All Sail Set

  • Type: Books
  • By: Armstrong Sperry
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780879235239
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Sailing full-and-by to adventure!

Here’s a story about the clipper ship Flying Cloud, whose speedy voyage from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn set a sailing record that stood for 136 years.  All Sail Set is told from the perspective of Enoch Thacher, a young man who is involved in the construction of the vessel at Donald McKay’s shipyard, and then becomes a crewmember under Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy.  As Enoch learns the ropes of sailing there’s plenty of maritime lingo (cleaned up for younger readers) to enjoy, and the furling and laying-out of tops’ls and skys’ls is exciting.
This book was published in 1935, and it shows its age by the fact that it leaves out one important character from the Flying Cloud’s record-setting voyage – namely, the captain’s wife, Eleanor Prentiss Creesy, who served as the ship’s navigator.  Without Eleanor, who was ahead of her time in applying scientific information about currents and weather patterns to the navigation of ships, it’s unlikely that the Flying Cloud would be much remembered today.
Read this book along with Tracey Fern’s Dare the Wind (a short biography of Eleanor) to get the full story.