The Last Time Around Cape Horn: The Historic 1949 Voyage of the Windjammer Pamir [NOOK Book]

Overview

A memorable tale of adventure on the turbulent seas of the Great Southern and Atlantic oceans—on one of the most historic voyages of our time—finds its way into paperback. This is William F. Stark's engrossing memoir of the last leg of the Grain Race, and the Pamir's rounding of fearsome Cape Horn—the storm-tossed tip of South America just 600 miles from Antarctica—the veritable Mount Everest of sailing. In 1949, the crew of thirty-four sailors from around the world experienced the shipboard life of the ...
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The Last Time Around Cape Horn: The Historic 1949 Voyage of the Windjammer Pamir

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Overview

A memorable tale of adventure on the turbulent seas of the Great Southern and Atlantic oceans—on one of the most historic voyages of our time—finds its way into paperback. This is William F. Stark's engrossing memoir of the last leg of the Grain Race, and the Pamir's rounding of fearsome Cape Horn—the storm-tossed tip of South America just 600 miles from Antarctica—the veritable Mount Everest of sailing. In 1949, the crew of thirty-four sailors from around the world experienced the shipboard life of the seventeenth century on a four-masted vessel that carried hundreds of acres of sail. In 128 days the Pamir journeyed 16,000 miles from Port Victoria, Australia, to Falmouth, England, through the world's stormiest seas, as Stark worked on decks awash with huge swells, and scrambled up ice-coated rigging to manhandle sails on masts that were up to twenty stories high. Contrasting romance with the realities of life at sea, and poignantly evoking the love affair he left behind to join the Pamir, while punctuating his tale with illuminating photos, maps, and details of maritime history, Stark has written a thrilling book that climaxes the fabled era begun by Cape Horn merchant sailors more than three centuries ago.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The year 1949 marked the final journeys of commercial windjammers, huge, steel-hulled, four-masted sailboats carrying cargo halfway around the world. Stark was a sailor on the Pamir, a Finnish ship, the very last windjammer to sail commercially around Cape Horn, and lived to write this romantic tale of adventure and camaraderie tempered by grueling, dangerous work. The author, who committed suicide earlier this year at age 75 after suffering from depression, had been enthralled with ships and sailing since childhood. He first heard of the Pamir's voyage in a Zurich cafe during a year abroad as a college student in 1947. He quit school to fly to Australia to try to get a job on the ship. That trip, on a tiny, rickety charter plane, was an adventure in itself, as Stark and his seat mate, a charming Frenchwoman en route to Indonesia, were engaged in a brief but passionate affair as they braved hair-raising takeoffs and brushes with guerrilla war in Saigon. Eventually arriving at the Pamir's port, Stark spent months working on the docks, acquiring, at the last minute, a much-coveted berth on the Pamir as an Ordinary Seaman. The four-month voyage across the world's most stormy and dangerous seas, without engines or even a radio, challenged him not only with dangers like furling sails atop 200-foot-high masts in hurricane winds, but also with grinding work and sleep deprivation demanded by four-hour watches. This entertaining memoir seamlessly imparts sailing terms and ocean lore, and will enthrall all who have held romantic notions of life at sea. Maps, photos not seen by PW. (Nov.) Forecast: An article on Stark and his son appears in this month's Outside magazine, which should spark interest in the book. The work has already received praise from Ian Frazier and Revell Carr. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786740055
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/29/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 906,920
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

WILLIAM F. STARK was a Dartmouth student studying in Switzerland when he left for the windjammer Pamir in Australia. En route to meet the ship, he had a passionate love affair with Yvette, a beautiful young Frenchwoman, whom he was forced to bid adieu. Stark committed suicide in 2003, just weeks after arrangements for his book’s publication were made. His son, Peter Stark, contributes to Outside magazine and has written numerous other books. His Introduction and In Memoriam in this book honor his father’s courage and adventurous life. He lives in Montana.
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Table of Contents

Pamir Schematic
Introduction : Cape Horn, young men, and the spirit of adventure
Prelude : a night at sea
Ch. I The rumor of a ship 1
Ch. II Yvette 12
Ch. III Bad news 30
Ch. IV Life of a wharf rat 50
Ch. V Pamir of Mariehamn : the last of the Cape Horn fleet 69
Ch. VI The Pamir sets sail 83
Ch. VII In search of the roaring forties 99
Ch. VIII Running the easting down 120
Ch. IX The Horn 142
Ch. X North to the line 154
Ch. XI Of doldrums and hurricanes 169
Ch. XII The long way home 181
Epilogue : a life inland, and a ship that stayed with the sea 195
In memoriam William Stark 207
App. I Shipmates 211
App. II Cape Horners society 219
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