Before I read Gary Karlsen’s No Ordinary Seaman, I had the notion of Britannia Rules the Waves firmly planted in my mind, but now it is clear to me that Norway, not Britain, clearly ruled the waves in the 1960s. I find this memoir extremely enjoyable with its humour, information, and above all the tales of mostly warm personal relationships under trying and isolating circumstances. Also, this dyed-in-the-wool landlubber appreciates the extensive glossary helping me understand what is what on a ship. Gary’s rich seafaring experiences allow me to live vicariously (and safely) and being in awe of his tolerance for the many mundane ship chores not to mention my deep admiration for his calmness and bravery in the face of dangerous seas. As well, I love his Coleridge quotations making me rush back to re-read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, a poem I taught for years to my Literature 12 students. This is truly a fun and entertaining memoir well worth a read.
No Ordinary Seaman - soft cover edition
April 16, 2018