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The Last of the Cape Horners: Firsthand Accounts From the Final Days of the Commercial Tall Ships Paperback – November 1, 2001


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The Last of the Cape Horners: Firsthand Accounts From the Final Days of the Commercial Tall Ships + The Way of a Ship: A Square-Rigger Voyage in the Last Days of Sail
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574884093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574884098
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,080,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Spencer Apollonio is a marine biologist who has sailed a traditional wooden gaff-rigged sloop along the coast of Maine for more than twenty years. Boothbay Harbor, Maine, is his homeport.

Customer Reviews

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Walter O. Koenig on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had been looking for a good book describing what it was really like to sail on fully rigged Ships for a long time, and this may be the best book I have found so far. I have read everything from "Two Years before Mast" to the recently published "Flying Cloud", but this is really what I was looking for. It seems that most accounts of sailing the large Ships commercially were not written in the Age of the Clipper, but in the Age of the Windjammer, i.e. from the 1890's until the 1940's. The Book is exactly what the title says it is: First hand accounts by professional sailors, officers, passengers, apprentices and others, in the final days of Sail. These have been put together very well into the form of a Journey beginning at a Port in the U.S. or the U.K. and going first to Australia, then South America, and finally rounding Cape Horn for the return journey. The editing has been done by a Veteran Sailor who clearly knows his sources, and has done an excellent job in selecting them. There are also 21 good photographs, a glossary, and a Bibliography of the sources of the narratives and a list for further reading for those who need more.
If you like to read about this sort of thing, like I do, It's absolutely gripping reading, not only because of the subject-matter, but because it's all true. The hardships endured by the sailors, through storms, tough work, loneliness, bad pay, terrible food, etc. is incredible to read about, especially when you take into account their tone in which they write about their experiences. They do not whine, lament and complain. Instead, the tone is matter of fact, nostalgic, respectful, and often humorous. You really get a feel for what it was really like, and I suppose that most readers after reading this will be happy to do their sailing from an armchair, in front of the fire, book in hand.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Walter O. Koenig on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had been looking for a good book describing what it was really like to sail on fully rigged Ships for a long time, and this may be the best book I have found so far. I have read everything from "Two Years before Mast" to the recently published "Flying Cloud", but this is really what I was looking for. It seems that most accounts of sailing the large Ships commercially were not written in the Age of the Clipper, but in the Age of the Windjammer, i.e. from the 1890's until the 1940's. The Book is exactly what the title says it is: First hand accounts by professional sailors, officers, passengers, apprentices and others, in the final days of Sail. These have been put together very well into the form of a Journey beginning at a Port in the U.S. or the U.K. and going first to Australia, then South America, and finally rounding Cape Horn for the return journey. The editing has been done by a Veteran Sailor who clearly knows his sources, and has done an excellent job in selecting them. There are also 21 good photographs, a glossary, and a Bibliography of the sources of the narratives and a list for further reading for those who need more.
If you like to read about this sort of thing, like I do, It's absolutely gripping reading, not only because of the subject-matter, but because it's all true. The hardships endured by the sailors, through storms, tough work, loneliness, bad pay, terrible food, etc. is incredible to read about, especially when you take into account their tone in which they write about their experiences. They do not whine, lament and complain. Instead, the tone is matter of fact, nostalgic, respectful, and often humorous. You really get a feel for what it was really like, and I suppose that most readers after reading this will be happy to do their sailing from an armchair, in front of the fire, book in hand.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Fitzsimmons on March 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is detailed and extremely informative. I also just picked up Sailing Ships of New England which is an equally great read. If you're interested in the historical importance of ships, I highly recommend it. It's full of great illustrations, and makes for an interesting follow-up to Last of the Cape Horners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Hess on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Segments written by those who were there. Very good first hand accounts providing tremendous insights to the difficulty of sail.
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