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More from Nigel Ridgway

Nigel has been keeping his pen going with reminisces of owning Clare, a Western Australian Built Wooden Ketch and his time on the ocean.

 Nigel traces the history of the Western Australian built ketch, Clare, in this delightful tale. With contributions from the logbooks of his wife, Aileen and Lanie (the owner after the Ridgways) we share the love and frustration of sailing and maintaining a wooden boat. 

   Nigel takes us on a voyage of discovery when he learns about Clare’s chequered past but is very enthusiastic about her future in the hands of current owner, Brad.

   The book also examines wooden boat building in WA, skills that are still alive and well today.

   A very enjoyable read with many photos, every lover of the sea and sailing vessels will want this book in their library.



From Mark
Just put “Clare” down feeling richer for the experience of reading about Nigel's relationship with her.  What a great yarn.  It was clever to include Lanie’s part as she provided a different perspective. You opened my eyes to wooden ketch sailing and feel as if I missed out on that type of adventure. Anyway congratulations on a very readable and interesting story.

Having just put down Captain Cook’s life story down, your yarn has prompted me to tour the Endeavour next time in Sydney and appreciate wooden boat building at it’s finest.  I  hope Brad is enjoying his experience with the refit.

From Roger

Received my copy a fortnight ago and it was a welcome yarn against the world’s gloom! I really enjoyed the tale... light, breezy and it was as if you were reading this to me! There were many highlights and lowlights with Clare but was appalled at the behaviour of the Hillarys Yacht Broker that you had to take to the tribunal. He ended up verbally threatening you after you were awarded damages…not one of Trumps relations was he?

Congratulations on a great read and looking forward to seeing this on Netflix soon!! 

From John and Julie (Clare's crew)

Jules and I enjoyed the book and it brought back many memories of our time on board! Do you remember, Nige, when we were having sundowners on the poop deck late in the arvo, when Julie asked why the dinghy with the man and his daughter in it was going backwards with him rowing the dinghy? You and I went to rescue them in your dinghy and towed them back to their yacht.

Their outboard had stopped with water in the fuel if we had not gone to the rescue they would have gone out of the lagoon on the ebb tide never to be seen again!     Cheers,

From Bob T

Hi Nigel , received the books , very good ! You have written a very interesting, informative book . As youngsters we grew up with wooden  boats , mainly fishing boats, so my brother is at heart a wooden boat person but as you know they are expensive to maintain hence his " plastic “ yacht! The wooden boat I remember most was   the PHOENIX, a large crayfish freezer boat my dad, uncle and the Lombardi brothers built on the foreshore at Bicton in the early 50's . Not only did they build it but also put in a slipway to launch it ! Try that these days ! This was done at Beach St . Alas, as the catcher boats became faster and more onshore freezers existed there was less use for the large freezer boats , and the PHOENIX , like many other's of the same type suffered terminal " accidents " . She caught fire off Green Head and sank . I suspect not a happy time for boat insurers . Anyhow enough rambling !! 

Robyn Hudson

I enjoyed your story of 'Clare',  and your love for, and adventures with her.   Read it last night.  Obviously she has been through some very highs and lows, but am glad someone is really trying to restore her again.
What a great life you two have had, and how lucky you've been in finding each other and sharing so many great times.
Lanie is obviously a very game girl.  Was wondering how much experience she'd had (navigation, etc.) before she sailed off in Clare?

Bob Benton

CLARE is a great read, full of wonderful stories and adventures.

I have known Nigel for around forty years, both through music and sailing. He has a deep passion for sailing, music and his work as a schoolteacher. In this book Nigel manages, at times, to combine all three, especially with his students by arranging regular skeds with them to discuss the various adventures and observations experienced during his journey to Cocos (Keeling) Island.

CLARE is Nigel’s third book, the other two being about his career as a musician and his epic journey across the Indian Ocean to Durban South Africa and back.
Nigel is an accomplished storyteller who excels in chronicling the events and times of his interesting life. CLARE, like his previous books, is well paced, easy to read, and full of interesting facts about deep sea sailing and the checkered history of Clare.

Several sections of the book were written by his wife Aileen and their good friend Lanie, which adds a rounded perspective to this book.

Thank you Nigel for yet another enjoyable read.

The Prof. (McCallum)

Hi Captain

I really am enjoying your book on Clare. Up to Chapter 4 already.

Loved the very first page in particular. I thought immediately NIGEL THE WORDSMITH. Very lyrical indeed. Who needs Wordsworth, Keats, Byron etc

 Quote  “ I sat there entranced, listening to the gurgle under her counter as she ambled along at five knots. A happy ship! Then the first glimpse of the moon popped up on the horizon, seemingly right behind us. It gradually rose until it was a full moon, shimmering on the swells. A beautiful sight, and I felt at peace with the world, just a gentle roll from the ship and the swish of the seas.”   Beautiful prose Captain. Congratulations.





Clare is available in print and ebook formats from the following online bookstores, to name only a few



Barnes and Noble

Herringbone Books



Tide Pool Bookshop





24th April 2024