For 20 years tough, resourceful, sailing skipper Slocum navigated the oceans of the world, owned ships, built ships, survived mutiny and shipwrecks, until a last ill-fated voyage on which his crew were decimated by smallpox and his ship, with all his wealth, was lost on a South American sand bar.
Back home, with no ship and little money a friend, perhaps as a joke, offered Slocum a ship. He found her in a field, half rotten, with gaps in her decks and grass growing through the hull.
On her transom, in peeling paint, could just be read the name Spray. It is the story of this ship, how he rebuilt her and in 1895 became the first man to voyage singlehanded around the world that is told in this book.
The final sentence: 'The days passed happily with me wherever my ship sailed' epitomizes the genial good humour with which the many adventures on land and sea are recounted. This is the special quality that brings readers back to enjoy Slocum's book again and again.
For 20 years tough, resourceful, sailing skipper Slocum navigated the oceans of the world, owned ships, built ships, survived mutiny and shipwrecks, until a last ill-fated voyage on which his crew were decimated by smallpox and his ship, with all his wealth, was lost on a South American sand bar. Back home, with no ship and little money a friend, perhaps as a joke, offered Slocum a ship. He found her in a field, half rotten, with gaps in her decks and grass growing through the hull. On her transom, in peeling paint, could just be read the name Spray. It is the story of this ship, how he rebuilt her and in 1895 became the first man to voyage singlehanded around the world that is told in this book. The final sentence: 'The days passed happily with me wherever my ship sailed' epitomizes the genial good humour with which the many adventures on land and sea are recounted. This is the special quality that brings readers back to enjoy Slocum's book again and again. (Kirkus UK)
CHAPTER I A blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities Youthful fondness for the sea Master of the ship Nothern Light Loss of the Aquidneck Return home from Brazil in the canoe Liberdade "The gift of a "Ship" The rebuilding of the Spray Conundrums in regard to finance and calking The launching of the Spray CHAPTER II Failure as a fisherman A voyage around the world projected From Boston to Gloucester Fitting out for the Ocean voyage Half of a dory for a ship's boat The run from Gloucester to Nova Scotia A shaking up in home waters Amoung old friends CHAPTER III Good-by to the American coast Off Sable Island in a fog In the open sea The man in the moon takes an interest in the voyage The first fit of loneliness The Spray encounters La Vaguisa A bottle of wine from the Spaniard A bout of words with the captain of the Java The steamship Olympia spoken Arrival at the Azores CHAPTER IV Squally weather in the Azores High living Delirious from cheese and plums The pilot of the Pinta At Gibraltar Compliments exchanged with the British navy A picnic on the Morocco shore CHAPTER V Sailing from Gibraltar with the assistance of her Majesty's tug The Spray's course changed from the Suez Canal to Cape Horn Chased by a Moorish pirate A Comparison with Columbus The Canary Islands The Cape Verde Islands Sea life Arrival at Pernambuco A bill against the Brazilian Government Preparing for the stormy weather of the cape CHAPTER VI Departure from Rio de Janeiro The Spray ashore on the sands of Uruguay A narrow escape from shipwreck The boy who found a sloop The Spray floated but somewhat damaged Courtesies from the British consul at Maldonado A warm greeting at Montevideo An excursion to Buenos Aires Shortening the Mast and bowsprit CHAPTER VII Weighing anchor at Buenos Aires An outburst of emotion at the mouth of the Plate Submerged by a great wave A stormy entrance to the strait Captain Samblich's happy gift of a bag of carpet-tacks Off Cape Froward Chased by Indians from Fortescue Bay "A miss-shot for "Black Pedro" Taking in supplies of wood and water at Three Island Cove Animal life CHAPTER VIII From Cape Pillar to the Pacific Driven by a tempest toward Cape Horn Captain Slocum's greatest sea adventure Reaching the strait again by way of Cockburn Channel Some savages find the carpet-tacks Danger from firebrands A series of fierce williwaws Again sailing westward CHAPTER IX Repairing the Spray's sails