McBrearty, Captain R. F.


Lewes, 1st ed., 1989. 158 pp., facsimiles. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. [See also No. 127 below] The author first went to sea at the age of 15 in a topsail schooner, by the time he was 22 he had sailed round the world ten times. He spent 35 years in the Merchant Navy and tells of his life aboard tramp steamers in the 1930s. Born in Liverpool, his thoughts naturally turned to the sea and when he first went away as a deck-boy his three brothers were already afloat. Life aboard the old coal-burning tramp steamers was extremely hard and only the tough survived, but they did give the opportunity of visiting remote ports well off the regular liner shipping routes. To be apprenticed before the war often meant being away for four years in rat-infested conditions with poor food. However, there was always the humorous side of life and Captain McBrearty does not neglect this aspect as anecdote follows anecdote.

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