Sailing Alone Around The World

Paperback | June 1, 1999

byJoshua SlocumIntroduction byThomas PhilbrickEditorThomas Philbrick

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The classic travel narrative of a Don Quixote-of-the-seas – the first man to circumnavigate the world singlehandedly.

 

Joshua Slocum’s autobiographical account of his solo trip around the world is one of the most remarkable – and entertaining – travel narratives of all time. Setting off alone from Boston aboard the thirty-six-foot wooden sloop Spray in April 1895, Captain Slocum went on to join the ranks of the world’s great circumnavigators – Magellan, Drake, and Cook. But by circling the globe without crew or consorts, Slocum would outdo them all: his three-year solo voyage of more than 46,000 miles remains unmatched in maritime history for its courage, skill, and determination.

Sailing Alone around the World recounts Slocum’s wonderful adventures: hair-raising encounters with pirates off Gibraltar and savage Indians in Tierra del Fuego; raging tempests and treacherous coral reefs; flying fish for breakfast in the Pacific; and a hilarious visit with fellow explorer Henry Stanley in South Africa. A century later, Slocum’s incomparable book endures as one of the greatest narratives of adventure ever written.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

From Our Editors

In April of 1895 Joshua Slocum set out on a remarkable journey, leaving Boston in a 36-foot sloop to travel the world. First sailing across the Atlantic to Gibraltar, he changed his mind and turned around, re-crossing the ocean and headed to Brazil. His epic journey is chronicled here in Sailing Alone Around the World, a voyage undertaken in a friend's sloop the Spray, a vessel nearly as tired a...

From the Publisher

The classic travel narrative of a Don Quixote-of-the-seas – the first man to circumnavigate the world singlehandedly. Joshua Slocum’s autobiographical account of his solo trip around the world is one of the most remarkable – and entertaining – travel narratives of all time. Setting off alone from Boston aboard the thirty-six-foot wooden sloop Spray in April 1895, Captain Slocum went on to join the...

Thomas Philbrick is professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:June 1, 1999Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

