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For centuries, ships' commanders kept journals that recorded their missions. These included voyages of discovery to unknown lands, engagements in war and sea and general trade. Many of their logs, diaries and letters were lodged at The National Archives and give a vivid picture of the situations that they encountered. Entries range from Captain James Cook's notes of his discovery of the South Pacific and Australia, to logs of the great naval battles, such as Trafalgar and the Battle of the Nile. From the ships that attempted to stop piracy in the Caribbean, to the surgeons who recorded the health of the men they tended and naturalists who noted the exotic plants and animals they encountered, comes a fascinating picture of life at sea, richly illustrated with maps, drawings and facsimile documents found alongside the logs in the archives.
Rigidly organised and harshly disciplined, the Georgian Royal Navy was an orderly and efficient fighting force which played a major role in Great Britain's wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries. This concise book explores what it was like to be a sailor in the Georgian Navy – focusing on the period from 1714 to 1820, this book examines the Navy within its wider historical, national, organisational and military context, and reveals exactly what it took to survive a life in its service. It looks at how a seaman could join the Royal Navy, including the notorious 'press gangs'; what was meant by 'learning the ropes'; and the severe punishments that could be levied for even minor misdemeanours as a result of the Articles of War. Military tactics, including manning the guns and tactics for fending off pirates are also revealed, as is the problem of maintaining a healthy diet at sea – and the steps that sailors themselves could take to avoid the dreaded scurvy. Covering other fascinating topics as wide-ranging as exploration, mutiny, storms, shipwrecks, and women on board ships, this 'Sailor's Guide' explores the lives of the Navy's officers and sailors, using extracts from contemporary documents and writings to reconstruct their experiences in vivid detail.
Today, on the Keys between Key West and the mainland, some forty thousand residents and thousands of visitors fish, swim, sail and dive int he crystal clear waters off a tropical reef; relax in the sun adn cooling trade wind breezes; and sleep in the air-conditioned comfort of their homes and hotel rooms. On these same islands, as short a time as eighty years ago, fewer than three hundred inhabitants tried to eke out a living without benefit of electricity, running water, radios, or telephones. The stories of these hard pioneers and their predecessors, as far back as the Native Americans who lived on the Keys at least one thousand years ago, are told, many for the first time, in this book.
Celtic sea people come in as many varieties as there are people. Some are born to the sea; it is in their blood, like the Vikings. Some have the seafaring life cast upon them, like the men who are pressed into service with a hit on the back of the head. Others are running from life on the land, or cast into the sea through no fault of their own. There are merchants, pirates, privateers, and raiders. They trade if they can, but take what they want.
World Exploration from Ancient Times cover the challenges and excitement of expeditions and settlements as explorers raced to discover the world. Meet the brave people who set out to find new places and read about their experiences in their own words.
With long, solitary periods at sea, far from literary and cultural centers, sailors comprise a remarkable population of readers and writers. Although their contributions have been little recognized in literary history, seamen were important figures in the nineteenth-century American literary sphere. In the first book to explore their unique contribution to literary culture, Hester Blum examines the first-person narratives of working sailors, from little-known sea tales to more famous works by Herman Melville, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, and Richard Henry Dana. In their narratives, sailors wrote about how their working lives coexisted with--indeed, mutually drove--their imaginative lives. Even at leisure, they were always on the job site. Blum analyzes seamen's libraries, Barbary captivity narratives, naval memoirs, writings about the Galapagos Islands, Melville's sea vision, and the crisis of death and burial at sea. She argues that the extent of sailors' literacy and the range of their reading were unusual for a laboring class, belying the popular image of Jack Tar as merely a swaggering, profane, or marginal figure. As Blum demonstrates, seamen's narratives propose a method for aligning labor and contemplation that has broader applications for the study of American literature and history.

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