YARNS, NARRATIVES AND BIOGRAPHIES. Page Four.


GENERAL NARRATIVES



See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

  • Viola
  • Travels with my Nan
  • For the Love of Sauntress
  • Messing About in Boats
  • Swin, Swale & Swatchway
  • Good Little Ship
  • Remembering the Boats
  • The Frayed Atlantic Edge
  • The Channel
  • Getting Stoned with Savages
  • Ten Rogues
  • The Outlaw Ocean
  • The Boat Who Wouldn't Float
  • Catching Thunder
  • The Last Great Australian Adventurer
  • Crusoe's Island
  • Small-Boat Sailing
  • One Wild Song
  • Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty
  • How to Sail a Boat
  • Sea Fever
  • Sailing to the Edge of Time
  • Sailing, Yachts & Yarns

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    VIOLA.
    By Robb Robinson & Ian Hart, Softback, 0.37 kg, 160mm x 220mm, 222 pages. Sepia & Colour Photos. Published 2014

    Deep in southern latitudes, in a desolate corner of Cumberland Bay on the east coast of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, hard by the rotting quays of the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken and almost within a stone’s throw of the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, lie three forsaken steam ships: rusting remnants of British industrial past, unique survivals from a vanished age of steam at sea.

    One of these ships is Viola, the sole surviving Hull steam trawler from the huge fleet which put 'fish & chips' on Britain's plates more than a hundred years ago.

    In this absorbing account, the authors describe her ancestry and origins in the Victorian and Edwardian North Sea fishery—vividly depicting life for her crew in the most dangerous industry of its time; they record her Great War service as a U-boat hunter—one of the many merchant vessels largely unsung for their contribution, and often sacrifice, in wartime; and they recount her subsequent career hunting whales off West Africa, then later sealing and exploration work in the South Atlantic, before her final abandonment in South Georgia.

    Here she became quarry for the infamous Argentine scrap metal expedition of 1982, in the initiating action of the Falklands War.

    This improbable yet true story of a humble working vessel and those involved with her is a highly readable work of social, as well as maritime, history.

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    TRAVELS WITH MY NAN.
    By Nick Imber, Softback, 0.29 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 170 pages. Colour Photos. Published 2019
    One Family's Life with a Barge Yacht.

    I first met her in Tollesbury and immediately fell for her. She was an Essex girl through and through but not like all the others, although she was shallow. As far as I could see then there were only two problems. There was a big age difference—fifty-five years. She was born in 1904 and I was ten back then in 1959. None of this mattered to me but the second problem would be trickier: my Dad loved her too...

    So begins Nick Imber’s affectionate account of his family’s love affair with the barge yacht Nan, who was to give so much pleasure to three generations, across twenty years from the 1950s to the 1970s.

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    FOR THE LOVE OF SAUNTRESS.
    By Martin O'Scannell, Softback, 0.25 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 142 pages. Colour & Black /White Photos. Published 2014

    A Forty Year Affair

    In 1973, Martin O'Scannall's love affair with Sauntress, voted in 2013 one of Classic Boat magazine's Top 250 Boats. Here, in a series of delightful, engaging episodes ranging from Anglesey to Galicia by way of the West Country, the East Coast, the Netherlands, Norway and south-west Ireland, is what it is like to restore and sail—and be possessed by—a modest yet glorious 28ft gaffer dating from the golden age of Edwardian yachting.

    Illustrated with a gallery of outrageously beautiful photographs depicting Sauntress in all her present-day glory, and were taken on a single, perfect August evening off the Galician coast during her annual match race.

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    MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS.
    By John R Muir, Softback, 0.32 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 208 pages. Black & White Images. First Published 1938. This Edition 2016

    Out of print since the late 1940s, Messing About in Boats is one of the most charming and evocative accounts of work and leisure afloat in the years either side of the Great War.
    John Muir describes with humanity and humour the perils of boat acquisition and ownership by the impecunious, and the somewhat mixed talents of the Paid Hand...

    Muir provides two valuable first-hand accounts of work afloat under steam and sail before the War, while he was on half-paid leave between assignments in the Royal Navy: In the North Sea ‘boxing’ fleet of trawlers which remained on station for weeks on end, where he served in his medical capacity, and later in the Bristol Channel Pilot service, where he crewed on a cutter, delivering the pilot to incoming ships in all weathers.

