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    Good reading.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Apr 6, 13:26 +0100

    On-line books are all very well in their place, but some of us enjoy
    exploring secondhand bookshops to see what we can find.
    
    I would like to report an enjoyable and informative read, of a book "The
    long voyage", I had never heard of before, by an author, H C de Mierre,
    equally unknown to me.
    
    This was written in 1963 after his retirement from a career with Cunard, but
    concerned his first three years at sea as apprentice, voyaging under sail in
    the three-masted  "Main", of the Nourse fleet, in the early 1900s.
    
    He was clearly an intelligent and perceptive character, with a detailed
    recall from long before, and a deep interest in his fellow tars. What I
    enjoyed most was his ability to get into technicalities, particularly the
    events in a gale in Winter, North Atlantic.  Sweating up hard the main upper
    topsail yard with the capstan, the men went sprawling when its halliard
    chain parted, and several tons of steel yard came down, causing an immense
    amount of damage to the rig as it fell, explained with detailed drawings..
    
    The efforts of the crew to control and limit the damage, the diversion,
    limping, to Bermuda, an eventful tow to New York, make a gripping tale,.
    
    A consequence of those events was that part of the cargo had to be
    jettisoned This was "case-oil", kerosene in steel boxes, each weighing 85
    pounds, intended for Calcutta. I had come across mention of case-oil before,
    without knowing what it was. That must have been how kerosene (for cooking
    and lighting, presumably) was shipped around the world in the days before
    tankers. Over the side went 2,000 of those cases, to lighten her.
    
    If you enjoy that sort of read, look out for "The long voyage", at your
    local secondhand bookshop, Amazon, or Abebooks.
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable at george---.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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