If you want to be taken to the deck of a clipper in the mountainous seas of a southern ocean gale, Rick Spilman is the author for you. His description of life at sea in such vessels are vivid and bring to life the conditions faced by the officers and crew of such vessels.
In his latest book, The Shantyman, he tells the story of one such crew, on the Alahambra, voyaging from Sydney to New York in 1870. Jack Barlow is hoisted aboard paralytic drunk but proves to be not just an able shantyman, but when the captain dies and the murderous mate is washed overboard, the man who will pull the crew together and as the new captain get them home. Facing the southern ocean ice and later a hurricane, he overcomes his tragic past to get them to safety and restart his life.
Successful, tragedy strikes again, but will the crew he has saved now rally round and manage to save him.
A fast paced and well written story of life at sea and also of New York at this time. Hard to put down and highly recommended.