No, adventure is not dead, and in spite of the steam engine and of Thomas Cook and Son. When the announcement of the contemplated voyage of the Snark was made, young men of "roving disposition" proved to be legion, and young women as well--to say nothing of the elderly men and women who volunteered for the voyage.
In 1906, Jack London set out from San Francisco with his wife and two crewmembers on a voyage across the Pacific. Newspaper readers were horrified by the proposed trip, which was inspired by Joshua Slocum's Sailing Alone Around the World. London knew little about navigation, and his schooner, the Snark, possessed numerous defects, including a tendency to leak.
London's account of this extraordinary trip is charming and fascinating by turns, and a wonderful display of his eye for poetic and ironic details. Navigating more by feel than by skill, London visited Hawaii, the Marquesas, Tahiti, and the Solomon Islands. For the most part, the voyagers were greeted with South Seas hospitality, though the trip had its dangers—including head-hunting natives. London claimed that sailing the Snark gave him his greatest sense of personal accomplishment, and The Cruise of the Snark is saturated with his enthusiasm and sheer love of adventure.
An exciting new volume in the Adventure Classics series, this edition includes a new National Geographic map and excerpts from his wife Charmian's out-of-print account of the expedition, offering new insights into London's personality, and into his remarkable voyage.
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