A Modern-Day Tall-Ship Adventure
Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 978-0-676-97635-9 (0-676-97635-2)
Pub Date: April 12, 2005
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In the tradition of Godforsaken Sea and In the Heart of the Sea, Fair Wind and Plenty of It is a virtuoso debut by a sailor turned scribe -- a must-read for lovers of nautical adventure.
On November 25th, 1997, the barque Picton Castle, a three-masted, square-rigged tall ship, headed out from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on a voyage around the world. Aboard ship a shifting crew of thirty, a combination of professional sailors and paying crew who were out $32,500 for the privilege of working “crew before the mast,” would travel for over a year and half, calling in at ports as exotic and varied as Aruba, Somoa, Bali and Zanzibar.
Fair Wind and Plenty of It tells the story of an obsession, as Captain Dan Moreland, driven by a desire to make his mark in the world of traditional sail, rallies forces to convert a sixty-nine-year-old North Sea trawler into a seaworthy tall ship, and then assembles the crew to sail it. It’s the story of the uneasy balance that is achieved on board, where insubordination and rancour must be kept in line among a crew whose only connection is their common desire to be part of this journey. And it is Rigel’s story: a man who was conceived the day his father laid the keel for his first boat, whose mother was a sailmaker, and who has to reconcile his family legacy with his own need to understand why he must take part in the voyage of the barque Picton Castle.
In Fair Wind and Plenty of It, Rigel Crockett tells a tale of shipboard camaraderie, gut-wrenching struggles and the near-mutinies that marked the year-and-a half journey -- where fellow shipmates proved to be as perilous as the ever-present sea.
From the Hardcover edition.
“I admire Crockett’s grasp of language and effective prose, and I admire his description of Captain Moreland, who ‘prefers answers with single syllables’; it’s a wonderfully economic illustration of the man’s style of command.... Fair Wind and Plenty of It is a good read. Crockett is a good writer and we should hope to see more from him.”
—The Globe and Mail
“One of a handful of men and women striving to keep alive the old traditions and skills of the great age of sail, Crockett has written a wonderful tale of adventure at sea and a fascinating contemporary account of life aboard a square-rigger, with all its joys, hardships and danger. It’s also the honest and affecting story of a youth’s coming of age, learning the eternal hard lesson of the sea: it shows him the sort of person he is and the great and stirring things he’s capable of doing.”
—Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea and The Way of a Ship
“What a rollicking, world-sweeping, storm-battered, easy-cruising, obsession-driven, mutinous sun-dazzled tangle of adventures is this yarn! Brilliantly, vividly told. I was carried away by it.”
—George Dawes Green, author of The Caveman’s Valentine and The Juror
“Like the ship he sailed, Rigel Crockett’s book is a throwback to another era, a time when young men ran off to sea for grand adventure. Fair Wind and Plenty of It is filled with all those things that make high-seas adventure such terrific reading — sailors struggling against the remorseless sea and the confines of a ship, the clash of personalities, coming of age and the breathtaking adventure of driving a wind-ship clear around the globe. The fact that it takes place today, with the unique problems of contemporary seafaring, makes it all the more riveting and accessible. Anyone who loves tales of the sea, who is at all curious about the workings of a real square-rigger in the real world, must read Crockett’s engrossing, funny, tragic and ultimately satisfying saga.”
—James L. Nelson, author of the Revolution at Sea and Brethren of the Coast series
About this Author
Rigel Crockett was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Savannah, Georgia. A graduate of Mount Allison University (don’t ask to see his transcript), he also holds a 100-ton master’s licence and a 1600-ton mate’s licence in sailing and motor-ships, issued by the US Coast Guard. At the end of his twenty-six-month tour aboard the Picton Castle, he was awarded the title of Best Shipmate through a nearly unanimous vote.
From the Hardcover edition.
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