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    SWIN, SWALE & SWATCHWAY.
    By H Lewis Jones, Softback, 0.23 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 144 pages. Black & White Images. First Published 1892. This Edition 2014

    Published in 1892 in a small and now scarce edition, Swin, Swale & Swatchway pre-dates and inspires both Maurice Griffiths and Francis B. Cooke in giving us the sailor’s experience of London’s doorstep wilderness, the Thames Estuary, and the boats and characters inhabiting it in late Victorian times.

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    GOOD LITTLE SHIP.
    By Peter Willis, Softback, 0.36 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 218 pages. Black & White/ Colour Photographs & Images. Published 2017

    Peter Willis combines an analysis of a classic of maritime literature - We didn't Mean to go to Sea' (Arthur Ransome) with the story of the Nancy Blackett, Ransome’s own boat which appears as the Goblin in his story.
    He describes her life, near-death and restoration, and her renaissance as an ambassador for Ransome and his tales.

    (There’s more than a touch of irony about the title of Arthur Ransome’s We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea. The book came about precisely because that’s just what he had intended to do,’ Generations of children and their parents have delighted in Arthur Ransome’s series of twelve ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books, but one of them stands out from the rest as being of a different order altogether...)

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    REMEMBERING THE BOATS.
    By Gloria Wilson, Softback, 0.37 kg, 160mm x 215mm, 139 pages. Black & White Images and line Drawings. Published 2019.

    A lifetime with the North Sea Fishing Fleet.

    Fishing boats, particularly those along the eastern seaboard of Britain, from Whitby northwards, have always been fundamental to my existence writes Gloria Wilson.
    In this book I touch upon my own story, give some account of how I have arrived at the happy and somewhat unconformable circumstance of being a writer and illustrator within the commercial fishing and boat building communities.

    Featuring predominately classic, cruiser-sterned wooden-hulled seine netters and dual-purpose craft and sea boats with beautiful hull forms.

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    THE FRAYED ATLANTIC EDGE.
    By David Gange, Paperback, 0.32 kg, 130mm x 200mm, 388 pages. Published 2020

    Over the course of a year, leading historian and nature writer David Gange kayaked the weather-ravaged coasts of Atlantic Britain and Ireland from north to south: every cove, sound, inlet, island.
    The idea was to travel slowly and close to the water: in touch with both the natural world and the histories of communities on Atlantic coastlines.

    Paddling alone in sun and storms, among dozens of whales and countless seabirds, Gange and his kayak travelled through a Shetland summer, Scottish winter and Irish spring before reaching Wales and Cornwall. Sitting low in the water, as did millions in eras when coasts were the main arteries of trade and communication, Gange describes, in captivating prose and loving detail, the experiences of kayaking, coastal living and historical discovery.

    The story of his journey is one of staggering adventure, range and beauty.

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    THE CHANNEL.
    By Charlie Connnelly, hardback, 0.52 kg, 165mm x 240mm, 297 pages. Published 2020
    The Remarkable men and women who made it the most fascinating waterway in the world.

    A bulwark against invasion, a conduit for exchange and a challenge to be conquered, the English Channel has always been many things to many people. Today it’s the busiest shipping lane in the world and hosts more than 30 million passenger crossings every year but this sliver of choppy brine, just 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, represents much more than a conductor of goods and people.

    Criss-crossing the Channel – not to mention regularly throwing himself into it for a bracing swim – Charlie Connelly collects its stories and brings them vividly to life, from tailing Oscar Wilde’s shadow through the dark streets of Dieppe to unearthing Britain’s first beauty pageant at the end of Folkestone pier (it was won by a bloke called Wally). We learn that Louis Bleriot was actually a terrible pilot, the tragic fate of the first successful Channel swimmer, and that if a man with a buttered head and pigs’ bladders attached to his trousers hadn’t fought off an attack by dogfish we might never have had a Channel Tunnel.

    Here is a cast of extraordinary characters – geniuses, cheats, dreamers, charlatans, visionaries, eccentrics and at least one pair of naked, cuddling balloonists – whose stories are all united by the English Channel.

