up the dullest of days!
  • Sara learned a lot from Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds (James Hamilton-Paterson) and was impressed by the beauty of its poetic, thoughtful approach. It’s a stunning mixture of science, philosophy, cartography, biography and travel tales.
  • A good story about cruising in the tropics: Dom Degnon’s Sails Full and By.
  • Charlie Connelly’s Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast is another great sea-focused read.
  • For sea-related poetry you can’t beat Round The Corner by Louis MacNeice with its magical last line: ‘Round the corner is – sooner or later – the sea’.
  • And obviously, while on the subject of poetry, the list wouldn’t be complete without Edward Lear’s brilliant The Owl and the Pussycat.

Granville Island ReflectionsMUSIC:

    • While working with Folkworks at The Sage Gateshead, Sara was involved with a great shanty project – various music leaders taught a load of shanties to groups of pupils at various schools throughout the region, then we all joined together for a big sing in Hall 1 (which has often been described as looking a bit like a boat itself) with local shanty group, The Keelers. There’s nothing like the sound of hundreds of people singing shanties together, and it was a brilliant opportunity for pupils to learn a bit about boats and the sea.
    • Another fantastic project Folkworks organized was The Tall Ships/Swan Project. A group of young musicians and Shetland fiddle player Chris Stout took part in the 2005 Tall Ships Race, sailing the restored Shetland fishing boat The Swan, and playing music along the way. Chris had already participated in the 1999 Tall Ships Race with his band Fiddlers Bid, when band member Catriona Mackay composed this beautiful tune while sailing aboard The Swan.
    • Despite being about saying goodbye to life on a boat, this is one of our favourite boat-related songs ever: Queen Of Waters, written by Nancy Kerr.

OTHER SAILORS:  We’ve been really enjoying checking out some great sailing blogs. It’s a great way to get an idea of how the sailing life works  and the kinds of things to expect. See our PEOPLE page for some of the blogs we read.


  • Sail Boat Project: A workers co-operative based in Brighton, England – educational and community project offering access to sailing and the sea, training, transport and a model for sustainable sailing boat practice.

It’s great to read about other people’s adventures and work – let us know if you have a favourite travel/sailing/ocean project blog that we should check out!