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ISBN - 13:9780140437362

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List of IllustrationsIntroduction by Thomas PhilbrickSuggestions for Further ReadingA Note on the Text and IllustrationsSailing Alone around the WorldCHAPTER IA blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities — Youthful fondness for the sea — Master of the ship Northern Light — Loss of the Aquidneck — Return home from Brazil in the canoe Liberdade — The gift of a “ship” — The rebuilding of the Spray — Conundrums in regard to finance and calking — The launching of the SprayCHAPTER IIFailure as a fisherman — A voyage around the world projected — From Boston to Gloucester — Fitting out for the ocean voyage — Half of a dory for a ship’s boat — The run from Gloucester to Nova Scotia — A shaking up in home waters — Among old friendsCHAPTER IIIGood-by to the American coast — Off Sable Island in a fog — In the open sea — The man in the moon takes an interest in the voyage — The first fit of loneliness — The Spray encounters La Vaguisa — A bottle of wine from the Spaniard — About of words with the captain of the Java — The steamship Olympia spoken — Arrival at the AzoresCHAPTER IVSqually weather in the Azores — High living — Delirious from cheese and plums — The pilot of the Pinta — At Gibraltar — Compliments exchanged with the British navy — A picnic on the Morocco shoreCHAPTER VSailing from Gibraltar with the assistance of her Majesty’s tug — The Spray’s course changed from the Suez Canal to Cape Horn — Chased by a Moorish pirate — A comparison with Columbus — The Canary Islands — The Cape Verde Islands — Sea life — Arrival at Pernambuco — A bill against the Brazilian government — Preparing for the stormy weather of the capeCHAPTER VIDeparture from Rio de Janeiro — The Spray ashore on the sands of Uruguay — A narrow escape from shipwreck — The boy who found a sloop — The Spray floated but somewhat damaged — Courtesies from the British consul at Maldonado — A warm greeting at Montevideo — An excursion to Buenos Aires — Shortening the mast and bowspritCHAPTER VIIWeighing anchor at Buenos Aires — An outburst of emotion at the mouth of the Plate — Submerged by a great wave — A stormy entrance to the strait — Captain Samblich’s happy gift of a bag of carpet-tacks — Off Cape Froward — Chased by Indians from Fortescue Bay — A miss-shot for “Black Pedro,” — Taking in supplies of wood and water at Three Island Cove — Animal lifeCHAPTER VIIIFrom Cape Pillar into the Pacific — Driven by a tempest toward Cape Horn — Captain Slocum’s greatest sea adventure — Reaching the strait again by way of Cockburn Channel — Some savages find the carpet-tacks — Danger from firebrands — A series of fierce williwaws — Again sailing westwardCHAPTER IXRepairing the Spray’s sails — Savages and an obstreperous anchor — A spider-fight — An encounter with Black Pedro — A visit to the steamship Colombia — On the defensive against a fleet of canoes — A record of voyages through the strait — A chance cargo of tallowCHAPTER XRunning to Port Angosto in a snow-storm — A defective sheet-rope places the Spray in peril — The Spray as a target for a Fuegian arrow — The island of Alan Erric — Again in the open Pacific — The run to the island of Juan Fernandez — An absentee king — At Robinson Crusoe’s anchorage.CHAPTER XIThe islanders of Juan Fernandez entertained with Yankee doughnuts — The beauties of Robinson Crusoe’s realm — The mountain monument to Alexander Selkirk — Robinson Crusoe’s cave — A stroll with the children of the island — Westward ho! with a friendly gale — A month’s free sailing with the Southern Cross and the sun for guides — Sighting the Marquesas — Experience in reckoningCHAPTER XIISeventy-two days without a port — Whales and birds — A peep into the Spray’s galley — Flying-fish for breakfast — A welcome at Apia — A visit from Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson — At Vailima — Samoan hospitality — Arrested for fast riding — An amusing merry-go-round — Teachers and pupils of Papauta College — At the mercy of sea-nymphsCHAPTER XIIISamoan royalty — King Malietoa — Good-by to friends at Vailima — Leaving Fiji to the south — Arrival at Newcastle, Australia — The yachts of Sydney — A ducking on the Spray — Commodore Foy presents the sloop with a new suit of sails — On to Melbourne — A shark that proved to be valuable — A change of course — The “Rain of Blood” — In TasmaniaCHAPTER XIVA testimonial from a lady — Cruising round Tasmania — The skipper delivers his first lecture on the voyage — Abundant provisions — An inspection of the Spray for safety at Devonport — Again at Sydney — Northward bound for Torres Strait — An amateur shipwreck — Friends on the Australian coast — Perils of a coral seaCHAPTER XVArrival at Port Denison, Queensland — A lecture — Reminiscences of Captain Cook — Lecturing for charity at Cook-town — A happy escape from a coral reef — Home Island, Sunday Island, Bird Island — An American pearl-fisherman — Jubilee at Thursday Island — A new ensign for the Spray — Booby Island — Across the Indian Ocean — Christmas IslandCHAPTER XVIA call for careful navigation — Three hours’ steering in twenty-three days — Arrival at the Keeling Cocos Islands — A curious chapter of social history — A welcome from the children of the islands — Cleaning and painting the Spray on the beach — A Mohammedan blessing for a pot of jam — Keeling as a paradise — A risky adventure in a small boat — Away to Rodriguez — Taken for Antichrist — The governor calms the fears of the people — A lecture — A convent in the hillsCHAPTER XVIIA clean bill of health at Mauritius — Sailing the voyage over again in the opera-house — A newly discovered plant named in honor of the Spray’s skipper — A party of young ladies out for a sail — A bivouac on deck — A warm reception at Durban — A friendly cross-examination by Henry M. Stanley — Three wise Boers seek proof of the flatness of the earth — Leaving South AfricaCHAPTER XVIIIRounding the “Cape of Storms” in olden time — A rough Christmas — The Spray ties up for a three months’ rest at Cape Town — A railway trip to the Transvaal — President Kruger’s odd definition of the Spray’s voyage — His terse sayings — Distinguished guests on the Spray — Cocoanut fiber as a padlock — Courtesies from the admiral of the Queen’s navy — Off for St. Helena — Land in sightCHAPTER XIXIn the isle of Napoleon’s exile — Two lectures — A guest in the ghost-room at Plantation House — An excursion to historic Longwood — Coffee in the husk, and a goat to shell it — The Spray’s ill luck with animals — A prejudice against small dogs — A rat, the Boston spider, and the cannibal cricket — Ascension IslandCHAPTER XXIn the favoring current off Cape St. Roque, Brazil — All at sea regarding the Spanish-American war — An exchange of signals with the battle-ship Oregon — Off Dreyfus’s prison on Devil’s Island — Reappearance to the Spray of the north star — The light on Trinidad — A charming introduction to Grenada — Talks to friendly auditorsCHAPTER XXIClearing for home — In the calm belt — A sea covered with sargasso — The jibstay parts in a gale — Welcomed by a tornado off Fire Island — A change of plan — Arrival at Newport — End of a cruise of over forty-six thousand miles — The Spray again at FairhavenAPPENDIXLINES AND SAIL-PLAN OF THE “SPRAY”Her pedigree so far as known — The lines of the Spray — Her self-steering qualities — Sail-plan and steering-gear — An unprecedented feat — A final word of cheer to would-be navigatorsNotesPENGUIN      CLASSICSSAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLDJoshua Slocum was born in Nova Scotia in 1844. After three years of schooling, he was put to work in the family bootmaking shop. At fourteen he escaped from his father’s tyrannical rule, first to the local fishing fleet, and then to the British merchant marine as an ordinary seaman. In the mid-1860s he was promoted to mate and became a United States citizen. In 1871, by then a shipmaster, he married Virginia Walker, a brave and resourceful Australian woman who was to accompany him on voyages throughout the world, bearing his four children and relishing the hardships and adventure of life at sea. After Virginia died in 1884, Slocum’s career began a sharp descent. His last command was wrecked on the coast of Brazil in 1887. Financially ruined, he and his young cousin Hettie Elliott, whom he had married a few months before, together with two of his sons, returned to the United States in a boat that they fashioned from materials salvaged from the wreck. Unable to find an officer’s berth, Slocum accepted a friend’s offer of the rotting hull of a hundred-year-old oyster sloop, the Spray. After rebuilding the boat and testing her in New England waters, in 1895 he set out upon a single-handed circumnavigation of the globe, the first such voyage ever attempted. Surviving loneliness, storm, and piratical attacks, he returned home in 1898 and wrote his extraordinary narrative, Sailing Alone around the World. Although his voyage and his book made Slocum something of a celebrity, he soon went back to his old ways, making repeated trading trips alone in the Spray along the American coast and to the Caribbean. In 1909 the sea-worn sloop and her aging master headed south from Martha’s Vineyard, never to be seen again.Thomas Philbrick is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh and a lifelong small boat sailor. He is the author of James Fenimore Cooper and the Development of American Sea Fiction and a study of St. John de Crèvecoeur. He has edited five of Cooper’s novels and travel books for the Cooper Edition, as well as Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast for Penguin Classics.Sailing AloneAround The WorldCAPTAIN JOSHUA SLOCUMIllustrated byTHOMAS FOGARTY AND GEORGE VARIANEdited with an Introduction and Notes byTHOMAS PHILBRICKPENGUIN BOOKSLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSThe “Northern Light” Captain Joshua Slocum, Bound for Liverpool, 1885Cross-section of the “Spray”“It’ll Crawl”“No Dorg nor no Cat”The Deacon’s DreamCaptain Slocum’s Chronometer“Good Evening, Sir”He also Sent his CardChart of the “Spray’s” Course around the World—April 24, 1895, to July 3, 1898The Island of PicoChart of the “Spray’s” Atlantic Voyages from Boston to Gibraltar, thence to the Strait of Magellan, in 1895, and finally Homeward Bound from the Cape of Good Hope in 1898The Apparition at the WheelComing to Anchor at GibraltarThe “Spray” at Anchor off GibraltarChased by PiratesI Suddenly Remembered that I could not SwimA Double SurpriseAt the Sign of the CometA Great Wave off the Patagonian CoastEntrance to the Strait of MagellanThe Course of the “Spray” through the Strait of Magellan The Man who wouldn’t Ship without another “Mon and a Doog”A Fuegian GirlLooking West from Fortescue Bay, where the “Spray” was Chased by IndiansA Brush with FuegiansA Bit of Friendly AssistanceCape PillarThey Howled like a Pack of HoundsA Glimpse of Sandy Point (Punta Arenas) in the Strait of Magellan“Yammerschooner!”A Contrast in Lighting—the Electric Lights of the “Columbia” and the Canoe Fires