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KEV67

Best seafaring books

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I read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. That's a seafaring poem. I try to avoid those sort of nutters myself. The wedding guest had more patience than I have. I'd have told him to get lost.

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Reading The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. It's pretty good. It is certainly very detailed on the subject of yachting. It is regarded as the first modern spy novel. Erskine Childers had an interesting end. He was shot by an Irish firing squad in 1922.

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I have read and enjoyed all of the Hornblower books, The Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin books, The Bolitho series and many others.

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I started reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I do not think R.L. Stevenson was a sailor, so there is not so much furling of maintopstunsls or whatever they are. Main, mizzen and foremast is as technical as it has got so far. That puzzled me a bit. I thought mizzen would be middle, but then what's the main mast? I once cycled from Mizzen Head to Malin Head in Ireland, and Mizzen Head was at the extreme south, so maybe mizzen means rear. Aside from that, this is a boys' adventure book, but it is very good. The characters are colourful and the language is salty. It strikes me as being a bit like a western for dialogue.

 

"No, not I,' said Silver. 'Flint was cap'n; I was quarter-master, along of my timber leg. The same broadside I lost my leg, old Pew lost his dead-lights. It was a master surgeon, him that ampytated me - out of college and all - Latin by the bucket, and what not; but he was hanged like a dog, and sun-dried like the rest, at Corso Castle."

 

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