A Square-Rigger Voyage in the Last Days of Sail
A square- rigger voyage in the last days of sail
Benjamin Lundy crossed oceans under sail in the late nineteenth century and over one hundred years later Derek Lundy, his great-great nephew, has re-created that journey. In THE WAY OF A SHIP he places Benjamin on board the Beara Head with a community of fellow seamen as they perform the exhausting and dangerous work of sailing a square-rigger across the Atlantic and round Cape Horn.
Fed on a diet of pea soup, gristly salt horse, rock hard weevil-infested biscuits and just enough lemon juice to keep scurvy at bay, the seamen were dangerously malnourished and sleep-deprived. But their instinct was to give their all through the battering, screaming winds. The equation was simple: they would survive if the ship survived and so they fought to save the ship.
Like Melville and Conrad before him, Derek Lundy adorns his story of an extraordinary journey with a profound knowledge of the sea and sailing, and reminds us that the ocean voyage under sail is an overarching metaphor for life itself.
“Lundy, too, has saltwater in his blood and his knowledge of the most arcane seafaring terms and traditions, coupled with careful research on 19th-century square-rigger voyages, makes this a tremendously elucidating, frequently thrilling read-he writes with verve and authority”
“A seaman himself, Lundy interpolates his own experiences under sail, nicely contrasting modern-day standards and mindsets with 19th-century conditions and attitudes”