The History of Seafaring
Navigating the World's OceansBook - 2007
A large format, meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated and fully international history of mankind's seaborne voyages from the Phoenicians and Chinese to modern navies and round-the-world sailing yachts. Royal prestige, intellectual curiosity, commerce and territorial expansion all propelled mankind to make perilous voyages across unpredictable oceans to find out what lay beyond the horizon, and the art of navigation allowed them to do so. From initial conjecture and philosophical reason, man ventured forth to glean first-hand information of the seas by exploration and scientific investigation.
The author pieces together the advances in astronomy, navigation, shipbuilding and surveying through the ages to tell the fascinating and absorbing history of navigation and exploration in an elegant volume that is beautifully illustrated with manuscripts and rutters, portolans and sea charts, ship's instruments and artefacts. The meticulous research, based on original sources, has brought to light a lot of new information, which in some cases contradicts popular held beliefs.
The book opens with the basic questions and challenges of navigation. Part 2 unravels the development of science and seafaring from the ancient times to the Mediterranean era. This created a basis for longer sailings, which are at the heart of Part 3 and in Part 4 the book ends with the advanced technology that made it possible to determine a ship's exact position at sea.