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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In a previous post one of our members recommended the book called " Slow Boat to China" I have found it on Amazon and its on its way to me. I would also like to recommend a book,the name is."In The Heart of The sea" by Nathaniel Philbrick.The tragedy of the whaleship Essex. Very good read.
John.
 

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John, Amazon have had a good week, I have just received "Slow boat to China" through them. Have also ordered a couple more of similar vein, will let membership know thoughts at later date.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mike, Slow boat to China had some pretty good reviews at the Amazon website. Heart of the Sea is one of them books once you start you dont want to put down.
John
 

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Quote: "I had read too much. I remember too well all those sailors' stories of the great gales and seas and tragedies of the Roaring Forties. It was all very romantic to want to experience it too, in theory; but in practice, confronted by the real thing, I was not so sure. Perhaps the moral is: Don't read-stick to the pilot chart for your technical information, and let it go at that." Unquote.

William Robinson from the book 'The Articulate Sailor' by James Tazelaar.

Try and get a copy of this book published in 1973. It is packed full of vignettes of life at sea in large and small craft. A great read.
 

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After reading comments on the book"Slow Boat To China"I ordered it from Amazon only to find it was in my local library.Have since read it& found it excellent.Incase it has not been mentioned before I would reccomend "V oyage East" A cargo ship in the 1960's by Richard Woodman. It is about a round trip Liverpool/Far East on a Blue Funnel & is more than reasonably authentic. Kiwi
 

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If you like historical naval books, try "Billy Ruffian" the life of a Ship of the Line from Design to scrap, it's a good insight to life at sea, middle 1700s to early 1800s. I enjoyed it.
 

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Anyone know the author of this book

Many years ago I had a wonderful book called "Yankee RN". As usual someone borrowed it and I never saw it again. It was written by an American who decided to volunteer to help Britain fight Hitler. Unlike most of the Americans who had this compulsion, he did not enlist in the RAF's Eagle Squadron, but he joined the RN instead.
After many escapades he obtained a commission and by an act of supreme irony the RN appointed him to one of the old Lend-Lease, ex USN Four Stackers, on North Atlantic convoy duty from Halifax to Londonderry. The officers soon realised that if they lifted their cabin carpets, there was sufficient hight below the sill of the W/T door to line the cabin with cases of Old Bush Mills westbound and tinned ham eastbound, with the carpet replaced over their cargo, in case of a very unlikely inspection. He claimed that in one very bad eastbound mid-winter crossing the ship received such a battering that the superstructure rivets began to fail and the entire structure moved several inches. Some of the tins of ham were crushed, but it was the structural reinforcement that they provided that kept superstructure from being swept away!
The whole book was full of vivid writing, laced with a joy of life. I would love to read it again, but I have no idea of the name of the author. If anyone can provide this information I will be most grateful

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just read that Alex Cherry.author of "Yankee RN" was a Wall Street banker when he volunteered to join the Royal Navy.
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Yankee R.N.

fred henderson said:
Many years ago I had a wonderful book called "Yankee RN". As usual someone borrowed it and I never saw it again. It was written by an American who decided to volunteer to help Britain fight Hitler. Unlike most of the Americans who had this compulsion, he did not enlist in the RAF's Eagle Squadron, but he joined the RN instead.
After many escapades he obtained a commission and by an act of supreme irony the RN appointed him to one of the old Lend-Lease, ex USN Four Stackers, on North Atlantic convoy duty from Halifax to Londonderry. The officers soon realised that if they lifted their cabin carpets, there was sufficient hight below the sill of the W/T door to line the cabin with cases of Old Bush Mills westbound and tinned ham eastbound, with the carpet replaced over their cargo, in case of a very unlikely inspection. He claimed that in one very bad eastbound mid-winter crossing the ship received such a battering that the superstructure rivets began to fail and the entire structure moved several inches. Some of the tins of ham were crushed, but it was the structural reinforcement that they provided that kept superstructure from being swept away!
The whole book was full of vivid writing, laced with a joy of life. I would love to read it again, but I have no idea of the name of the author. If anyone can provide this information I will be most grateful

Fred
Try www. iswright.com.au Commander A H Cherry.Yankee R.N. 544 pages 1952. A$35 Barney.
 

