The Log of a Sea Waif

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Jun 30, 2012
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I have lost count of the number of times that I have been told that there was nothing of interest to be gained by serving in commercial ships, whose only purpose was that of peaceful trade with all the countries of the world. But to me, reading about one sea battle after another tends to get more than a little boring, and in reality no doubt rather unpleasant. I can recommend this book as an introduction to the "allegedly boring" life in a merchant ship, It was published in 1899 and covers the early years at sea of Frank Bullen, who in later years, wrote extensively about the subject. The book is available as a download, completly free of charge via the Gutenberg Project, as the book is long out of copyright. I doubt if many will bother to download it, but they will be missing out on a great read. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36657 It can be downloaded and tranferred to laptops, tablets or e-readers. This what Mr Bullen wrote in 1906, and it still hold true today:

"I think it may justly be inferred that the public do not want to hear about the Mercantile Marine, are entirely indifferent to the status of its members, and are content to take all the benefits to them as they take light and air – as coming in the course of nature, with the management and production of which they have no concern.
This opinion is borne out by my experience throughout our islands as a lecturer on the subject. Talking from the platform, I can always interest my hearers in any phase of the sea without introducing the slightest element of fiction. But I cannot induce them to read the matter up, nor can I find any evidence of the subject having been studied, however cursorily, except by persons who are, or have been, directly connected with it!
This I cannot fail to lament as being, in view of the paramount importance of the subject, quite unnatural and unnecessary, more especially when I see the intense interest manifested by people of all ranks and grades of education in games such as football, cricket and bridge, and the amount of earnest thought expended upon acquiring information concerning them, not only in their present, but in their past history.
Moreover, I know personally working men who have lavished upon horse racing an amount of brain-power that, legitimately applied would have made them a fortune!"


Frank T Bullen, 1906
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Bob
 
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If you haven't got an e-reader (Kindle or Kobo or Tablet etc), just click on "Plain Text, next to the bottom. That opens up the book and you can just download the whole lot into your PC.
Bob
 
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Ok, found it thank you. I find reading a lot of text on screen uncomfortable, so I'll try and hunt down a propper printed edition. For my sins I do have most of the titles by Lubbock and Greenhill. Do I get credits for those?
Do you have a special reason for recommending this particular title?
 
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I have all the Lubbock books, and they are very good. Also the Greenhills. For downloads, I put them in an e-reader that is quite easy to read as it has a white display with black letters, but is not iluminated - it is not unlike reading a paper copy. I got it 2nd hand from a Cash Generator shop for about £9. I only recommended the Sea Waif, because it is unusally good, but all Bullen's books are good. There are plenty of other long-dead superb sea authors. You can find 2nd hand printed copies of all of them by searching www.bookfinder.com
 
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