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Old 07-19-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
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Hutcheson, John C: Afloat at Last. V1. 19 July 2009

John Conroy Hutcheson (1840- 1897) was a British author of novels and short stories about life aboard ships at sea.
Hutcheson was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1840, and died in Portsea Island, in late 1896 or early 1897.

Excerpt
This short book tells the adventures over just one voyage to Shanghai of the hero, Allan Graham, whose father is a country vicar. Allan is obtained a place as an apprentice aboard the Silver Queen, which he joins at Wapping Docks. An Irish bosun, Tim Rooney, takes a liking to the lad and helps him learn the ropes. Hutcheson nearly always has an Irish co-hero in his books. We get a good description of how the vessel is warped out of the dock, how she makes her way down river, assisted by a steam-tug, and then down the English Channel and into the wide Atlantic Ocean. Allan begins to learn a bit about navigation and ship-handling, when the movement of the vessel in the Bay of Biscay causes him to retire with sea-sickness. A stowaway is found on board, in the forepeak. Allan finds an ally in the Chinese cook, Ching Wang. On the other hand the Portuguese steward, Pedro, hates that cook.
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