• Sage Webb

July 5, 2020: Two Days Before the Mast

In 1840, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published Two Years Before the Mast (yep, Dana as in Dana Point, California, which is named for him). Suffering with eyesight issues while at Harvard, Dana had decided to leave school for a while and ship as a common sailor for a voyage from Boston to California and back, as part of the hide trade (ships collected hides in California to bring back to Boston to be made into shoes). Dana wrote his book, in part, to raise awareness of the plight of common sailors, of the rough working conditions and the threats of tyrannical captains. He was an early activist writer.

Unfortunately for me, The Bosun has decided to pen his own activist work: Two Days Before the Mast. In this exposé, he plans to reveal the affronts and outrages of sailing with a tyrannical vegetarian captain. He aims to expose the harsh conditions on shipboard and the steak-less rations (he cannot complain that he has run out of beer; as the only beer drinker aboard, he was responsible for provisioning in that area).

(The Bosun has been teaching Boat Dog to catch Wheat Thins tossed to him.)

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