Reading the Glass: A Sailor's Stories of Weather
'Brimming with knowledge and experience . . . delightful' Daily Telegraph
'An extraordinary book by a modern-day Melville whose deep knowledge, boundless curiosity and endearingly wry humour make him the perfect guide to the world beyond our shores' Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot
'Relatable, reflective, and humorous . . . a genuinely immersive read' Countryman
What's in a cloud? What separates a tropical storm from a winter blizzard? And what exactly is El Niño? Elliot Rappaport, a professional captain of traditional sailing ships, has spent three decades at sea, where understanding weather could be the difference between life and death.
Told through a series of tall ship voyages, Rappaport's narrative takes readers from the icy seas of Greenland to the Roaring Forties, places where one can experience all four seasons in an hour. He navigates the turbulent waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, en route to storied port cities of the Mediterranean. In the vast tropical Pacific, he crosses the equator, where heat, moisture, and unsettled winds churn out powerful squalls, and drops anchor in isolated ports of call. He explores wide swathes of ocean to explain how the trade winds have carried ships westward for centuries, and how ancient Polynesian explorers pushed back the other way.
Written in stunning prose, brimming with wisdom, curiosity, and humour, Reading the Glass brilliantly blends science and memoir to reveal how weather has shaped our oceans, our history, and ourselves.
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