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The Draw of the Sea

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Menmuir’s evocation of our love-affair with the sea is a sublime work that stands as both a masterpiece of nature writing and a fearless exploration of the collective psyche contemplating its relationship with the Earth.

Diving deep into a largely unknown territory as ancient as Deep Time itself, he emerges with stories of grief and mermaids, of ghost-plastic and hard-won wisdom, of harpoons and treasure and longing and precarity and the eternal quest for meaning: gifts that evoke both the richness and the strangeness of a precious world within a precious world.

The child in me always desperately wants to find a message in a bottle, a note from another time and place, and every time I find a bottle with the cap still on, my heart leaps, even though I have yet to find one with a letter in it. Menmuir makes clear the challenges of the life: for example, physical dangers and hardships (in past times, those wreckers depended on what they could scrounge from the shore - and no, they didn't lure ships onto the rocks).

He knows this intimately – his house was constructed of Nigerian iroko wood that fell from a ship off Penzance. In exploring what the sea means to us, and allowing us to hear from those who who work with it, live by it, enjoy it, struggle with it or seek to preserve it, Menmuir presents a wonderful variety of voices and of experiences. Wyl Menmuir's The Draw of the Sea is a book about the fishermen, surfers, swimmers, beachcombers, conservationists, sailors and boatbuilders who make their living on the Cornish Coast.

This tutorial will guide you through each step, making it simple to capture the amazing details of this fascinating sea creature. Wyl Menmuir dives deep into a world of sea-souls - swimmers and surfers and sailors, birders, beachcombers and rowers - and with meditative charm addresses that perennial, unanswerable question: what makes us so oblivious to danger and discomfort and pulls us again and again to the water? Wyl Menmuir explores the different ways in which people can be drawn to the sea, content to leave it a mystery why they are drawn – and perhaps the mystery is the point. Menmuir has picked an interesting bunch of people that have a story to tell about their life on the coast.

It's an occasional and wonderful delight when a friend pops up in a book like this - Cornwall can be a small world!I saw it in the shine in people’s eyes as they talked about their relationships with the sea, in the way so many of them campaign tirelessly for its protection, and in the impassioned pleas from marine biologists that we must act now to save it. We’ll be showing you how to draw a summer shark ready for a pool party, complete with a funny flamingo floaty!

It feeds us, sustaining communities and providing livelihoods, but it also holds immense destructive power which can take all those away in an instant. While, as Menmuir says, “the term wreckers brings to mind false lights and ships lured on to the rocks”, there is little evidence that wrecking was ever this nefarious. Andrew Watts, The Spectator 'Much more interesting than simply another bound-beating book about Cornwall. This is exactly my kind of non-fiction - a personal account of the natural world starting from a narrow focal point and widening out to everything it touches. This book is a meaningful and moving work into how we interact with the environment around us, and how it comes to shape the course of our lives.

I think that this gives him a better perspective on their lives and his prose about the subject is lyrical and informed. When you can’t be in your favourite place all the time, catch up on the latest stories, upcoming events, holiday ideas, and offers with a newsletter straight to your inbox. He even has a go at free diving, those amazing people who can hold their breath for minutes at a time.

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