Shackleton’s Captain: A Biography of Frank Worsley.

A biography of the navigator of the James Caird on the famous boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia, this is a poorly written work about a fascinating character that the author somehow dulls. There are very few references to books here (apart from Worsley’s own later works), but there is this passage on p. 85 in the chapter on the boat journey:

p. 85: At noon, to observe for latitude, he could make out the sun only as a dim blur. He measured the centre 10 times, using a mean of the observations as the sun’s altitude. With his tattered, soaked and nearly unreadable navigational books and tables, the pages of which had to be carefully peeled apart, he worked out a position that gave them 68 miles to go.

Worsley said later that the navigation tables had the cover and front and back pages washed away, while the Nautical Almanac disintegrated so rapidly before the onslaught of the sea that it was a race to see whether the pages for the month of May would last to South Georgia. They just did: April had vanished completely.