of the Fortescue IndiansRecords of Passages through the Strait at the Head of Borgia BaySalving WreckageThe First Shot Uncovered Three FuegiansThe “Spray” Approaching Juan Fernandez, Robinson Crusoe’s IslandThe House of the KingRobinson Crusoe’s CaveThe Man who Called a Cabra a GoatMeeting with the WhaleFirst Exchange of Courtesies in SamoaVailima, the Home of Robert Louis StevensonThe “Spray’s” Course from Australia to South AfricaThe Accident at SydneyCaptain Slocum Working the “Spray” out of the Yarrow River, a Part of Melbourne HarborThe Shark on the Deck of the “Spray”On Board at St. Kilda. Retracing on the Chart the Course of the “Spray” from BostonThe “Spray” in her Port Duster at Devonport, Tasmania, February 22, 1897“Is it A-goin’ to Blow?”The “Spray” Leaving Sydney, Australia, in the New Suit of Sails Given by Commodore Foy of AustraliaThe “Spray” Ashore for “Boot-topping” at the Keeling IslandsCaptain Slocum Drifting out to SeaThe “Spray” at MauritiusCaptain Joshua SlocumCartoon Printed in the Cape Town “Owl” of March 5, 1898, in Connection with an Item about Captain Slocum’s Trip to PretoriaCaptain Slocum, Sir Alfred Milner (with the Tall Hat), and Colonel Saunderson, M. P., on the Bow of the “Spray” at Cape TownReading Day and NightThe “Spray” Passed by the “Oregon”The “Spray” in the Storm off New YorkAgain Tied to the Old Stake at FairhavenPlan of the After Cabin of the “Spray”Deck-plan of the “Spray”Sail-plan of the “Spray”Steering-gear of the “Spray”Body-plan of the “Spray”Lines of the “Spray”INTRODUCTION“The greatest sailor since our world began”; that is the praise that Herman Melville, quoting Tennyson, accorded Lord Nelson in Billy Budd. Had he lived a decade longer, Melville might have had second thoughts, for by then Joshua Slocum had accomplished a voyage unmatched in maritime history for skill, courage, and determination. In April 1895 he set out alone from Boston in a thirty-six-foot sloop to travel around the world, sailed across the Atlantic to Gibraltar, changed his mind about the direction of his circumnavigation and recrossed the Atlantic to Brazil, fought his way through the Strait of Magellan, sailed west across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and, crossing the Atlantic for a third time, reached Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1898. And, to crown the achievement, Slocum wrote an account of his exploit that might well be called, if not the greatest, the most engaging of all voyage narratives.Both the voyage and the book were the work of a failed and impoverished shipmaster in late middle age. Deprived of his occupation by the disastrous outcome of his last voyage and the approaching extinction of the sailing ship as a vehicle of commerce, Slocum accepted a friend’s offer of an antique sloop named the Spray, beached and derelict like himself, as the only means left to him of salvaging his life. As he slowly rebuilt the Spray, timber by timber and plank by plank, he envisioned earning a modest and conventional living by her in the coastal fishery. Once launched, however, the sloop came to be the repository of a preposterous idea.To be sure, Slocum tried fishing in the Spray, but less as a serious enterprise than as a trial run, a means of ascertaining her capabilities and limitations. Remarkably, the sloop showed that she could steer herself—if the wind were aft or abeam, she could hold a steady course with the helm lashed and unattended. The discovery of that extraordinary trait was, beyond any doubt, the germ of Slocum’s scheme of sailing alone around the world, for without the self-steering ability of the Spray, no solitary sailor would have the endurance to make the passages of thousands of miles of open ocean that the voyage entailed.Thus, like the aged Quixote and his Rocinante, Slocum and his Spray set forth on a mad attempt to participate in a world that was past, for him not the golden age of chivalry but the golden age of sail. He would join the company of the great circumnavigators—Magellan, Drake, and Cook—and outdo them all by circling the globe without crew or consorts. And he would do it not in the pursuit of any economic, political, or scientific purpose; he would do it, so he said, for “the love of adventure.” Or, perhaps, he also said, he would do it because he had “nothing else to do.”INo life could have offered better preparation for the demands of a single-handed voyage around the world than Slocum’s. The descendant of a Tory refugee from revolutionary Massachusetts, he was born on 20 February 1844 in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, the eldest son among the ten children who survived childhood. When the boy was eight, his father gave up the attempt to scratch a living from the hill farm that he had inherited and moved the family to his wife’s native village of Westport on Brier Island. With the Bay of Fundy on one side and Saint Mary’s Bay on the other, Brier Island afforded the young Joshua a thoroughly maritime environment, a remote region of fog and forty-foot tides.But to him the sea at first beckoned in vain. His father, a muscular deacon of the Methodist church, took the boy out of school at the age of ten and put him to work in the boot-making shop that now supported the family. Sick to death of ten-hour days spent pegging the soles of cowhide fisherman’s boots and of his father’s joyless rule, Slocum escaped to a schooner, fishing in the local waters, when he was fourteen. Lasting liberation only came in 1860, after his gentle mother died and little remained to hold him to his home. In