Afloat at Last

A Sailor Boy's Log of his Life at Sea

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Published: 1889
Language: English
Wordcount: 72,855 / 207 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.2
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 2,384
Added to site: 2007.04.17 16617

Mr. Hutcheson's reputation for the realistic treatment of life at sea will be fully sustained by the present volume--the narrative of a boy's experiences on board ship during his first voyage. From the stowing of the vessel in the Thames to her recovery from the Pratas Reef on which she is stranded, everything is described with the accuracy of perfect practical knowledge of ships and sailors; and the incidents of the story range from the broad humours of the fo'c's'le to the perils of flight from and fight with the pirates of the China Seas. The captain, the mate, the Irish boatswain, the Portuguese steward, and the Chinese cook, are fresh and cleverly-drawn characters, and the reader throughout has the sense that he is on a real voyage with living men.

Show Excerpt

other things which the outfitters haven't got down on their list."

As he was going into such a fashionable place as Westham, the nearest county town to our parish, at mother's especial request father consented to hide the beauties of his favourite old shooting-jacket under a more clerical-looking overcoat of a greyish drab colour, or "Oxford mixture." He was induced to don, too, a black felt hat, more in keeping with the coat than the straw one he had worn in the garden; and thus "grandly costumed," as he laughingly said to mother and Nell, who watched our departure from the porch of the rectory, he and I set out to make our purchases.

Dear me! the bustle and hurry and worry that went on in the house and out of the house in getting my things ready was such that, as father said more than once in his joking way, one would have thought the whole family were emigrating to the antipodes, instead of only a mere boy like me going to sea!

And then, when everything else had been packed and repacke


Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****

Very good read, and a wealth of detail re life on, in, with, and around larger sailing merchant ships in the later 1800's. Highly recommended.

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