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Around Cape Horn Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the finest glimpses of late 19th-century seafaring that I have ever read. As exciting as any novel." -- James L. Nelson, author
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Down East Books (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892726466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892726462
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came to light recently, and is one of the good ones. Many tales of adventure on tall ships give a general view of a sailor's life. This one gives the account of a boy who grew into a man on his voyage to the phosphate mines of Chile. Once in the Pacific, a few bad ideas led to danger for the author and agravation for his captain. Descriptions of moonlight on the breast of a sail, or how the weather clew was raised on an overtaking iron vessel that passed below their stern - are poetry without the writer realizing. A book not to be passed over, but passed around to your friends.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book started me on the search for others like it. Recently, I read Sailing Ships of New England by George Francis Dow, another famous boat builder. If you're interested in this sort of thing, I highly recommend it. It's full of great illustrations and makes for a great follow-up to Around Cape Horn.
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Format: Paperback
Much has been recorded about the American clipper ships and the British tea clippers of an earlier era and even more about the windjammers, mostly British or Scandinavian, of a later era, but very little, to my knowledge, of the size and type ship featured in this book, that is to say a medium sized (880 tons), American, workaday cargo bark of the 1890's closely related to the downeasters. The author, previously known mostly to a select group of ship model builders for his master works on that subject, is one I have admired for most of my life. I now find he has also written an authentic narrative of his first voyage to sea in 1892-93, when he had the audacity to pass himself off as an able bodied seaman when in fact he had no experience except small boat sailing. How this story remained hidden and unpublished for over 100 years is beyond me, but thankfully it is no longer hidden and is out there for all sailing ship lovers to savor and put on their shelves near Alan Villiers, Basil Lubbock, Richard Henry Dana, Felix Riesenberg, Arthur H. Clark, Course, Learmont, Stenhouse, Barker and others.

The bark James A. Wright had a surprisingly small twelve man crew for a square-rigger almost 200 feet long including two bully mates, typical of the era, eight seamen, one cook and one boy. No mention is made of a bosun, sailmaker or carpenter. The skipper was a hard-nosed Cape Codder with a soft streak, untypical of the era.

The narrative includes most of the usual ingredients of a Cape Horn voyage, gales, cold weather, poor food, deplorable conditions in the fo'c'sle, but also some rare ones written from the observant eye of an artist.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A true "barn find" of a book. It could have been on a par with Dana's classic "Two Years...". Unfortunately, a great first person account of a lifestyle that was so common at one point in history, was let down by woeful editing. I had great hopes for e-readers in this digital age, but am now convinced that this format allows authors and editors to become lazy. It has certainly killed the art of wordsmithing. Use a spell-checker at least. At times, the meaning of the text was lost among the numerous misspellings. Not worth the price that was charged. Get a classic instead - at least it will have been proof-read at some point.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Teriffic tale. Written by the man who really made the voyage.

Book arrived exactly as represented.
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