that year, at the age of sixteen, he and a young friend shipped before the mast in a clumsy lumber carrier bound for Dublin.After working a passage to England, Slocum joined the British ship Tanjore as an ordinary seaman on a voyage to China and the East Indies. There, ill and weakened by overwork and brutal treatment, he was left at the fever hospital in Batavia, notorious as a graveyard of seamen. By good luck, the captain of a steamship rescued him, brought him back to health, and employed him on trading trips around the Far East. Before long, Slocum was again in England and embarked on another voyage to the Dutch East Indies. Throughout these first two years at sea, Slocum, unlike most of his shipmates, had stayed sober, saved his money, and applied himself to the study of navigation. His reward came on this voyage when, at the age of eighteen, he was promoted to second mate.Filled out to 180 pounds and hardened by experience, he worked his way up to chief mate on British vessels in the coal and grain trade between the British Isles and San Francisco, narrowly surviving a fall from the upper topsail yard in the mid-Atlantic. In 1865, he decided to make San Francisco his home port and applied for United States citizenship. After a few years of boat building, salmon fishing, and sea-otter hunting on the Northwest coast, in 1869 he was given command of a schooner plying between San Francisco and Seattle. In 1870, he was made master of the bark Washington, bound for Sydney, Australia, with a general cargo, and then for Cook Inlet, Alaska, to fish for salmon. All in all, it was a highly respectable start to a career in the late days of merchant sail, when the regular routes and the valuable freights were being monopolized by steamships.In Sydney and now marriageable, Slocum met the love of his life, the twenty-year-old Virginia Walker, the American-born daughter of an immigrant stationer. Immediately after their wedding in January 1871, Virginia moved aboard the Washington and left her home forever. Golden-eyed and boasting a Leni-Lenape ancestor, she was a dead shot with either rifle or pistol. For the remainder of her life she followed Slocum in his wanderings from ship to ship, bearing and educating his children, enduring storm and mutiny.Although the Washington was wrecked on the Alaskan coast, Slocum was given command of two other vessels, in which he and his growing family traveled on trading voyages throughout the Pacific and China Sea. After a stint of ship-building under primitive and dangerous conditions on the shores of Subic Bay in the Philippines, he had enough capital to become an owner, first of the little schooner Pato and then of the fifty-six-year-old ship Amethyst, picking up whatever business he could find in the ports of the Far East. By then there were three children, the two boys, Victor and Benjamin Aymar, and their young sister, Jessie. In 1881, soon after Virginia had given birth to a third son (named Garfield after the incoming president), Slocum sold the Amethyst in Hong Kong and purchased partial ownership and command of the splendid ship Northern Light, only ten years old and five times the size of his largest previous vessel.The three years during which Slocum was master of the Northern Light on long voyages throughout the world marked the high point of his professional career. But the position was not without its trials. In Liverpool, after a quarrel with a delinquent rigger, he was summoned before a magistrate, who dismissed the case even though the rigger showed up bandaged and attended by a doctor and a nurse. His hard-case crew mutinied on Long Island Sound, one of them fatally stabbing the first mate before the captain and his wife could subdue them at gunpoint. After the murderer was put ashore in irons, Slocum persuaded the rest of the crew to return to duty, but the Northern Light was anything but a happy ship.Having fended off a knife attack by a young Russian crewman at Yokohama, Slocum ran into still more trouble off the Cape of Good Hope, where a tremendous storm ruined much of his cargo and nearly wrecked his ship. While the Northern Light was under repair at Port Elizabeth, he took on a new third mate who turned out to be an ex-convict and who, siding with the disaffected element of the crew, was reported to have threatened the lives of the captain and his family. Slocum put him in irons and close confinement for the remainder of the voyage to New York, but once there, he was found guilty of false and cruel imprisonment on the testimony of the ex-mate and fined $500. Although the underwriters paid the fine, this last sour note confirmed Slocum’s decision to sell his shares in the Northern Light and try his hand at some other venture.Still clinging to sail in the age of steamships, Slocum purchased a beautiful little bark called the Aquidneck, in March 1884. After repairing and fitting her out, he loaded her with flour, installed his family, and sailed for Brazil. From there he set out for Buenos Aires, seeking a cargo for Sydney, so that Virginia might see her family again. But it was too late for that. During the passage from Pernambuco, Virginia fell ill, and when the Aquidneck reached the River Plate, she died, worn out at the age of thirty-four by the rough-and-tumble of thirteen years at sea and the bearing of four children who lived and three who did not.Shattered by a loss from which, his sons later said, he never recovered, Slocum made his way to Boston, where he deposited the three younger children with his sisters, and once more went to sea. A year