All at Sea

Twenty Years at the Helm of Tall Ships


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SKU: 9780786475803 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

The true story of how a family brought a wooden cargo ship back into the age of sail. Cecilia bought the first ship, a Thames barge, for family vacations—there were six children. Dominick bought the successor, a Baltic Trader, and then found this would be his career. Twenty years elapsed between the first days of the barge and the last day of the Baltic. From knowing virtually nothing about sailing ships, the author traces getting to grips with the problems of making sails on board, skipping between sandbanks, dragging anchor, losing a mast, crossing the Atlantic, fixing self-steering, avoiding hurricanes, hauling out for repairs, and his major preoccupation: failing to sink. For 13 years, the author had no other home, and for half that period never spent a night ashore.

About the Author(s)

Dominick Jones lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

by Dominick Jones

Format: softcover (7×10)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, 22 maps, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7580-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0343-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface–Some Facts 1
Introduction 3

1. Buying the barge 7
2. And now a Baltic trader 26
3. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth–Matthew 6:3 38
4. The Minsener Rinne 49
5. The first winter in England 59
6. Battle hardening 72
7. From pillar to post 83
8. Who says France faces west? 96
9. The Royal Albert Dock 110
10. The Lappel Bank 121
11. A daft decision 139
12. Le dock flottant 151
13. A flying Dutchman? 165
14. Back to England 179
15. Emigration
How to do it 193
The Wrigley’s Chewing Gum charter 196
We leave France 205
Sailmaking 207
16. Traveling again
The Balearics 214
Leaving the Mediterranean 218
Atlantic crossing 219
The Caribbean 223
17. Life in America
Skidding to a stop 226
Hogging 228
A mast by the board 231
Hurricane Gloria 232
The keel shoe 234
The auxiliary rudder 238

Afterword 241
Glossary 245
Index 259

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An autobiography that begins with the author learning to sail on a Thames barge that he and his wife bought for vacation use with their six children.  They eventually bought a three-masted schooner, which they sailed and lived aboard for more than a decade.”—Woodenboat Review
  • “With no previous knowledge of ships and sailing, a scientist and his wife buy a large sailing barge, beginning a 20-year adventure sailing large ships with their six children.  This narrative describes close calls with dry humor and charts the family’s growing confidence as they eventually live on the ship full-time.  The book includes b&w photos and maps.”—Reference & Research Book News

Ebook Availability

McFarland (Hummingbird Digital Media edition)

Amazon (Kindle)

Apple (iBooks)

Barnes & Noble (Nook)


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