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Polyglory said:
Thanks for that Fred,

I have just ordered a used copy from Amazon, look forward to reading it.
I have just finished reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed it, loved his writing style (*))
 

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Hi Just Had A Book Called The Blue Road It Will Remind Some Of You Old Sea Dogs Of What You Got Up To On Your First Trip What A Good Laught
Sam
 

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Winter's coming and it's time to dig out Para Handy again.
As a youngster I read my uncle's copy every time I visited until he finally gave me the book.
It was the first adult book I ever owned and I've have never tired of the crew of the 'Vital Spark'.
The stories are as fresh today as when I first read them and have given me untold hours of pleasure.
When it comes to Scots humour, Hugh Foulis (Neil Monro) still has no equal.

Bruce C.
 

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Re. Kiwi's recommendation of Richard Woodman's book "Voyage East", I have also read it and agree-very authentic. I would also recommend "The Antigone", by the same author (ex Blue Flue)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here are four good ones to put in your Christmas stocking.
"Nick of Time" "Hawke""Pirate" and 'Assasin" all by Ted Bell. I mentioned theses books in another thread but thought this was also a good place to place them. All very good reading.
John
 

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Yankee RN is extremely well worth reading @ I have done so several times over the years.One chapter in particular is quite ironic. The author an American as a L/Com is running the show when a brand new vessel is being commisioned into the RN in Boston U.S.A. of all places.An age old Ceremony & he had to perform in froint of Amrican family & friends. KIWI
 

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Some book titles

Books I've read and would recommend :

1. "'Seaspray and Whisky'- Reminiscences of a Tramp Ship
Voyage" by Norman Freeman. 1993. Non-fiction.
ISBN : 1871311306 Publ. - 'Anna Livia Press, Dublin'.
An account of a tramp ship voyage carrying a cargo of
whisky from Liverpool to New Orleans.

2. "Desperate Voyage" by John Caldwell. 1949. Non-fiction.
ISBN : 0-924486-20-1 Reprint Publ. by 'Sheridan House'.
1991. An account of a single-handed Pacific voyage by sloop
from Panama to Fiji in 1946. A gripping tale.

3. "'Sparks at Sea'- The Experiences of a ship's Radio Officer"
by R.W. Chandler. 1973. Non-fiction. ISBN : 0715359533
Publ. - 'David & Charles : Newton Abbot'. An account of the
author's experiences sailing worldwide between the wars.

4. 'The Voyage of the Mir-El-Lah' by Lorenzo Ricciardi. 1980.
Non-fiction. ISBN : 0-670-74831-5 Publ. - 'The Viking Press,
New York'. An account of a voyage on a dhow from the Persian
Gulf to Kenya. A Fascinating tale.
 

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Sea books

scrabby said:
Books I've read and would recommend :

1. "'Seaspray and Whisky'- Reminiscences of a Tramp Ship
Voyage" by Norman Freeman. 1993. Non-fiction.
ISBN : 1871311306 Publ. - 'Anna Livia Press, Dublin'.
An account of a tramp ship voyage carrying a cargo of
whisky from Liverpool to New Orleans..
Hi Scrabby,

I have read the above book and what a good read it is if you are or have been a seaman.
I have just read another good book(took it back to the library today) titled "Sea like a Mirror" by Alan Jones. The story of a Furness Withy apprentice who went on to become master eventually after trying his luck with various other companies. New publication this year.

Looking back over this thread from last year I noticed "Slow Boats to China" mentioned, I presume the author was Gavin Young. I read this a few years ago and the sequel to it "Slow Boats Home". Both really interesting books.
Another one of his is "In Search of Conrad" where he retraced the steps of Joseph Conrads voyages around Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the Celebes. Fascinating story. I managed to buy it when my local library had a sale.

Trader.
 
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