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Book Review: Lords of the Ocean
Lords of the Ocean is the 4th book in Maine author James Nelson's Revolution at sea series. All of the books take place during the American Revolutionary War and feature the naval exploits of Captain Isaac Biddlecomb.
Book 4 sees Biddlecomb and his crew spend most of their time in European waters. They arrive in Europe with important cargo in the personage of Benjamin Franklin.
Once in Europe Biddlecomb and crew spend time waging a 1 ship campaign against British sea power. In fact the book title comes from Benjamin Franklin who during the Revolutionary War wrote: "We continue to insult these Lords of the Ocean with our little cruizers..." Dashing in out of French ports the British suffer considerable losses.
Eventually Biddlecomb must try to slip home disguised as a merchant ship. The British have intelligence that gives away the disguise. This discovery gives rise to a climatic battle scene.
Lords of the Ocean is historical naval fiction from a different point of view. Much of great modern naval fiction is about British sailors. Nelson is different in that his main characters and heroes are American. Lords of the Ocean is also different because of the setting of an American ship in Britain's home waters.
Nelson also has a way of weaving historical events and characters into his narrative. When Captain Isaac Biddlecomb is married what day is the ceremony on? None other than the day that the Declaration of Independence is publicly proclaimed. Isaac and bride Virginia dash from the church to hear it read aloud.
Before becoming a full time author James Nelson sailed on tall ships. When he has the chance he still puts to sea. This lends an absolute authenticity to Nelson's descriptions of how the ships sail, what sail combinations are appropriate for a give force of wind and how one performs on board tasks.
Lords of the Ocean combines, a different perspective, good use of history and its characters along with authentic descriptions to be an outstanding and enjoyable read. One can either start with Lords of the Ocean or retreat to the beginning of the Revolution at Sea series and the first book By Force of Arms. All 4 books are highly recommended.
You may purchase them in the TMI bookstore.
Mumm 30 Worlds Day 2
Day 2 was another 3 race day for the 31 boat fleet. Racing area is the Solent in Great Britain.
Race 4 began in 20+ knots of wind. Midway through the race a rain squall reduced visibility and added havoc to the racing. In the end American Ed Collins was 1st with Italy's Massimo Mozzaroma of Italy 2nd, followed by Mark Heeley of Britain 3rd.
Race 5 saw less breeze in the 15 knots range. 1st day leader Walter Geurts won a course long and close battle with Ed Collins. Luis Browne of the UK was 3rd.
The 6th race saw both a postponement and several general recalls. Once underway this contest had the days most consistent conditions. 1st was Massimo Mozzaroma, followed by Ed Collins and then Mark Heeley of the UK. During this race Walter Gerurts had problems with a jammed halyard on a kit takedown. Due to this incident he fell to 9th.
So, after 6 races the contest is still close. Ed Collins has moved up to 1st with a total of 18 points. Walter Geurts is close behind with 21 points. 6 more points back is Mozzaroma's Italian team. The final boat in the lead grouping is Mark Heely with 32 points. 5th place is a further 13 points back.
With 4 boats packed tight and no throwout race available consistency will pay off in a championship.