By Jeff Merrill
Finding some uninterrupted time to relax and enjoy a good book is one of my simple pleasures. And it doesn’t get better than reading on board a boat. It’s a nice break in the day whether you are underway or on the hook. Whenever I’m off watch, there are only three things I need to escape reality and venture inside the covers of a novel: a comfortable place to recline, bright lighting and an interesting story.
Having a great book to read is practically a pre-requisite of cruising, so it’s a good thing our boats are built with plenty of good book shelves throughout. One habit I can’t seem to break is reading what titles are secured behind the fiddles of every Nordhavn I board. It’s not that I’m being a snoop, I just want to make sure that I’m not missing an author I’ve never heard of.
I tend to prefer the action and thriller fictional works by authors like Ian Fleming, Clive Cussler and Robert Ludlum. You can’t miss with the “guy’s guy” characters in their books. After all, who wouldn’t want to always defeat the villain, get the girl and miraculously survive some life-threatening ordeal in a strange, exotic setting? I almost dread coming to the end of my favorite reads. I need to know that there is another good one waiting in the wings.
To help make sure you don’t run out of interesting titles, I’d like to propose a few offerings by author Clyde Ford.
Clyde’s a good friend who I’ve known for several years. We’ve talked at various boat shows and corresponded by e-mail about Nordhavns, trawlers, and being out on the water.
Clyde spends several months each year cruising the inside passage of the northwest aboard his Willard 30 trawler. He is an acclaimed public speaker and has written articles for publications such as PassageMaker magazine.
By combining his love of writing and the sea, Clyde penned a series of nautical mystery adventures featuring main character Charlie Noble, an ex-Coast Guard turned marine private investigator. His two books, “Red Herring” and “Precious Cargo” have established Charlie as a capable sleuth. It’s easy to root for Charlie – a regular guy who you want to see succeed. The fast moving plots have put Clyde right up there with my favorite authors.
Each of the books is filled with nautical language and references actual harbors in the Pacific Northwest. I won’t ruin the suspense, but in “Red Herring” there is an admiral who owns a Nordhavn 62. (I think I might have sold that boat!).
The third book in the series, “Whiskey Gulf”, is currently wrapping up. I can’t wait for it!
I’m sure you will enjoy these stories as much as I have. If you have a favorite action/thriller book or author (particularly with a boating angle or theme) that you think I should know about, I’d appreciate hearing from you!
You can find out a lot more about Clyde’s works by going to www.clydeford.com or ask your favorite book seller to order a copy for you. And be sure keep watch for Clyde out on the water…hopefully someday in his own Nordhavn!