Wild Ocean - the Story of the North Atlantic and the Men Who Sailed It
by Villiers, Alan J. 1903-1982
pub by Mcgraw Hill, NY, 1957 -       - - LCCN 57-9440 - - (later edition isbn 1258173050 ) - - 327 p. -- illus.
Villiers, a sailor from the end of commercial sailing who had vast experience on the various seas of the world, describes the North Atlantic Ocean. He does this by time period, first the Ocean by its physical characteristics, then begins with human times, pre-Columbus on through the discoveries and development of English speaking North America. This was written in 1957 and much of the narrative reflects what was known of history at the time. He has an interesting and enlightened view of the reason for the American Revolutionary War. After that period he expands on the establishment and growth of scheduled sailings across the Ocean (Packet service) followed by a chapter on mysterious events including a long and well thought out solution to the mystery of the brig Mary Celeste which was found floating with nobody aboard.
He continues with the development of steam and other motor propulsion, followed by how WWI and WWII was waged on, over and under the waves. He reminds us that there were several flying crossings of the Atlantic before Lindbergs flight from New York to Paris. He tells the interesting story of sheparding a fleet of delicate landing craft across from USA to the Mediterranean - a personal story. Lastly he describes the coming and beginning dominance of commercial air traffic ferrying people across the Ocean. From his view in 1957 he has difficulty seeing that commercial passenger traffic by sea would be doomed. The statistics he lists on passenger ship traffic vs. air traffic are very interesting, given how things turned out over the following 69 years.
Villiers wrote this as he was preparing to sail the replica Mayflower II across the Atlantic. Which he did very successfully sortly as this book was going to press.
An interesting read.
~ 1970 ~

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