Sunday, 21 April 2013

Catalan Castaway

The book based on this blog is now available from Richard Wynne of Lodestar Books. Under the title Catalan Castaway, the selected writings focus on the seaborne adventures of Onawind Blue rather than her construction and include material that hasn't appeared here at the Invisible Workshop. The trip to Ibiza and OB's close shave with a fishing boat appear in full, illustrated with hand-drawn maps. Gavin Atkin has kindly written a glowing forward and supplied the plans for his design which are included as an appendix.

Richard Wynne has given the book a semi-coffee table format with an A5 layout and he has selected photos of OB and the sea to accompany the text. The book has been printed on A4 paper thus necessitating getting the whole lot chopped in half. When I last spoke to Dick he was just off to find a boatbuilder with a bandsaw to do the job. A more fitting way of finishing a book about a small homemade boat I can't imagine.

Not only have I had a lot of fun building and sailing OB but also writing about her. And to some extent when I became ill with cancer my solo experiences on the water helped me through. At least my memories of sparkling Mediterranean waters and a lively little hull were a place I could escape to during the gruelling days in hospital. I'm proud and pleased that my writing has been considered printable, and to see this part of my life neatly bound in book form gives me a good solid point to move on from.  


Unknown said...

Just ordered a copy, I've enjoyed the blog and am glad you're recovering. Will be disappointed if there's no recipes in there, mind.

Unknown said...

If there's no recipes, can you at least follow up that post about cooking octopus?



Ben said...

Yes Rob, octopus details to appear soon. I just need to catch a big one and take some photos. Thanks for ordering a book, I hope you enjoy it, I think copies are being sent out this week.

Tom said...


thanks for putting a book together, and congratulations on its publication. I'll be ordering a copy soon (payday is Thursday!)



Ben said...

Great, Tom. I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

It´s great that you have written a book. I´ll buy it right now! Iñaki

Fausto said...

Hi Ben, i received the book! Fantastic.
A question: at the end of the book you show the plans and (pag 221) it is written 650 lbs. Is this the weight of onawind blue?
Congratulations and thank you for sharing.

Ben said...

Fausto, I would say my boat is lighter. There is a significant difference between empty hull weight and loaded for cruising weight. Unloaded I can move her with ease, loaded it's a struggle. I've no idea how to go about weighing her.

Ed y Maggi said...

Thanks for the book, and the fish stew recipe (I cooked it last week for friends, the first time I have ever set fire to alcohol).
I am challenged by your rigour about learning about your boat - I am near the Ebro and have a Drascombe for a couple of years and think I must get out and practice more. Again thanks. ED

Ben said...

Ed, a Drascombe near the Ebro sounds good, get out and enjoy it. The more you learn about your boat the better the sailing will be. Well done for making the fish stew.