Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tall ships that killed a man every voyage – first-hand account of an apprentice 100 years ago

Coming soon in April to the Kindle - an ebook from NanuqMedia.

Sons of Gentlemen –
The life of an apprentice
in tall ships 1908 to 1912 

by Captain T B Greenhalgh

'The ships killed on average one man a voyage... a man, or boy, might easily fall from aloft and, if not smashed to death on the deck, could end up in a raging sea and be lost. All anyone on deck could do was pray that he had been killed by the fall so that he wasn’t floating around waiting to die as his ship sailed off into the distance.'
– foreword by Peter Greenhalgh

It was a 'dog's life' on board the Anglo-American sailing ships 'Brilliant' and 'Drumeltan', he was told – and 15-year-old Thomas soon discovered that you had to eat hard bread teeming with maggots, or starve.

Then came the biting cold, scorching heat, gales, doldrums, high seas, brutish officers and a cloud of lethal vapour that enveloped the ship so that smoking was in a tiny boat let off the stern. The crew even killed a majestic albatross for fun.

Yet, floating above all the hardship was the beauty and romance of sail – which enslaved a teenage dreamer for ever.

Expected publication date: April 9, 2012.

Watch NanuqMedia for updates.

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