Published by Patagonia Books, July 2012. Available on Amazon, at Patagonia stores, or orderable via local booksellers
Voyage of the Cormorant is a non-fiction, first-person account of surfing explorations in Alta y Baja California aboard my self-built, 18-foot Shetland Isle beach boat, Cormorant. Tanbark sails and a dark, pine-tarred hull evoke Cormorant’s Norse boat lineage. Seafaring with centuries-old technologies (oars and sails only) requires an embrace of the conditions at hand, and it is precisely the deeply immersive quality of such an approach that provides incomparable experiences in the remote quarters. The book presents surfing as an aesthetic (rather than purely athletic) pursuit, with stories of the fishermen, surfers, sailors, and pelagic creatures that I cross paths with. There is an element of searching in Voyage of the Cormorant—not only for waves, but also a visceral sense of the Pacific Coast. Surfboard design and discussions of wave riding approaches are also significant elements in the narrative, as well as anecdotes from the surfing life that have led me to embark upon this particular endeavor.