Passage from Sail to Steam

L. R. Beavis, Author, M. S. Kline, Editor University of Washington Press $32.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-295-96407-2
Maritime history and ship buffs have a treasure in these memoirs of a life at sea. Beavis began his career in 1878 as apprentice on the jute clipper, Star of France (London to Calcutta). By 1893 he had moved up to master of the Micronesia, where he had been third mate on its maiden voyage. Those were the glory days of the square-riggers that carried cargo around the world, each ship vying for a record passage. Beavis provides a vivid picture of life aboard and ashore; he did not consider a voyage as romantic adventure, but as his chosen work. There is pride in his ship and satisfaction in his job. His sailing career came to an abrupt end in 1897 when the Micronesia, under tow off the coast of England, burneda total loss. Beavis turned to the despised steam as mate on a succession of ships that included the Atlantic cattle trade, the Canadian Hydrographic Survey, a Hudson's Bay venture to Siberia and the West Vancouver Ferries. He left the sea in 1930, retiring to a Vancouver island to write his memoirs. Kline's editing is unobtrusive. Photos. (July 31)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1986
Release date: 08/01/1986
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