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    GETTING STONED WITH SAVAGES.
    A TRIP THROUGH THE ISLANDS OF FIJI AND VANUATU

    By J Maarten troost, Paperback, 0.24 kg, 130mm x 205mm, 240 pages. Published 2006

    The laugh-out-loud true story of the author's years on the islands of Vanuatu and Fiji, among cannibals, volcanoes... and the world’s best narcotics.

    Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost’s time on Vanuatu—a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to “eat the man.” Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders.
    When his wife Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living—in complete contrast to his dad.

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    TEN ROGUES

    By Peter Grose, Softback, 0.35 kg, 155mm x 235mm, 229 pages. Published 2020

    A band of convicts, a scoundrel by the name of Jimmy Porter, a stolen brig and a daring plan for escape.

    From the grim docks of nineteenth-century London to the even grimmer shores of the brutal penal colony of Norfolk Island, this is a roller-coaster tale. It has everything: defiance of authority, treachery, piracy and mutiny, escape from the hangman's noose and even love.
    Peopled with good men, buffoons, incompetents and larrikin convicts of the highest order, Ten Rogues is an unexpected and wickedly entertaining story.

    Peter Grose brings to irresistible life the story of a small band of convicts who managed to escape the living hell of the Tasmanian penal colony of Sarah Island. Their getaway began by stealing the leaky and untested brig they had helped to build, and then sailing it across the Pacific from Tasmania to Chile with neither a map nor a chronometer.

    Ten Rogues shines a light into some dark and previously well-hidden corners of colonial history...
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    THE OUTLAW OCEAN

    By Ian Urbina, Softback, 0.46 kg, 130mm x 200mm, 544 pages. Published in Paperback 2020

    A riveting, adrenalin-fuelled tour of a vast, lawless and rampantly criminal world that few have ever seen: the high seas.

    There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to the unbridled extremes of human behaviour and activity.

    Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion-providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways: drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world and their risk-fraught lives. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely.

    Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, this unique work of reportage brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.

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    THE BOAT WHO WOULDN'T FLOAT

    By Farley Mowat, Softback, 0.35 kg, 140mm x 215mm, 294 pages. New Edition 2018

    It seemed like a good idea. Tired of everyday life ashore, Farley Mowat would find a sturdy boat in Newfoundland and roam the salt sea over, free as a bird. What he found was the worst boat in the world, and she nearly drove him mad. The Happy Adventure, despite all that Farley and his Newfoundland helpers could do, leaked like a sieve. Her engine only worked when she felt like it. Typically, on her maiden voyage, with the engine stuck in reverse, she backed out of the harbour under full sail. And she sank, regularly.

    How Farley and a varied crew, including the intrepid lady who married him, coaxed the boat from Newfoundland to Lake Ontario is a marvellous story. The encounters with sharks, rum-runners, rum and a host of unforgettable characters on land and sea make this a very funny book for readers of all ages

    $40.00 + Delivery

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    CATCHING THUNDER
    The True Story of the World's Longest Sea Chase.

    By Eskill Engdal & Kjetil Saeter, Paperback, 0.45 kg, 135mm x 210mm, 391 pages. Colour Photographs. Published 2018.

    December, 2014: In the forbidding waters off Antarctica, Captain Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker embarks on a voyage unlike any seen before. Across ten thousand miles of hazardous seas, Hammarstedt’s crew will relentlessly pursue the Thunder—an infamous illegal fishing ship—for what will become the longest chase in maritime history.

    Wanted by Interpol, the Thunder has for years evaded justice: accumulating millions in profits, hunting endangered species and ruthlessly destroying ocean habitats. The authors follow this incredible expedition from the beginning. But even as seasoned journalists, they cannot anticipate what the chase will uncover, as the wake of the Thunder leads them to trail of criminal kingpins, rampant corruption, modern slavery, and an international community content to turn a blind eye. Very soon, apprehending Thunder becomes more than a chase but a pursuit of the truth itself and a symbolic race to preserve the well-being of our planet.

    A Scandinavian best-seller, Catching Thunder is a remarkable true story of courage and perseverance, and a wake-up call to act against the destruction of our environments.

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    THE LAST GREAT AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURER.
    Ben Carlin's epic journey around the world by amphibious jeep.
    By Gordon Bass, Paperback, 0.55 kg, 154mm x 233mm, 365 pages. Published 2017. Black & White and Full-colour photographs.

    In 1948, Ben Carlin set out from New York City with an audacious, lunatic plan to circumnavigate the world in an army surplus amphibious jeep called Half-Safe.

