This is great reading for the huge number of people with a passion for the sea. It is immaculately researched and builds itself into a rather dramatic history of sailing the seven seas. Ships have been overwhelmed by huge waves, consumed by fire, broken apart, sunk by storms and driven onto uncharted rocks. They have collided with icebergs or other ships, or run aground on unlit coastlines. Boilers have exploded. Magazines have ignited. Cargoes have shifted with catastrophic consequences and submarines have submerged never to come up again.