Sunday, November 30, 2014

sleeping gear, books I kept

Taking some tips from my Watertribe kayaking friends, I'm switching to a sleep system that should take up much less space and give me more options for dealing with temperatures from hot to cold.  Today I ordered a Northface Aleutian 50 degree sleeping bag.  This will cover most nights in May/June and September October on Chesapeake Bay and on the sounds of North Carolina.  Stored in a stuff sack, it is about 1/3 the size and 1/4 the weight of my current sleeping bag.  On sale for a little over $50, it comes with free two-day shipping from backcountry.

For nights when it is either colder or warmer than expected, I will soon order a sleeping bag liner.  I'm looking at a Sea to Summit model but haven't made a final decision yet.  The liner can add 15 degrees to a sleeping bag's warmth, which would be welcome on a chilly night.  On a warm night, the liner could be used could be used by itself inside the bivy, becoming essentially a nice blanket to keep me comfortable.  I was surprised to see that a quality liner will cost more than the discounted cost of the sleeping back itself.  But it is a comfort item, and I equate comfort - getting a good night's rest - with safety.


I had the urge over the holiday weekend to clean out my bookshelf.  A lot of good books and enjoyable reads were dropped off at the thrift store.  I did keep some books, those that I pick up on occasion to read a chapter or two.  Here is the list, in no particular order, of some of the books I kept along with a very brief description of each.  

Panama, by Thomas McGuane / novel, Key West

Easy in the Island, Bob Sachochis / short stories, Caribbean

Great Dream of Heaven, Sam Shepard / short stories

Sitting in Darkness, David Bain / history, the Philippines

A Year on Key West and Cuba with Hemingway, Arnold Samuelson / memoir

The Creature in the Map, Charles Nicholl / history, Sir Walter Raleigh in South America

Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn, Paul Watkins / novel, commercial fishing off Rhode Island

Tales of Land and Sea, Joseph Conrad / collection of novels

Ninety-two in the Shade, Thomas McGuane / novel, Key West

The Coast of Summer, Anthony Bailey / memoir, Cape Cod

An Island out of Time, Tom Horton / Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay

The Riddle of the Sands, Erkine Childers / novel, sailing the Frisian Islands before WW I

The Shadow in the Sands, Sam Llewellyn / sequel to the above

The Voyage, Philip Caputo - novel, sailing New York to Cuba

Sailing in a Spooful of Water, Joe Coomer / memoir, Texas and New England

The Boy, Me and the Cat, Henry Plummer / sailing a catboat from New England to Florida and back

The Windward Road, Archie Carr / naturalist tracking turtles in the windward islands

Dillinger in Hollywood, John Sayles / short stories

Mile Zero, Thomas Sanchez / novel, Key West

Coasting, Jonathan Raban / sailing around England

Voyage, Sterling Hayden / novel about sailing late 1800s

The Ocean Waits, Webb Chiles / sailing an open boat from the south Pacific to the Red Sea

Sailing Alone Around the World, Joshua Slocum / no description needed

On the River, Walter Magnes Teller / collection of stories about journeys in small boats

Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana / sailing to California

Shadow Country, Peter Matthiessen / novel, Florida

Far Tortuga, Peter Matthiessen / novel, Caribbean

Spartina, John Casey / novel, Rhode Island

The Americans, Robert Frank / photographs

Narrow Waters, Dee Carstarphen / sailing down the intracoastal waterway

Gravesend Light, David Payne / novel, Outer Banks and Roanoke Island

By the Wind, Richard Baum / sailing

Crazy Heart, Thomas Cobb / novel, Texas

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