    Fuelled by cigarettes and adrenaline, the Australian army major pushed his fragile, claustrophobic vehicle through fierce Atlantic hurricanes, across uncharted North African desert, into dense South-East Asian jungle and over the icy dark swells of the North Pacific. It was a 50,000-mile roll of the dice that by all rights should have killed him. When Ben finally pulled into Times Square a decade later, he found himself alone and forgotten, his legacy little more than a wake of women and empty whiskey bottles. And the worst was yet to come.

    Was it all a fool’s errand? Or a pure manifestation of spirit? Where does a dream end and an obsession begin? What’s an acceptable cost to pay, and to what lengths will a person go not to be left with the haunting question: what if? The last Great Australian Adventurer is the compelling account of Ben Carlin’s attempt to make an enduring mark on the world at the twilight of the Golden Age of Adventure

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    CRUSOE'S ISLAND A Rich and curious history of pirates, castaways and madness.
    By Andrew Lambert, Paperback, 0.26 kg, 130mm x 198mm, 306 pages. Paperback Published 2017.
    Acclaimed historian Andrew Lambert uncovers the fascinating truth about a faraway place that still haunts our imagination and culture: the island of Robinson Crusoe in the South Pacific Ocean.

    Daniel Defoe's enduring novel Robinson Crusoe famously followed the adventures of a shipwrecked sailor. Yet the complex reality is more surprising, more colourful and considerably darker.

    Drawing on voyage accounts, journal entries, maps and illustrations, Lambert brings to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists. There are the early encounters of the 1500s, the perilous journeys of the eighteenth-century explorers, the naval conflicts of the First World War and the environmental concerns of more recent years.

    Crusoe’s Island reveals that the British relationship whit this distant, tiny island extends far beyond a single book. This true history helps us to understand why the British, still a naval power but no longer a great maritime empire, are not yet ready to give up the ocean – or on tiny specks of land at the far ends of the earth.

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    SMALL-BOAT SAILING
    By Jack London, Hardback, 0.10 kg, 109mm x 172mm. Originally Published 1912. Reprinted 2014 .
    Jack London listened to the lure of the sea and discovered the thrill of sailing a small boat on San Francisco Bay at age 12. He owned several sailboats throughout his life and claimed that he felt more at home on the sea than on land. Originally published in Yachting Monthly magazine in 1912, this essay describes his life spent at sea including the hard work and excitement of sailing a small boat in treacherous waters.

    Here is a small excerpt taken from the book....

    ‘Barring captains and mates of big ships, the small-boat sailor is the real sailor. He knows—he must know—how to make the wind carry his craft from one given point to another given point. He must know about tides and rips and eddies, bar and channel markings, and day and night signals; he must be wise in weather-lore; and he must be sympathetically familiar with the peculiar qualities of his boat which differentiate it from every other boat that was ever built and rigged. He must know how to gentle her about, as one instance of a myriad, and to fill her on the other tack without deadening her way or allowing her to fall off too far.’

    A beautifully bound little gift book.

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    ONE WILD SONG
    By Paul Heiney. 230 pages, 0.20 kg, 130mm x 200mm, Colour photos. Published 2016 .
    When Countrywise presenter Paul Heiney's son Nicholas committed suicide aged 23, Paul and his wife, Times columnist Libby Purves, were rocked to the core. Nicholas had been a highly gifted promising young man, albeit he had struggled to keep his head above water at times as severe depression slowly dragged him down over many years.

    Nicholas was a keen sailor, with several of his posthumously-published writings having a nautical theme. To try to reconnect with this happier memory of his son, Paul decides to set out – alone – on a voyage he would have liked them to have embarked upon together. Cape Horn is the sailor's Everest. One of the most remote and bleak parts of the world, it takes courage, physical strength and mental fortitude to face its tempestuous seas, violent winds and barren landscape.

    Poignant, moving, funny, thought provoking and beautifully written, Paul's account of setting his own course through seemingly insurmountable grief makes for a powerful story. Injected with humour, perceptiveness and philosophy, recounting his highs, lows, frustrations and triumphs, the honesty and openness of Paul's story makes this very personal account a universal tale.

