Our Bookshelf

People often ask what books we cruise with.  Below we’ve broken them down by category.   Obviously, we’ll add as we cruise, and add to our list!



Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes is a must-have for anyone wanting to go father afield than coastal cruising. Cornell’s book details when to sail in certain parts of the world, where to go, and how to sail to your next destination. It gives a variety of routes for even smaller areas, and details the time of year that it is best to sail there. For example, even of you have no desire to cross an ocean, you can more adeptly sail throughout the Caribbean using the knowledge contained in this book!

General Seamanship and Yacht Ownership

The Voyager’s Handbook is the first book we ever bought when we got this crazy idea in our heads to buy a sailboat and sail around the world, over 1o years ago. It is a book that gives a terrific overview of all of the things you need to think about when wanting to sail abroad, from what type of boat to get, to the costs of cruising… to customs procedures, and homeschooling kids. For newbies, it lets you know what you don’t know…. so you can then start to research topics more.


The Merck Manual is a comprehensive medical reference guide that is a must-have when diagnosing diseases and ailments. When I skippered for the US Naval Academy Offshore Sailing Training Squadron, this was THE medical book we carried aboard.
Wilderness Medicine is another great reference for emergency medicine when there are no doctors around. It gives advice on how to handle those nasty emergencies, with pictures (for better or for worse!). It’s not as comprehensive as Merck, but it’s a wilderness medicine guide… after reading it, it will give you the confidence to deal with those nasty emergencies, and also teaches you to be “creative” in dealing with them, with the items you may have at hand when away from civilization.

Dog Aboard Must-Haves

The Healthy Hound Cookbook is a great cookbook to make healthy snacks and food for dogs. Onboard, it is difficult to get dog food and dog treats in foreign countries, so this cookbook is a great introduction on cooking for your canine crew members!

Fiction, and Tales of the Sea

General Must-Haves

Homeschooling Must-Haves

I used to teach Freshman Literature and Composition at the U.S. Naval Academy, and They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing was the book I used to teach writing. It’s the one I used, as did several of the faculty. The extended version with the essays in the back is a great teaching reference, and the book has good exercises. This is great for a High School student.
The Ode Less Travelled is written by Stephen Fry, and is such a witty read. It is a book about how to write poetry, and gives you really accessible exercises to do to learn how to write several different types of poetry. This is a lost art, and worth learning, if not for anyone else, then for your own personal growth and expression.