This account of the day-to-day life and career of a naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars is a wonderful testament to the resourcefulness of the sailor, both in the face of battle and in his domestic rounds.
During the 1790s Crawford was involved in almost constant combat with the French invasion flotilla at Boulogne, and was present at the several attempts to attack the enemy ships in port with special weapons such as Congreve rockets and Fulton's 'torpedoes'. Ingenuity also came to the fore in port when he transformed the quarterdeck of a frigate into a dancefloor for a ball on board. After participating in Admiral Duckworth's passage of the Dardanelles in 1809, he went on to serve in the Mediterranean, and was with the fleet supporting the Anglo-Allied army which landed in eastern Spain, taking part in the siege of Tarragona in 1811.
His intimate descriptions of shipboard life and the small-scale actions that were the common experience of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars make these memoirs compulsive reading.