Savages and an obstreperous anchor A spider flight An encounter with Black Pedro A visit to the steamship Colombia On the defensive against a fleet of canoes A record of voyages through the strait A chance cargo of tallow CHAPTER X Running to Port Angosto in a snow-storm A defective sheet-rope places the Spray in peril The Spray as a target for a Fuegian arrow The island of Alan Erric Again in the open Pacific The run to the island of Juan Fernandez An absentee king At Robinson Crusoe's achorage CHAPTER XI The islanders of Juan Fernandez entertained with Yankee doughnuts The beauties of Robinson Crusoe's realm The mountain monument to Alexander Selkirk Robinson Crusoe's cave A stroll with the children of the island Westward ho! with a friendly gale A month's free sailing with the Southern Cross and the sun for guides Sighting the Marquesas Experience in reckoning CHAPTER XII Seventy-two days without a port Whales and birds A peep into the Spray's galley Flying-fish for breakfast A welcome at Apia A visit from Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson At Vailma Samoan hospitality Arrested for fast riding An amusing merry-go-round Teachers and pupils of Papauta College At the mercy of sea-nymphs CHAPTER XIII Samoan royalty King Malietoa Good-by to friends at Vailima Leaving Fiji to the south "Arrival at Newcastle, Australia" The yachts of Sydney A ducking on the Spray Commodore Foy presents the sloop with a new suit of sails On to Melbourne A shark that proved to be valuable A change of course "The "Rain of Blood" In Tasmania CHAPTER XIV A testimonial from a lady Cruising round Tasmania The skipper delivers his first lecture on the voyage Abundant provisions An inspection of the Spray for safety at Devonport Again at sydney Northward bound for Torres Strait An amateur shipwreck Friends on the Australian coast Perils of a coral sea CHAPTER XV "Arrival at Port Denison, Queensland" A lecture Reminiscences of Captain Cook Lecturing for charity at Cooktown A happy escape from a coral reef "Home Island, Sunday Island, Bird Island" An American pearl-fisherman Jubilee at Thursday Island A new ensign for the Spray Booby Island Across the Indian Ocean Christmas Island CHAPTER XVI A call for careful navigation Three hours' steering in twenty-three days Arrival at the Kelling Cocos Islands A curious chapter of social history A welcome from the children of the islands Cleaning and painting the Spray on the beach A Mohammedan blessing for a pot of jam Keeling as a paradise A risky adventure in a small boat Away to Rodiguez Taken for Antichrist The govener calms the fears of the people A lecture A convent in the hills CHAPTER XVII A clean bill of health at Mauritus Sailing the voyage over again in the opera-house A newly discovered plant named in honor of the Spray's skipper A party of young ladies out for a sail A bivouac on deck A warm reception at Durban A friendly cross-examination by Henry M. Stanley Three wise Boers seek proof of the flatness of the earth Leaving South Africa CHAPTER XVIII "Rounding the "Cape of Storms" in olden time" A rough Christmas The Spray ties up for three months' rest at Cape Town A railway trip to the Transvaal President Kruger's odd definition of the Spray's voyage His terse sayings Distinguished guests on the Spray Cocoanut fiber as a padlock Courtesies from the admiral of the Queen's navy Off for St. Helena Land in sight CHAPTER XIX In the isle of Napoleon's exile Two lectures A guest in the ghost-room at Plantation House An excursion to historic Longwood "Coffee in the husk, and a goat to shell it" The Spray's ill luck with animals A prejudice against small dogs "A rat, the Boston spider, and the cannibal cricket" Ascension Island CHAPTER XX "In the favoring current off Cape St. Roque,Brazil" All at sea regarding the Spanish-American war The light on Trinidad A charming introduction to Grenada Talks to friendly auditors CHAPTER XXI Clearing for home In the calm belt A sea covered with sargasso The jibstay parts in a gale Welcomed by a tornado off Fire Island A change of plan Arrival at Newport End of a cruise of over forty-six thousand miles The Spray again at Fairhaven APPENDIX "LINES AND SAIL-PLAN OF THE "SPRAY" Her pedigree so far as known The lines of the Spray Her self-steering qualities Sail-plan and steering-gear An unprecedented feat A final word of cheer to would-be navigators