five non-fiction reads for when you're dreaming of the sea

Five Non—Fiction Journeys for When You're Dreaming of the Sea

While some of these books include (yes, you guessed it) surfing, they are all non-fiction about wanderlust, discovery and adventure. Two of them don’t even mention surfing! If you are dying to get back to the sea, these are the perfect way to take you there and maybe motivate you to plan a journey of your own!


1. Swell by Liz Clark

If you have ever dreamed of going on an epic sailing adventure to remote places, or conversely are curious what the heck Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are singing about in “Southern Cross,” this book is for you. It feels like a journey from the 70s but actually took place a few years ago, which makes Liz Clark’s retelling of her sailing journey that much better: to know simple acts of kindness and untouched places still exist in this modern world.


2. The Wave by Susan Casey

The Wave delves into the science of waves while peppering in accounts of surfing big waves and various tsunamis. This book goes into the sheer power of the ocean, as well as the mindset of guys like Laird Hamilton. It intersperses science with stories and can be quite entertaining.


3. Deep by James Nestor

James Nestor became obsessed with the notion of free diving and takes you through his own journey of seeing just how deep into the ocean he could descend. It is not a book so much about free diving as it is about the creatures that exist in our oceans, our interactions with them and how they communicate with one another, as well as solving myths and mysteries about shark attacks and dolphin behavior.


4. In Search of Captain Zero by Allan Weisbecker

The more popular book of the surf safari genre is Barbarian Days, which is also a great read, but there was something I liked more about In Search of Captain Zero. Weisbecker weaves a great story of his journey down the west coast in search of his friend and all of the people he encounters along the way. It is about surfing, but it is also about travel, communities and people.


5. The Soul of an Octopus by Si Montegomery

I was drawn to this title in a local bookstore- both because I love octopuses and because I had no desire to read a book by this title. The bookstore owner convinced me otherwise and I was in for a fascinating and pleasant read. If you liked the documentary “My Octopus Teacher” or are even remotely curious about these intelligent creatures- read this book. After reading it, all I want to do is find an octopus of my own to befriend!

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