    $24.00 + Delivery

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    MUTINY ON BOARD HMS BOUNTY..
    By William Bligh. Paperback, 0.18kg, 130mm x 200mm, 187 pages. This edition published 2014.
    First published in 1790, this edition includes a new map of the route of the Bounty before and after the mutiny, as well as that of Bligh and his loyal crew after being abandoned.

    In 1789 the crew of the HMS Bounty mutinied against their captain, William Bligh. Bligh and his loyal crewmen survived a 1,000-mile journey in a small boat, but when he returned to England and several mutineers went on trial, different versions of the events began to emerge. This brand new edition brings together Bligh's account of the mutiny, responses from the lawyer Edward Christian (the brother of lead mutineer Fletcher Christian) and contridictory testimonies from Bounty crewmembers.

    World-class yachtsman and racing sailor Pete Goss writes in the foreword to this edition of his own experience of a collapse in captain-crew relations as he explores the grey areas surrounding the mutiny on the Bounty

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    HOW TO SAIL A BOAT.
    By Matt Vance. Paperback, 0.18kg, 130mm x 198mm, 116 pages, published 2013.
    To sail a boat is a magical, and sometimes mystical experience. The sailor is free from the cares of life on land, entirely absorbed in the enterprise of moving a craft across the water. For the uninitiated, though, this is madness. Whatever reason can there be for willingly putting yourself at the mercy of nature's unpredictable forces, winds, waves and weather?

    Here, Matt Vance takes you inside the mind of the sailor, from the first scary moment of handling a boat solo to the exhilaration of sailing across oceans and discovering new worlds. His stories and those of his fellow madmen will captivate sailors young and old - and if you're a landlubber you may just find yourself yearning for the blue horizon.

    NZ$26.00 + delivery.

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    SEA FEVER, The True Adventures that Inspired our greatest Maritime Authors.
    By Sam Jefferson. Paperback, 130mm x 198mm, 330 pages, Sepia and Colour Photographs. 2016
    How did a big-game fishing trip rudely interrupted by sharks inspire one of the key scenes in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea? How did Robert Louis Stevenson's cruise to the cannibal-infested South Sea islands prove instrumental in his writing of The Beach of Falesa and The Ebb Tide? How did Masefield survive Cape Horn and a near-nervous breakdown to write Sea Fever?

    The waters of this world have swirled through storytelling ever since the Celts spun the tale of Beowulf and Homer narrated The Odyssey. This enthralling book takes us on a tour of the most dangerous, exciting and often eccentric escapades of literature's sailing stars, and how these true stories inspired and informed their best-loved works. Arthur Ransome, Erskine Childers, Jack London and many others are featured as we find out how extraordinary fact fed into unforgettable fiction. -

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    SAILING TO THE EDGE OF TIME
    By John Kretschmer. Paperback, 0.21kg, 130mm x 200mm, 277 pages. This Ediiton Published 2020. Colour Photographs.
    With hundreds of thousands of nautical miles under his keel, John Kretschmer's adventures have taken him several times around the world, with challenging crossings of the Atlantic and the Pacific, a narrow escape from a coup in Yemen, an unlikely deliverance from a coral reef off Belize as well as more serene, introspective passages where trade winds are blowing and stories are flowing. His crew has included CEOs, actors, writers, teachers, kids – in essence, everyone.

    In this book he shares his simple profundities that will inspire those who live to sail, and those seeking something more rewarding from life. Interwoven with practical tips and advice in seamanship, but also, and just as importantly, his hard-won insights about making the most of our lives.

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    SAILING, YACHTS & YARNS.
    By Tom Cunliffe. Hardback, 0.53kg, 160mm x 235mm, 232 pages. Published 2011.
    Tom Cunliffe, star of BBC TV's The Boats That Built Britain, is also Britain's leading sailing writer, Sailing, Yachts & Yarns is a selection of his most entertaining, outspoken and instructive writing from the pages of Yachting Monthly. Tom's regular column for his leading sailing magazine gives him free reign to explore a wide range of topics. He has a gift for capturing the magic of sail and finding pearls of practical wisdom in the most unlikely nautical adventures.
    This book is a wonderful miscellany of wit, wisdom and wonder. It will make you laugh and make you think - and make you want to cast off to enjoy the delights of life afloat.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    YARNS, NARRATIVES AND BIOGRAPHIES. Page Four.


    GENERAL NARRATIVES



    See also Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters

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