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- Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics)
- Richard Henry Dana Jr.
- 04 February 2019
Richard Henry Dana Jr. ´ 2 Read Review Ö Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics) Ç PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Th century Richard Henry Dana is only nineteen when he abandons the patrician world of Boston and Harvard for an arduous voyage among real sailors amid genuine danger The result is an astonishing read replete with vivid descriptions of stor. This is a beautifully written account of a young Harvard student who takes two years off from his studies to sail around Cape Horn as a sailor on a merchant ship He expected an eighteen month hiatus but it extended into two long years He had no sailing experience so learned on the job through much hardship hard work and hard tack It is possible to read around the descriptions of the specific tasks of raising sails climbing masts tightening ropes without understanding it all What is conveyed though is the hard toil the beauty and capriciousness of the sea andthe importance of loyalty and trust Months are spentlaboring on the West coast which was Mexico at the time Their business was gathering hides curing them and loading them on ship for transport back to Boston The account is enlivened by deeply formed relationships disappointments cruel treatment of the crew contrasted with the fair treatment by a good captain I love it when I learn so much about things I was not even curious about before the beauty of the ocean as well as its capriciousness and danger
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Richard Henry Dana Jr. ´ 2 Read Review Ö Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics) Ç PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Tracing an awe inspiring oceanic route from Boston around Cape Horn to the California coast Two Years Before the Mast is both a riveting story of adventure and the most elouent insightful account we have of life at sea in the early nineteen. There is a witchery in the sea Richard Dana s classic memoir of a two year sea voyage still draws spell bound readers after nearly 200 years More than a diary his story is the result of extensive notes he jots down somehow in between seaman s strenuous duties above deck watches every four hours near death experiences and exhausted sleepWell educated and from a family of means the young Dana decides to take to sea as an able bodied seaman not an officer at a time when life on board a merchant brig could be nasty brutish and short He takes us out of the Boston Harbor of 1834 around Cape Horn and up the coast of California in the trader brig Pilgrim before changing ships to the Alert and returning via the same routeHere s a passage that tells a modern reader how a ship of those days actually looks and sounds as she hits the murderous waves Two men at the wheel had as much as they could do to keep her within three points of her course for she steered as wild as a young colt The mate walked the deck looking at the sails and then over the side to see the foam fly by her slapping his hands upon his thighs and talking to the ship And when she leaped over the seas and almost out of the water and trembled to her very keel the spars and masts snapping and creaking There she goes There she goesas long as she cracks she holds As much as being the story of life at sea in the mid nineteenth century TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST is also a rare glimpse into the Mexican state of California before it gained statehood a few years later the people the harbor towns and presidios the thriving cattle hide tradeThe hardy mariners return with their cargo through the bitter cold and dangerous seas of the southern hemisphere which threatens to kill them all Herman Melville after reading Dana s account remarked that it seemed to have been written with an icicle When Dana published his memoir in 1840 it was with the hope that contemporaries and future generations would better understand the maritime life and even work toward righting the injustices of that life He could not know that when gold was discovered in California a few years later his book would become almost a travelogue for forty niners who flocked to our largest and richest state Indeed Dana Point California was named after him
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Richard Henry Dana Jr. ´ 2 Read Review Ö Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics) Ç PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ms whales and the ship's mad captain terrible hardship and magical beauty and fascinating historical detail including an intriguing portrait of California before the gold rush As D H Lawrence proclaimed Dana's small book is a very great boo. I d not read this book until recently American classics were part of my school diet Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in particular but not this one The author dropped out of college and took ship in a bid to get his health back Tough way to do it they went around the Horn to California where the task was dressing and compressing cowhides as the return cargo It s an adventure all the way to California where I found the repetition of what they did with hides in need of editing before his eventual return Time wise he was on the Californian coast in 1836 and heard about the fall of the Alamo there One fascinating encounter is with a retired sea captain with whom he has a conversation about the advances in sailing ships since the old dude retired some fifteen years earlier The beaches and creeks he worked hides on were long gone in his lifetime built over by San Diego and San Francisco which he mentions visiting in later years And the San Francisco he saw is long gone too what with the earthuake and the fire He gives a lot of detail of the daily grind on ship where there is always something to do make mend repair paint tar splice or clean He comes across as one who got stuck into whatever task he was given and eventually manages to get as good at it as the crew men who seem uite tolerant of this bookish sickly youth from the start and proud to have known him by the end He went on to be a lawyer an abolitionist and one who stood tall for the rights of others seamen slaves or free His book became an instant hit when published being one of the very few at the time reference books about California