cover image Tramp


Chronicle Books, Michael J. Krieger. Chronicle Books, $35 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-343-3

Sensitive reportage and keen photography are effective complements in this charming and informative sea travelogue. Through these pages, readers will visit rustic cargo vessels in remote portsfrom the Peloponnisos, Fjords and Fijis to the banks of the Yangtzeand discover the freighters' war-linked histories, the current rocky state of private sea trade and a smattering of practical navigational information. Freelance writer Krieger's delight in the nautical world and compassion for financially insecure tramp owners are infectious, though slightly sentimental. Some of the adventures are recounted vividlythe massive S.T. Crapo's precarious traversal of the narrow Saginaw River; cattle-loading on the Tasmania-bound Lady Jillianbut the occasional uninspiring story drags the narrative. (October)