Down to the sea in ships


I’ve been sporadically reading seafaring stories these days. The above drawing was inspired by High Wind in Jamaica, a 1928 book by Richard Hughes. Main story: 18th century European kids get kidnapped by pirates, fit right in with the motley crew, then get rescued (or you might say re-captured by society) I read this in high school, and loved it. I wanted to see how it fared in my mind years after.

It’s an easy read, but a difficult book. Hughes doesn’t give anyone much sympathy. The kids are presented as hard as kids are, the pirates are not terribly successful pirates, and the parents are long-suffering boobs. He writes a fine line between being overly smooshy in his prose and being jagged and hard.  I really enjoyed reading it the second time. I’d like to see the movie again too.

I love the idea of going to sea, the idea of boats and sailing and faraway islands. I used to sail a bit, travel a lot. I once thought it would be great to sail around the world.

Problem is, I get seasick. So I have to do my sailing vicariously. I’ve been reading Misty Tosh’s blog, Big Sweet Tooth, and enjoying her travels to distant lands (a chick, alone in Mexico, Indonesia, Dominican Republic!), and when she bought a sailboat, my interest went way up.

My days of being a pirate are probably long over, but in my armchair, I’m still sailing the seven seas.