later, while visiting his children, he met a first cousin newly arrived from Nova Scotia, twenty-four-year-old Hettie Elliott. Though nearly twice her age, Slocum, lonely and looking for someone to mother his youngest child, courted his cousin and married her in early 1886, nineteen months after Virginia’s death.Six days after the wedding, Hettie, with five-year-old Garfield in tow, boarded the Aquidneck in New York on a voyage to Montevideo with a cargo of kerosene. It was very much a family affair, for Victor, Slocum’s eldest son, served as first mate. But if ever there was a wedding journey from hell, this was it. Immediately upon leaving New York harbor, the Aquidneck ran into a gale that opened up her seams and required the crew to pump for their lives, not reaching Montevideo until 5 May 1886 after a passage of more than two months. But worse was to come.After discharging his cargo, Slocum decided to take up coastal trading in South America. With a cargo of baled hay he had loaded in Argentina, he sailed for Rio de Janeiro only to find that the Brazilian authorities had closed their ports to vessels coming from Argentina. Threatened with the destruction of the Aquidneck by Captain Custodio de Mello, commander of an armored cruiser, Slocum was forced to return to Argentina and await the reopening of the Brazilian ports.By the time that occurred, some three months later, Slocum had lost his crew and was forced to recruit a new one from the local brothels and prisons. One night, after the hay had at last been delivered to Rio and while the bark was at anchor in a Brazilian harbor, the sleepless Hettie heard a noise on deck and awoke her husband. On reaching the deck, carbine in hand, Slocum was attacked with knives by four of the sailors. With the lives of his wife and children at stake, Slocum fired, killing one of the attackers and wounding another. Although he succeeded in restoring order on board the Aquidneck, he was arrested and tried for murder. A Brazilian court acquitted him on his plea of self-defense, but during the delay caused by his detention, his crew had gone ashore, where, it soon turned out, they contracted smallpox. The Aquidneck, now a plague ship, was forced to return to port. By the time the dead and dying were removed and the vessel disinfected and readied for sea, Slocum had run up costs of $1,000.Undaunted by these trials, Slocum undertook a trade in Brazilian hardwood, but again disaster struck. In late December 1887, the fully loaded and uninsured Aquidneck stranded on a sandbar in Paranaguá Bay and, battered by a strong swell, was reduced to a wreck in three days’ time. Slocum sold what was left of his bark, paid off the crew, and saw them on their way home in a ship bound for Montevideo. He and his family would return to their own home by different means.With his characteristic resourcefulness and his no less characteristic appetite for adventure, Slocum determined to build a vessel that would carry him, Hettie, Victor, and Garfield to the United States. The basis of the new craft would be the framework of a boat that had been in the process of construction on the deck of the Aquidneck as a tender. With planking supplied by local sawyers and fastenings and hardware manufactured from melted copper and brass, Slocum and Victor pieced together a double-ended boat thirty-five feet long and seven and a half feet wide. They fitted her with three masts, each of which carried a single sail modeled on those carried by Chinese junks; Hettie, who had been trained as a seamstress, made the sails. The boat, or “canoe” as Slocum called her, was christened the Liberdade, having been launched on the day that Brazil emancipated her slaves.In this unlikely craft, the Slocums made the 5,500-mile passage north along the coast of Brazil, across the Equator, and through the Caribbean to the coast of the United States, reaching Washington, D.C., on 27 December 1888. Financially ruined though he was, Slocum enjoyed his first taste of celebrity, both in Washington (where he was photographed by Mathew Brady) and in New York. The New York World reported that Hettie “spoke with some reluctance” of her experience and said that she would go on to her relatives in Boston by rail; “I have had enough sailing to last me for a long time,” she said.For her husband, however, sailing was his livelihood and his life. Although Victor quickly was hired as a mate and headed back to Brazil, and despite a diligent and surely humiliating canvassing of his old friends and associates, Slocum could not find a berth. In desperation he took to his pen, writing an account of the voyage of the Liberdade, which he published at his own expense in 1890. The little book, Voyage of the Liberdade, sold very poorly, but it attracted the attention of Joseph Benson Gilder, who reviewed it favorably in his magazine, The Critic. Although Gilder’s notice did nothing to further Slocum’s immediate fortunes, it provided him with an invaluable future contact.In the meantime, Slocum, living with his sister Naomi in East Boston, picked up odd jobs along the waterfront as a rigger and carpenter. Then, in late 1891 or early 1892, something interesting turned up. The retired whaling master Ebenezer Pierce, recognizing Slocum’s desperation, gave him the rotting hull of the Spray to rebuild and use as he wished. Pierce kindly invited Slocum to stay with him at his house in Fairhaven while the work went on. In March 1892, the sloop and her new master began an association that was to end only with their common loss fourteen and a half years later.II

