This is the story of tramp ships’ seafarers in the closing years of the coal-burning era. Ordinary men, their lives rarely touched by dramatic highlights around which the plots of novels are woven. They led workaday lives far from home; a ship’s galley in a mid-winter gale; stowing cable by hand; chipping, scraping and painting through the Tropics; shoveling coal, closed in by the furnace glow; solitary on lookout in the graveyard watch. It follows them not only around the oceans and seaports of the world, but backwards in time to their origins and sometimes forward to their ends.
Short-listed for the international Maritime Media Awards
‘This is great stuff; the hardened and far from politically correct seamen as they really were.’
Totally absorbing, with shrewd wit, touching at times, funny at others – a thoroughly worthwhile account.’