A Sailors Logbook
In this firsthand account of the life aboard the ships of the Great Lakes, Mark Thompson weaves together the threads of a story that relives a centuries-old tradition. The logbooks that crewmembers kept date back long before Christopher Columbus made his crossing of the Atlantic in 1492. These logbooks detailed everything from weather conditions, ports of call, and landmarks to the daily interactions of the crewmembers. As the nature of the shipping industry changed so did the information contained in these logbooks. They went from detailing the inner workings of managing a crew to only holding statistical information relevant to the journey. Thompson has sought to take us back to the days when logbooks were actually a look inside the life of a sailor.
Thompson began his logbook after he reported for duty aboard the Calcite II at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin, for the 1996 shipping season. A Sailors Logbook is the first such book to chronicle a sailor's life at the end of the twentieth century. Not just a detailing of weather, cargo, and crew relations, A Sailors Logbook is also an account of the daily lives of a diverse group of crewmembers as they share their sailing knowledge, ''sea stories,'' and the many memories that accompany the pictures. Although there are ample resources in museums, archival collections, and company files regarding statistical logbook information, A Sailors Logbook details the intricacies of daily life on a Great Lakes freighter. Thompson navigates the reader through the waters of the Great Lakes and his own life in this very special narrative.
Mark L. Thompson spends most of the year working as an officer aboard the ships of the USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc. He is also the author of Steamboats and Sailors of the Great Lakes (Wayne State University Press, 1991) and Queen of the Lakes (Wayne State University Press, 1994).
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360 pages, 56 illustrations
A Great Lakes Books Publication