Table of Contents

Sailing Alone Around The WorldList of Illustrations
Introduction by Thomas Philbrick
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text and Illustrations
Sailing Alone around the World

Chapter IA blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities
Youthful fondness for the sea
Master of the ship Norhtern Light
Loss of the Aquidneck
Return home from Brazil in the canoe Liberdale
The gift of a "ship"
The rebuilding of the Spray
Conundrums in regard to finance and calking
The launching of the Spray

Chapter II
Failure as a fisherman
A voyage around the world projected
From Boston to Gloucester
Fitting out for the ocean voyage
Half of a dory for a ship's boat
The run from Gloucester to Nova Scotia
A shaking up in home waters
Among old friends

Chapter III
Good-by to the American coast
Off Sable Island in a fog
In the open sea
The man in the moon takes an interest in the voyage
The first fit of loneliness
The Spray encounters La Vaguisa
A bottle of wine from the Spaniard
A bout of words with the captain of the Java
The steamship Olympia spoken
Arrival at the Azores

Chapter IV
Squally weather in the Azores
High living
Delirious from cheese and plums
The pilot of the Pinta
At Gibraltar
Compliments exchanged with the British navy
A picnic on the Morocco shore

Chapter VSailing from Gibraltar with assistance of her Majesty's tug
The Spray's course changed from the Suez Canal to Cape Horn
Chased by a Moorish pirate
A comparison with Columbus
The Canary Islands
The Cape Verde Islands
Sea life
Arrival at Pernambuco
A bill against the Brazilian government
Preparing for the stormy weather of the cape

Chapter VI
Departure from Rio de Janeiro
The Spray ashore on the sands of Uruguay
A narrow escape from shipwreck
The boy who found a sloop
The Spray floated but somewhat damaged
Courtesies from the British consul at Maldonado
A warm greeting at Montevideo
An excursion to Buenos Aires
Shortening the mast and bowsprit

Chapter VII
Weighing anchor at Buenos Aires
An outburst of emotion at the mouth of the Plate
Submerged by a great wave
A stormy entrance to the strait
Captain Samblich's happy gift of a bag of carpet-tacks
Off Cape Froward
Chased by Indians from Fortescue Bay
A miss-shot for "Black Pedro"
Taking in supplies of wood and water at Three Island Cove
Animal life

Chapter VIII
From Cape Pillar into the Pacific
Driven by a tempest toward Cape Horn
Captain Slocum's greatest sea adventure
Reaching the strait again by way of Cockburn Channel
Some savages find the carpet-tacks
Danger from firebrands
A series of fierce williwaws
Again sailing westward

Chapter IX
Repairing the Spray's sails
Savages and an obstreperous anchor
A spider-fight
An encounter with Black Pedro
A visit to the steamship Colombia
On the defensive against a fleet of canoes
A record of voyages through the strait
A chance cargo of tallow

