Mar­itime men leave lega- sea

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS - WAR­REN BREWER

TAS­MA­NIAN pho­tog­ra­pher and writer An­drew Wil­son has cho­sen a great cover pho­to­graph for this vis­ual an­them to the men who make and sail boats in the cold wa­ters that sur­round our is­land.

The in­ter­nal co­he­sion in the work is pro­vided by the some­times raw and pow­er­ful, some­times ethe­real and lonely black and white pho­to­graphs. They are su­perb. Col­lec­tively, the war­riors, seascapes, fa­mous and in­fa­mous mar­itime lo­ca­tions, and the care­fully cho­sen text cre­ate a nos­tal­gic mood of awe and re­spect.

On closer in­spec­tion, it is the hands and faces that tell a more per­sonal story of hard­ship and en­durance.

They are the in­deli­ble bat­tle scars of count­less con­fronta­tions with the ele­ments.

The raw power of the sea can be truly ter­ri­fy­ing.

Only those with fierce courage or fool­har­di­ness em­brace it – even more so in the Roar­ing For­ties’ lat­i­tudes, where the wild winds blow and surg­ing seas roll, un­hin­dered by land­masses around the globe.

There are also some quiet and beau­ti­ful sanc­tu­ar­ies where there is time and space to re­flect and re­cover. Many are cap­tured here.

I am anx­ious that the great names of Tas­ma­nian mar­itime his­tory may be lost, but this book is re­as­sur­ing.

Their sto­ries are in­te­gral to this is­land state’s iden­tity. Thank­fully, many are in­cluded here.

Men such as Bern Cuth­bert­son, Terry Bragg, Don Garn­ham, Mike Webb, Gary Hamer, Noel Hall, Noel Wil­son, Pete Head­ing and Snowy Mor­ri­son.

There are many oth­ers but they are a di­min­ish­ing gen­er­a­tion and I am fear­ful they may be over­whelmed by the forces of money, ma­chines and mod­ern tech­no­log­i­cal gad­getry.

This is a won­der­ful book to pe­ruse, re­flect and en­joy its pre­cious mo­ments of pas­sion and pride.

Pre­mier Lara Gid­dings will launch the book at the Tall Ships Fes­ti­val to­day from 1.30pm.

Dur­ing the fes­ti­val, Wil­son will be sell­ing his book for the spe­cial price of $ 45 to Tall Ship Pass­port hold­ers.

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