‘Coastal Turmoil’ is neither a book for the faint-hearted nor a quick read on a wet afternoon. Despite the author’s accessible and engaging writing style, it requires some perseverance but is altogether a worthwhile investment of time and effort.
Rather as in cruising where convention suggests that we sail towards a destination, Ken Endean has given us a book that helps us move towards an understanding of the relationship between wind, wave and current. Mastering this subject probably requires a lifetime's study. For those of us with less experience and those who perhaps have come to realise rather later, the importance and usefulness of this understanding, ‘mastery’ may be an elusive goal but increasing our knowledge is certainly attainable and this publication is an excellent aid to achieving this. It combines some readily accessible scientific theory with copious diagrams, practical suggestions and graphic photographs that illustrate what the theory means in practice.
Anyone familiar with Ken's writing in the yachting press will know that he is an aficionado of the smaller out-of-the-way harbours, anchorages, estuaries and inlets that abound around our coast and that of Northern France. These are places that some of us may not be attracted to and for whom this book would be of academic interest only. Equally, those who regularly frequent some of these types of place and have acquired local knowledge may feel that they have no need to understand the theory behind what they know about in practice.
For the rest of us, who hanker after this kind of sailing and would like to inhabit that area where land and sea meet, this book offers the chance to gain the confidence to explore new places by enabling us to make a better assessment of potential hazards and delights before committing ourselves to a course of action.
Finally, the author recognises that focussing exclusively on the ‘turmoil’ aspects of this subject may be all too much for some so he finishes with a chapter on ‘Smooth water and how to enjoy it’. ‘Coastal Turmoil’ would be an excellent addition to many a sailor's library and become well-thumbed over the years.