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Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days

From Forecastle to Quarter-Deck
Written by: John D. Whidden
Narrated by: Tom Perkins
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Orphaned at five, nothing held Whidden back from embarking on sea life seven years later. Serving as an apprentice, he quickly proved his worth and earned himself a mate's position by his early 20s. Graduating to third, second, and first office, he ended his career in command of, and having part-ownership of, his own vessel. 

This memoir, Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days, records a series of real events from his childhood impressions of rough and ready seamen to his thrilling and brutal experiences of war. His travels saw him spanning the world with stops at major ports such as Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Calcutta, and Liverpool. His life spans the changes in the shipping industry over the 19th and into the 20th century. 

During the Civil War, Whidden was heavily involved in profitable island trading in the Bahamas to elude Confederate sailors. However, shortly after the close of the war, in 1870, Whidden left sailing as he found it being overtaken by foreign interests.

Public Domain (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Donald L.
  • 17-07-18

Good salty story

Well written and well read. Very good account of the times easy to understand for somebody who’s never sailed

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  • joe
  • 05-09-18

Decent book but bad narrator.

The book is decent but with few details and a feeling of hurriedness. The downfall I feel is the narrator who attempts a fake northern accent throughout the book that is very poor.