CBMM to publish book on log canoe racing
ST. MICHAELS — The thrill of log canoe racing — four to 18 people in choreographed motion, balancing the strain on the rig, calling out puffs and lifts, eyeing the competition, sailing low on the water with enough horsepower to exceed theoretical hull speed in optimum conditions — is explored in a new book, “Tradition, Speed and Grace: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes,” set for release this May by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
The hardcover 150-page book was written by John C. North II, and it includes more than 140 color and black-and-white illustrations and photographs.
North recounts his perspective on the sport from his 70 years of log canoeing. The book also includes individual profiles of the remaining 23 canoes in the fleet, along with a chronology of log canoe racing and line drawings of canoes from the CBMM collection.
North was born and raised in Talbot County, and ser ved as state’s attorney for Talbot County, judge of the district and circuit courts, and chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission. He was one of the founders of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, became its first vice president and later its president. His family now owns and campaigns four Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoes, and he captains
Island Bird, built in 1882 by his great-grandfather.
“This book gives the reader an on-board, intimate experience with Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoes,” said CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “Aboard the canoe, in the clubhouse and during long tows, the judge has recounted many wonderful stories about log canoe racing in a variety of personal settings. Now with this book, Judge North shares his experience, his knowledge and his passion with readers from all over the world.”
“Although countless articles on log canoe sailing have appeared in nearly ever y periodical covering yachting generally or the Chesapeake Bay region, sailing log canoes have not received a book-length treatment since M.V. Brewington’s 1963 ‘Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes,’ which reprinted his earlier 1937 volume on the subject,” Lesher writes in the book’s Foreword. “Much has occurred in log canoe racing since 1937, so a book on this subject is overdue.”
Limited, first-edition books will be sold at CBMM’s Museum Store for $65 starting Saturday, May 12, with North signing books there from 2 to 4 p.m. Advance, signed copies can be reserved in the store or online at bit.ly/logcanoes. All of the book’s proceeds will benefit the children and adults served by the museum’s year-round education, restoration and exhibition programs.
For more information, visit www. cbmm.org.
The cover of “Tradition, Speed and Grace: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes,” by John C. North II, is shown.
John C. North II is the author of “Tradition, Speed and Grace: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes,” set for release in May by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.