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Reading the glass


What’s in a cloud? What separates a tropical storm from a winter blizzard? And what exactly is El Niño? Elliot Rappaport, a professional captain of traditional sailing ships, has spent three decades at sea, where understanding weather could be the difference between life and death. In ‘Reading the Glass’, he offers a sailor’s-eye view of the moving parts of our atmosphere and unveils the larger patterns it holds: global winds, storms, air masses, jet streams, and the longer arc of our climate.

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SKU: 9781529369335 Category: Tags: , , ,


Brimming with knowledge and experience . . . delightful’ Daily Telegraph

‘An extraordinary book by a modern-day Melville whose deep knowledge, boundless curiosity and endearingly wry humour make him the perfect guide to the world beyond our shores’ Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot

‘Relatable, reflective, and humorous . . . a genuinely immersive read’ Countryman

‘Date, time, wind, waves, pressure, temperature, and cloud cover.
Like pilots, roofers and mountain climbers, mariners are obsessed with the weather, immersed in it as part of their daily calculus . . . Make good decisions, mariners are fond of saying. If there were a corollary to this, it might offer: When the weather gods show you their cards, don’t miss them’

Weather can be the difference between life and death for a sailor, something Captain Elliot Rappaport knows very well, having spent almost his whole adult life at sea.

A professional ship’s captain, with over thirty years of experience sailing traditional vessels, ‘tall ships’, Captain Rappaport has travelled around 100,000 sea miles, in all four hemispheres, and spent a great many hours watching the weather unfold.

In Reading the Glass he shares all he has learned about the weather at sea, gives us an inside look at the world of seafaring, a vocation much more than a job, and shares some hard-won mariner’s wisdom: if you are headed for Greenland in July, expect at least one storm, and wait until after Christmas to sail to New Zealand’s South Island; pack $3000-worth of fruit and veg for a two-month journey at sea; and the most valuable member of the crew is first of all the engineer, and secondly the cook!

Reading the Glass is a gorgeous blend of drily funny stories of life on a ship, the history of seafaring, stories of explorers, discoveries, epic storms, and the science of weather.

Additional information

Weight 0.537 kg
Dimensions 23.6 × 16 × 3.6 cm










551.6 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K