Author(s): Sam Jefferson
In the era of commercial sail, clipper ships were the ultimate expression of speed and grace. Racing out to the gold fields of America and Australia, and breaking speed records carrying tea back from China, the ships combined beauty with breathtaking performance. With over 200 gorgeous paintings and illustrations, and thrilling descriptions of the adventures and races on the water, this beautiful book brings the era vividly to life. Chapters include: The origins of the clippers - from the gold rush to the tea trade A hell ship voyage with 'Bully' Waterman, one of the most successful and notorious captains of the era Marco Polo, the fastest ship in the world - her rise to prominence and subsequent decline Mary Patten's battle with Cape Horn - a lady captain takes charge in a very male world Mutiny aboard the 'wild boat of the Atlantic' The great China tea race of 1866 - an amazingly close race across the world, only decided in the final few miles The Sir Lancelot defies the odds - her eccentric captains and rivalry with the legendary Thermopylae The Cutty Sark's longest voyage First-hand accounts, newspaper reports and log entries add fascinating eyewitness detail, whilst the stunning images show how the designs of these thoroughbreds developed over the years. A wonderful read and worthy celebration of these racehorses of the sea.
A beautiful illustrated history of the most exciting and compelling races and rivalries of the clipper ship era, featuring the stories of legendary boats such as Marco Polo and the Cutty Sark
Sam Jefferson is one of the foremost authorities on clipper ships in the world today. Previously Deputy Editor of Sailing Today, he now lives on a boat and writes for magazines such as Classic Boat, Sailing Today, and Traditional Boats and Tall Ships.
Introduction VII 1 The origins of clipper ships 1 Baltimore clippers 2 Britain lags behind 5 Gold rush 6 Time for tea 12 Beauty at any cost 16 End of an era 20 2 A hell ship voyage with 'Bully' Waterman 23 Fame and fortune 24 A challenge for the Challenge 29 Rotten crew 32 Crisis at Cape Horn 40 The reckoning in San Francisco 41 The aftermath 47 3 Marco Polo the fastest ship in the world 49 A stranding with a twist 50 Under new ownership 55 Up through the hawse-pipe 57 Troubles on the record passage 57 Commander of the Lightning 60 The Schomberg's only voyage 66 Dangerous gamble 71 Decline and fall 73 4 Mary Patten's battle with Cape Horn 81 T he Rapid's turnaround 83 An unusual honeymoon 85 Captain and mate 89 Mary's dilemma 91 Keeler's second chance 92 The frustrating final leg 97 End of the fairytale 99 5 Mutiny aboard the 'wild boat of the Atlantic' 103 The Dreadnought's recipe for success 105 Liverpool packet rats 109 The provocation 111 Crisis point 117 Rudderless in mid-ocean 121 Wrecked near Cape Horn 125 6 The great China tea race of 1866 127 Out to sea 129 The captains and their ships 132 The challenges of sailing China clippers 137 Manoeuvring for position 143 On the home stretch 150 7 The Sir Lancelot defies the odds 159 Dismasted in the Bay of Biscay 160 The race line-up 163 'Go ahead' Robinson 168 The Sir Lancelot catches up 168 A new rival 171 Against the Thermopylae 179 Robinson's final record 181 8 The Cutty Sark's longest voyage 185 Cruel mate 190 Search for a new skipper 193 Tramp of the ocean 199 Hazing and hardship 202 Drunk in command 203 Wool clipper 206