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Do Dolphins Ever Sleep?

211 Questions and Answers About Ships, the Sky and the Sea

by Pierre-Yves and Sally Bely

It's not a coffee table book. It's not an instructional book. It's not an adventure story. It's not a fictional tale about the sea. It's not actually the kind of book you might go looking to find. But once you spy it, you will surely come home with it. It is a collection of short discussions on topics as varied as "why some boats are pretty" and "how crews are distributed on America's Cup boats." It tackles questions about whether containers lost at sea pose a real threat, why a dinghy slides out from under you when you try to step out, why the color of the waters vary, and how the wind creates waves.

This is the kind of book that can keep you, your crew, and your children merrily occupied on many rainy days. In fact, it is so interesting it is rather hard to put down. It covers an amazing collection of intellectual issues that most of us wonder about but never find the answers to, including questions about the weather, the seas, the ships, the skills, and life aboard.

Pierre-Yves Bely is an engineer who worked with NASA and the Paris Observatory. He is also a passionate cruiser who asked himself these eclectic questions on his many crossings of the Atlantic. The difference between him and most mariners is that he actually sought the answers. His wife, Sally, translated and adapted the book. Between them, they created a very readable, well documented, and nicely illustrated reference. You'll want a copy for your ship's library for this year's cruising season.

For more books, visit our reading lists for adults and for children.

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