The story of the ancient mariners and the beginnings of oceanography is, of necessity, fuzzy, speculative, and cloud-ridden. Soule suggests that the first boat was discovered when a fisherman standing on a log suddenly found himself floating downstream and soon learned to paddle with his hands. Perhaps--and perhaps is the most commonly used word in this book. Again of necessity, Soule rifles classic writers and the artifacts of archaeology to show how various cultures may have come upon sea-travel; how the origins of astronomy, agriculture, fishing, sailing, commerce, shipbuilding, and battle on the waters have each contributed to our knowledge of those who went down to the sea in rafts and mighty quadriremes. And while each tidbit has its inherent interest, the chapters seem as organized as a Chinese fruitcake, if not written with an eggbeater during a prolonged seismic disturbance. It is vexing, perhaps firmly impossible to establish for whom this book was baked.