Here is the full list of Nova Espero- and Smith-related publications; the originals by Stan Smith and Charles Violet are long out of print, but are occasionally available on eBay, AbeBooks, etc. Other Smith / Nova Espero memorabilia are also sold from time to time on eBay. Updated version of Smiths at Sea and October Potter have been republished by me and are available from my online shop.

  • Smith, Stanley (1951). Smiths at Sea – The True Story of the Smith Brothers’ Adventurous Atlantic Crossing. Publ. by Robert Ross.
    2006 edition (with additional foreword by Colin Smith) – available from as e-book and print versions.
  • Smith, Stanley and Violet, Charles (1952). The Wind Calls The Tune. Publ. by Robert Ross & George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd.
  • Violet, Charles (1954). Solitary Journey – the Third Voyage of the Nova Espero. Various publishers and editions.
  • Smith, Stanley (1967). October Potter – an account of a fairly eventful cruise. Publ. by Stanley T. Smith.
    2020 edition (with additional information and photographs) – available from as e-book and print versions.
  • Somes, Robin (2018). Dear Papa – a history of Theo Smith. A history of the Smith family, dating back to the early 19th century, and their influence on the world of boat design, published by me on Available at or from a Google search for the document’s title.
  • Somes, Robin (2020). Nova – The History of the Nova Espero.  An exploration of the background to the Nova Espero journeys – available from as e-book and print versions. You can also read the introduction and first chapter of Nova on
  • Somes, Robin (2024). From Severn to Solent - Theo Osborn Smith & the Smith family. This supersedes my article "Dear Papa", mentioned above, and is an account of the lives of Theo Osborn Smith and his family, dating back to the early 1800s. Much of the story is seen through the eyes of his wife, Mary Piper, and their daughter Evie, and interwoven with history and contemporary events on the banks of the Severn in Gloucestershire, in the city of Oxford, Fawley in Hampshire, and Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. Available from in paperback and PDF versions.


Nova - The History of the Nova Espero

  • Of the canoe "Menomopote", Footnote 1 on Page 7 says "... it’s almost certain she was built by Theo Smith, Old Stan’s father. Almost certain, because online searches show there were two craft called Menomopote, the other somewhere under 18 feet in length, being raced at the end of the 19th century by a Mr Tuckett." Further research has confirmed that it was the same craft. Menomopote was built in Oxford in 1895 by Theo Osborn Smith, initially for Walter Stewart. She then belonged to, or was sailed by, various members of the Tuckett family around the English coast. It's not clear when she came back to the Smith family, but it is the same Menomopote that Old Stan raced in the 1930s.
  • On Page 149, it is stated that Gerald Smith served as Coxswain of the Yarmouth Lifeboat, as his father had before him. It has been pointed out to me that this wasn’t in fact the case; Gerald never served in the RNLI. I apologise for my error.

From Severn to Solent - Theo Osborn Smith & the Smith family

  • Page xii, Dorothy Emily Smith: Dorothy married Ted Wyatt in 1920, not 1911 as stated.
  • Page 29, para. 1: It’s stated that Emily Osborn likely worked for Morley Brothers bookbinders. It is possible she instead worked for the Oxford University Press.
  • Page 118, para. 4: The article in the Dragon School magazine of 2006, concerning the Blue Dragon, is quoted as from an un-named author; the author was in fact David Gilbertson.
  • Page 207, drawing: my wobbly drawing is based upon a public domain image created by Willhig:
  • Page 365, para. 2: A.H. Bullen & Frank Sidgwick. The newspaper article quoted claimed that Frank Sidgwick was the real name of the publisher A. H. Bullen; as is stated elsewhere in the text, the two men were in fact business partners – see
  • Page 366, para. 1, line 2: “between 1893 and 1995” should read “between 1893 and 1895”.

Revised 10/04/2024. Any further corrections will be notified here.


All content © Robin Somes unless otherwise indicated.