Chapter X
Running to Port Angosto in a snow-storm
A defective sheet-rope places the Spray in peril
The Spray as a target for a Fuegian arrow
The island of Alan Erric
Again in the open Pacific
The run to the island of Juan Fernandez
An absentee king
At Robinson Crusoe's anchorage

Chapter XI
The islanders of Juan Fernandez entertained with Yankee doughnuts
The beauties of Robinson Crusoe's realm
The mountain monument to Alexander Selkirk
Robinson Crusoe's cave
A stroll with the children of the island
Westward ho! with a friendly gale
A month's free sailing with the Southern Cross and the sun for guides
Sighting the Marquesas
Experience in reckoning

Chapter XII
Seventy-two days without a port
Whales and birds
A peep into the Spray's galley
Flying-fish for breakfast
A welcome at Apia
A visit from Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson
At Vailima
Samoan hospitality
Arrested for fast riding
An amusing merry-go-round
Teachers and pupils of Papauta College
At the mercy of sea-nymphs

Chapter XIII
Samoan royalty
King Malietoa
Good-bye to friends at Vailima
Leaving Fiji to the south
Arrival at Newcastle, Australia
The yachts of Sydney
A ducking on the Spray
Commodore Foy presents the sloop with a new suit of sails
On to Melbourne
A shark that proved to be valuable
A change of course
The "Rain of Blood"
In Tasmania

Chapter XIV
A testimonial from a lady
Cruising round Tasmania
The skipper delivers his first lecture on the voyage
Abundant provisions
An inspection of the Spray for safety at Devonport
Again at Sydney
Northward bound for Torres Strait
An amateur shipwreck
Friends on the Autralian coast
Perils of a coral sea

Chapter XV
Arrival at Port Denison, Queensland
A lecture
Reminiscences of Captain Cook
Lecturing for charity at Cooktown
A happy escape from a coral reef
Home Island, Sunday Island, Bird Island
An American pearl-fisherman
Jubilee at Thursday Island
A new ensign for the Spray
Booby Island
Across the Indian Ocean
Christmas Island

Chapter XVI
A call for careful navigation
Three hours' steering in twenty-three days
Arrival at the Keeling Cocos Islands
A curious chapter of social history
A welcome from the children of the islands
Cleaning and painting the Spray on the beach
A Mohammedan blessing for a pot of jam
Keeling as a paradise
A risky adventure in a small boat
Away to Rodriguez
Taken for Antichrist
The governor calms the fears of the people
A lecture
A convent in the hills

Chapter XVII
A clean bill of health at Mauritius
Sailing the voyage over again in the opera-house
A newly discovered plant named in honor of the Spray's skipper
A party of young ladies out for a sail
A bivouac on deck
A warm reception at Durban
A friendly cross-examination by Henry M. Stanley
Three wise Boers seek proof of the flatness of the earth
Leaving South Africa

Chapter XVIII
Rounding the "Cape of Storms" in olden time
A rough Christmas
The Spray ties up for a three months' rest at Cape Town
A railway trip to the Transvaal
President Kruger's odd definition of the Spray's voyage
His terse sayings
Distinguished guests on the Spray
Cocoanut fiber as a padlock
Courtesies from the admiral of the Queen's navy
Off for St. Helena
Land in sight

Chapter XIX
In the isle of Napoleon's exile
Two lectures
A guest in the ghost-room at Plantation House
An excursion to historic Longwood
Coffee in the husk, and a goat to shell it
The Spray's ill luck with animals
A prejudice against small dogs
A rat, the Boston spider, and the cannibal cricket
Ascension Island

Chapter XX
In the favoring current of Cape St. Roque, Brazil
All at sea regarding the Spanish-American war
An exchange of signals with the battle-ship Oregon
Off Dreyfus's prison on Devil's Island
Reappearance to the Spray of the north star
The light on Trinidad
A charming introduction to Grenada
Talks to friendly auditors

Chapter XXI
Clearing for home
In the calm belt
A sea covered with sargasso
The jibstay parts in a gale
Welcomed by a tornado off Fire Island
A change of plan
Arrival at Newport
End of a cruise of over forty-six thousand miles
The Spray again at Fairhaven

Appendix
Lines and Sail-Plan of the "Spray"
Her pedigree so far as known
The lines of the Spray
Her self-steering qualities
Sail-plan and steering-gear
An unprecedented feat
A cheer to would-be navigators

Notes