IN MY OWN VOICE. READING FROM MY COLLECTED WORKS: YARNS OF GREAT SHIPS AND SMALL

IN MY OWN VOICE. READING FROM MY COLLECTED WORKS: YARNS OF GREAT SHIPS AND SMALL

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NOTE: Comes complete with special video recordings of the Author, Dr. Jeffrey Lant reading his work.
When you are a boy in the Midwest of America, oceans are not your usual occupation.
So of course, these seas and oceans become a primary part of what you imagine. The first notable lake I recall is where the Lady of the Lake resides. She was the one, you may remember, who took Excalibur from the dying King Arthur, and then disappeared holding the sword upright, and them submerged… just the image for a daydreaming boy, who wanted to see that lake, see that lady, and have his chance to grab that sword and be the undoubted King of the realm. Right from the beginning, therefore, I was hooked on the water borne adventures which could come if only you believed enough, and never stopped looking through all the seas of all the lands.
The first boat of any substance I remember seeing was the U-505, a German submarine captured in WWII.
As I looked on that small craft, just 252 feet, I wonder where it had been, what they had done, and to whom had they done it.
In short, I recognized that this was not just a piece of ancient metal, but the repository of one sea story after another.
After a summer of working on the farm to bring in the harvest and knowing my father and uncle had worked out a scheme for my agrarian upbringing, I had to exercise my substantial imagination. And so I began my first novel, age 15, written on shelf paper, the amount needed rolled out. On this scroll of paper, each evening I would write the latest installment in the adventures of Hernan Cortez, conquistador.
To this day, I retain an acute interest in Cortez, and all the waters he sailed on, from Spain to Cuba, from Cuba to Vera Cruz.
From that day, without precisely knowing it, I began to collect stories of the great seas, courageous crews or otherwise (think HMS Bounty), and the trade they carried, which took nations like England and Spain and made them rich, and richer still, for to the richest truly went the spoils.
From that day to this, my acquisition of sea stories, of all water stories, has grown apace. To me, these are not sea stories, they are human stories, and in my mind, I can tell you the large ships and little boats which have come through my life.
I sat down the other day to write about all the ships I’d studied, which supplied me with good material, and hours of pleasant reading and studying. As I brainstormed, I saw an unending flotilla, indeed a fleet, of the ships and boats I love so much. They ran from Queen Cleopatra’s extravagant royal barge, burnished with startling gold and the purple sails beloved of Shakespeare, to the African Queen, one of the most magnificent ships there ever was, because the Queen was a noble vessel indeed, and acted accordingly, right through to her noble end.
I studied the greatest battleships on Earth, like the Bismarck, which might have changed the war, but for that one in a million shot that disabled the rudder and damned her to revolve in uncontrollable circles on the sea, and therefore, a sitting duck. There was the story of the Sultana, a riverboat designated to bring home Union war prisoners, the most needy and frail of all, after the fall of the Confederacy. What a horror it was to learn that of 2,427 passengers, far above her capacity, 1,800 were incinerated, their shrieks like the entry way to hell.
There was the Mayflower, which transformed religious immigrants into snobs, and the Victory, Lord Nelson’s flagship, in the Battle of Trafalgar, with its baffling kiss, requested by Nelson for Captain Hardy. And so the list goes on. Consider the Lusitania, which may or may not have been carrying weapons to the Allied forces. Either way, the rampant German submariners polished her off and brought the U.S.A. into the Great War.
There is now, and there always will be no shortage of stories of small ships and great. And to those who are drawn to such stories, we are happy in our work indeed.
Here you’ll find five yarns of ships, great and small with special readings by the author himself – Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author: HOMEPROFITCOACH

I have been marketing online for 24 years helping people do it right with education, and list building tools and procedures.